News from MSU Media Relations--March 9

The lastest sports news from the MSU Media Relations Department...

Women's Tennis
STARKVILLE, Miss. - Mississippi State's women's tennis squad opens up home Southeastern Conference competition this Friday as it hosts No. 62 Auburn at the A.J. Pitts Tennis Centre. The match between the two SEC West schools is set to begin at 2 p.m. CT.

The Lady Bulldogs (4-5) come into the weekend having opened up SEC play on the road at South Carolina. In the match versus the Gamecocks, State was plagued by illness and dropped a 7-0 decision to USC. In the match scheduled against Florida, MSU had to forfeit due to not enough players healthy to compete. MSU enters the weekend posting a national ranking of 64th.

Auburn comes into the weekend with a 5-4 record including two SEC losses last weekend to start out their conference play. The Tigers dropped close matches to both ranked opponents, No. 31 Kentucky and No. 17 Vanderbilt.

"This is a big weekend for us as we always have really close matches with both Auburn and Alabama ," said MSU head coach Tracy Lane. "They both have really solid players throughout the line-up, so I look for it being an extremely competitive weekend."

State will close out the weekend hosting No. 57 Alabama on Sunday at 1 p.m. CT. Following this weekend's action, the Lady Bulldogs will be back in action as they hit the road to Kentucky and Vanderbilt. The match against the Wildcats is set for March 23 at 2 p.m. CT and versus the Lady Commodores on March 25 at noon.

Men's Tennis
STARKVILLE, Miss. - The Mississippi State men's tennis team will continue Southeastern Conference play this weekend, traveling to face Auburn on Friday before playing at Alabama on Sunday. MSU's match with the Tigers is set for 1:30 p.m. while Sunday's matchup with Alabama is slated to begin at 1 p.m.

The Bulldogs, 3-5, are coming off two losses to open SEC play last weekend against South Carolina and Florida. State is currently led by 42nd-ranked Ivan Bjelica and 91st-ranked Philippe Frayssinoux. Bjelica is 16-10 this season while Frayssinoux is 16-9. Also helping the Bulldog cause so far this spring is sophomore Ryan Farlow who is 5-1 in dual match play.

Auburn, 7-2 this season after splitting a pair of matches last weekend to open SEC play. The Tigers are currently led by senior Robert Lathouwers who is ranked 73rd and has a 9-0 record this season. Friday's match will be the 36th in the all time series. Auburn currently holds a slight 18-17 advantage dating back to 1973. Last season, Auburn defeated State in Starkville by a 6-1 margin.

Alabama has an 8-2 record this season and is 1-1 in SEC play. The Tide is led by senior and 84th-ranked Joseph Jung. Jung is 13-12 this season and is 4-6 in dual matches. Leading UA in doubles is 27th-ranked Dan Buikema and Mathieu Thibaudeau. The duo has an 18-5 record this season and is 8-2 in dual matches. Sunday's meeting will be the 46th between the two programs with State holding a 25-20 lead. Last season, the Bulldogs defeated UA 4-3 in Starkville.

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