News from MSU Media Relations--April 14

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

Men's Tennis
STARKVILLE, Miss. - The Mississippi State men's tennis team will conclude its regular season Saturday afternoon as they host seventh-ranked arch rival Mississippi. Match time is set for 1 p.m. at the A. J. Pitts Tennis Centre on the MSU campus.

The Bulldogs (6-12, 3-7), enter Saturday's match trying to halt a three-match losing skid. After a string of three consecutive victories, MSU has since dropped three straight, all coming against top-25 opponents. Bulldog juniors Ivan Bjelica and Philippe Frayssinoux currently lead the Bulldogs in wins, as both have compiled identical 22-13 records. Bjelica, ranked 37th nationally, is 10-7 in dual matches this year including a 5-4 clip in conference play. Frayssinoux, ranked 75th, is coming off an upset victory over Tennessee's 36th-ranked Bobby Cameron last weekend in Knoxville, Tenn. Bjelica and Frayssinoux also form MSU's #1 doubles team, as they are 7-7 in dual matches this season.

Mississippi comes into Saturday's matchup sporting a 19-3 overall record, including an 8-2 mark in the Southeastern Conference. The Rebels are led by Erling Tveit and Robbye Poole. Tveit is ranked 19th nationally and is 24-10 overall this season. Poole, ranked 40th, is 28-8 overall this season including a 9-0 mark at the #3 singles position. In doubles, UM has two teams ranked. Tveit and Eric Claesson are 30th while the duo of Jakob Klaesson and Chris Rea is 32nd.

The Rebels currently hold an 18-match winning streak over State dating back 1999. In an earlier meeting this season in Jackson, Miss., UM downed MSU in the annual River Hills Cup. In the series dating back to 1969, the Rebels lead 37-22, including a slight 10-9 advantage in Starkville.

Following Saturday's match, MSU will prepare for the SEC Tournament which begins next week in Baton Rouge, La. Hosted by LSU, first-round action will get underway on Thursday and run through Sunday's final.

Women's Tennis
STARKVILLE, Miss. - Mississippi State's women's tennis team closes out its 2007 regular season on the road this weekend, visiting in-state rival Mississippi in Oxford on Saturday, April 14. Match time is set for 1 p.m. at UM's Palmer-Salloum Tennis Center.

MSU (5-12, 1-9 SEC) comes into the weekend after dropping two 6-1 decision to two top 25 teams (No. 3 Georgia and No. 24 Tennessee) last weekend. State's lone points came from sophomores Martina Banikova and Elna de Villiers. Banikova, ranked 71st nationally, earned her third upset of the season, topping UGA's seventh-ranked Natalie Frazier, while de Villiers notched a win over UT's Connor Vogel.

Mississippi (4-16, 0-9 SEC) comes into the match after losing a 6-1 affair to No. 3 Florida in a makeup from an earlier rainout. Leading the Lady Rebs is Senior Ilona Somers who currently ranks 74th in the country in singles.

"We are looking to have a really tough match this weekend in Oxford," said MSU head coach Tracy Lane. "Both teams have had their struggles over the course of the semester, so we are both looking for a win against the in-state rival."

The Lady Bulldogs will be back in action Thursday, April 19, when they compete in the opening round of the Southeastern Conference Championship, being hosted by the University of Kentucky April 19-22 in Lexington, KY.

Track & Field
WALNUT, Calif. – Mississippi State senior Travis McKay won the 3000-meter steeplechase at the Mt. SAC Relays on Friday night with a time of eight minutes, 52.23 seconds.

McKay is one of 17 MSU track and field athletes that are participating this weekend that is hosted by Mt. San Antonio College. The west coast event will continue thru Sunday, April 15. The Maroon and White will also have a strong contingent at the Mississippi Open at the University of Mississippi campus on Saturday.

The time turned in by the Edmonton, Alberta, Canada-native improved his NCAA Regional status in the event. He posted a regional qualifying mark at the Georgia Relays with a time of 8:54.95. In other men's events, State's Brandon Smith turned in a personal-best 3:58.58 in the 1500-meter run.

For the Lady Bulldogs, senior Jen McPherson claimed third place in the 1500-meter run late Friday evening with a season-best time of 4: 21.63. Her time ranks third-best all-time in MState track laurels in the 1500-meter run. With her mark, the Nampa, Idaho-product has qualified for NCAA post-season competition in her last two outings. Last week at the Texas Relays, McPherson recorded a time of 4:27.16.

STARKVILLE, Miss. - Mississippi State University has inked Simone Domingue to a national letter-of-intent to compete in track and field for the 2007-08 season. Domingue is an all-State distance performer from Grand Coteau, LA.

Domingue prepped at the Academy of the Sacred Heart and was under the tutelage of Kelly LeMaison. On the Louisiana prep level, she was an all-State performer throughout her high school career in both cross country and track and field. As a freshman at ASH, Domingue earned all-Acadiana honors and claimed the district title. In 2005, she won the district championship in the two-mile event and also competed in the regional championships en route to being named the 2005 all-Acadiana Most Valuable Player.

"Simone (Domingue) was a key signee for us," said MSU head coach Al Schmidt. "We think we will have a really good signing class and she is the cornerstone for the group."

As a junior in 2006, Domingue garnered all-State status in indoor track and field after winning the two-mile championship. She also holds the state record in the event. During the outdoor campaign, Domingue claimed all three titles in the two-mile run - district, regional and state.

"I am extremely excited about coming to Mississippi State," said Simone Domingue. "It is great to continue to run in college and compete in the SEC. I feel like I fit in up there."

Domingue's personal best times include five minutes, 17 second in the mile run; in the two-mile run 11:16 at the LSU Tiger Relays and in the 3K, she posted a time of 10:48 at the University of Houston Invite. In cross country she carded a time 17:56.

Outside of competition, Domingue was a 2006 Wendy's High School Heisman nominee in the state of Louisiana. She is a member of the National Honor Society at ASH along with participation in Environmental Club and the Film Club.

She has an interest in biological chemistry at State with plans to go on to medical school down the road. Domingue is the daughter of Dean and Denise Domingue.

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