RENO, Nev. - For the second straight match and the third time this season, the Mississippi State men's tennis team dropped a 4-3 decision, this time falling victim to Nevada on Wednesday. The Bulldogs fell to 3-8 on the season with the loss.
Once again, State started slow by dropping the opening doubles point. The first doubles match complete came on court #2 where State's freshman tandem of Artem Kuznetsov and Pjotrs Necajevs defeated Nevada's Benjamin David and Guerin Smith 8-1. Nevada's pair of Laurent Garcin and Guillaume Tonelli responded by knocking off State's Ivan Bjelica and Philippe Frayssinoux 8-4 on court #1 to send the decision to court #3. On that court the Wolfpack's Eldar Dzhaforov and Augustin Myard outlasted MSU's duo of Edouard Benchetrit and Ryan Farlow, clinching the doubles point with an 8-5 win.
Singles play would be a back and forth affair throughout. MSU's 42nd-ranked Bjelica evened the score at 1-1, when he won 6-3, 6-1 over Nevada's Tonelli on court #1. Nevada took a 2-1 lead when Garcin defeated 91st-ranked Frayssinoux 6-3, 6-3 on court #2. State then evened the match once again when Benchetrit took out Nevada's Dzhafarov 6-3, 6-1 on court #4. MSU took a 3-2 lead when Bulldog sophomore Ryan Farlow defeated Nevada's Alex Daruty 6-2, 6-3 on court #5.
The Decision would come down to courts #3 and #6. On court #3, State freshman Necajevs came up short in a second set rally, as he dropped a 6-2, 7-5 decision to Nevada's David which evened the team score at 3-3. In the deciding match on court #6, State's Eric Lim battled Nevada's Myard into the third set. Myard won the first set 6-4 while Lim evened the match with a 7-6(2) tiebreak win in the second set. In the third set, Myard stormed to a 5-1 lead before Lim closed the gap to 5-3. However Myard would hold on to close out Lim and secure the win for Nevada.
With a win on court #1, State's Bjelica won his third straight and moved to 19-10 this season. Farlow improved his dual match record on the season to 7-2 with his win. The loss in doubles was the ninth in 11 matches this year for the Bulldogs.
MSU will continue their Nevada road swing on Saturday, as they travel to Las Vegas, Nev. to face UNLV. Match time at the Fertitta Tennis Complex is set for noon C.T.
STARKVILLE, Miss. - Coming off a doubleheader sweep that saw Mississippi State (17-11, 2-3) pick up its first two conference victories of the season, the Bulldogs will take a break from conference action when they travel to Morehead, Ky. for a midweek doubleheader against Morehead State on Thursday. The teams will play a doubleheader beginning at 2 p.m. CT. The second game of the double-dip can be heard on MSU's radio station, WMSV 91.1 FM and can be heard live on the station's website, www.wmsv.msstate.edu.
This is the first meeting between the two schools. MSU is 35-7 all-time against schools from the Ohio Valley Conference, including a 4-1 record this year.
Chelsea Bramlett continues to be one of the State's leaders in her short collegiate career. The freshman leads MSU in hitting with a .436 batting average. She also leads the conference in stolen bases (26) and runs (31), and is tied for second in hits with 44. Her 26 stolen bases currently put her third on MSUâ€™s all-time freshman list.
Kelli Miller leads the Bulldogs from the mound with a 7-5 record and a 1.38 ERA. In 61.0 innings of work, the senior has struck out 32 batters. Against UK, Miller tossed a complete game shutout, striking out one. Sara Hickerson is 2-3 with 37 strikeouts in 46 innings of work. She also has a conference-high six saves.
Morehead State enters Thursday's doubleheader with a 9-10 record. The Eagles swept a doubleheader from Oakland last Friday, defeating OU, 5-4 in eight innings and 3-2. MSU then dropped all three games at the Eagle Round Robin. Morehead State fell to Wright State on Saturday, 1-0, and then got swept on Sunday, 3-2 in eight innings to Oakland, and 9-2 to Wright State. The Eagles are led by infielder Brandy Bucher. The junior is hitting .377 with seven runs and 14 RBI. She also has crossed the plate seven times. From the mound, freshman Alex Gjevre is 6-3 with a 3.31 ERA. She also has 299 strikeouts in 42.1 innings. This is the first meeting between the two teams.
Following Thursday's action, the Bulldogs will close out the road trip when they play a three-game set at No. 1 Tennessee.