BATON ROUGE, La. - Mississippi State's men's tennis team fell in the quarterfinals of the 2007 Southeastern Conference Championship Friday, dropping a 4-0 decision to top-seeded and top-ranked Georgia. The Bulldogs dropped to 7-14 overall with the loss. Georgia continued its dominance over opponents this season, remaining undefeated at 24-0.
UGA grabbed the early lead with strong, identical 8-0 wins at the No. 2 and 3 positions. At No. 2 Georgia's pairing of 19th-ranked Travis Helgeson and Matic Omerzel downed State's tandem of Artem Kuznetsov and Pjotrs Necajevs. On court #3, UGA's team of Jamie Hunt and Nate Schnugg bested MSU's Chris Doerr and Ryan Farlow. Georgia led 5-4 on court #1 when play was suspended at that point.
In singles, UGA grabbed the first set in five of the six singles matches to set up the team victory. Georgia took a 2-0 advantage when 12th-ranked Luis Flores completed a 6-2, 6-2 victory over MSU's 55th-ranked Frayssinoux at the No. 2 position. UGA went up 3-0 when the 41st-ranked Omerzel provided a 6-1, 6-2 win over State's Kuznetsov at No. 3.
The match-clincher would come at the No. 5 spot, where UGA's 101st-ranked Hunt bested State's Doerr 6-3, 6-3.
In the remaining matches, which were suspended, Georgia held one-set leads at the No. 1 and 4 positions, while State's Necajevs had secured the first set at No. 6.
State had advanced to the tournament's quarterfinals for the 15th time in 18 years with an upset win over Vanderbilt Thursday.
WEST POINT, Miss. - Senior Amanda Mathis fired a 3-over 75 and stands in a tie for 23rd, leading MSU in the first round of the SEC Championship Friday at the Old Waverly Golf Club in West Point, Miss. As a team, State shot a 312 and stands in a tie for 11th with Mississippi heading into the Saturday's second round.
Sophomore Leigh Phillips and freshman Gina Sharp both shot a 78 for State and are in a tie for 43rd while freshman Suzanne Stanley finished with an 81. Junior Julia Huh fired an 84 to round out scoring for State.
Georgia shot a field-best 285 on the first day and leads the tournament by six strokes. UGA's Garrett Phillips recorded a 67 in the opening round and leads the individual competition by one stroke over Tennessee's Marci Turner.
State will pair with Mississippi and Kentucky again in the second round and will begin with an 8:30 a.m. tee on hole #10. Further information including live scoring will be available at the tournament central page on MstateAthletics.com.
ST. SIMONS ISLAND, Ga. - Combating tough wind conditions on the opening day of the Southeastern Conference Men's Golf Championship, Mississippi State stands tied for sixth after Friday's round of 304 at Sea Island Golf Club's Seaside course.
With wind conditions nearing 30-miles per hour, MState turned in the rounds of 74 on the par-70 course. Sophomores Noah Goldman, Brian Mason and Carlos Sainz, Jr. each fired a 4-over par rounds to lead the MSU line up. The Bulldogs enter Saturday's second round just nine shots off the pace set by Mississippi at 15-over par. The Maroon and White stand in a four-way tie for the sixth spot with South Carolina, Auburn and Florida.
"I really thought 74 or 75 would be about par with today's conditions," said MSU head coach Clay Homan. "We got off to a great start with three guys shooting a 74. The wind is supposed to die down some tomorrow, so hopefully we can put another good round together."
UM's Will Roebuck was the only competitor to turn in a round under par with a 1-under par 69. In the team standings behind the leader, Alabama is in second while Tennessee and LSU claim the third spot.
MSU will start second-round activity at 9:50 CST and will be paired with Auburn and Florida.
Live scoring of the conference championship is available at www.SECSports.com.
STARKVILLE, Miss. - Following a split in its midweek games, Mississippi State (28-20, 9-10) looks to get back on the right track in conference play this weekend. MSU travels to Athens, Ga. for a three-game series against the Bulldogs. The series begins with a doubleheader on Saturday, April 21 at 1 p.m. (CT). The following day, State will close out the series with a 1 p.m. (CT) game. The games can be heard on MSUâ€™s radio station, WMSV 91.1 FM and can also be heard live on the station's website, www.wmsv.msstate.edu. Fans can also follow all the action live at www.mstateathletics.com.
Mississippi State leads the all-time series with Georgia, 16-15. In Starkville, MSU leads 8-5, while in Athens, Georgia leads 7-6. When played on a neutral field, Georgia leads 3-2. UGA has outscored the MSU, 148-96. Georgia has won the last nine meetings.
Freshman Chelsea Bramlett continues to make her mark in her short collegiate career. The Cordova, Tenn. native currently leads the conference in stolen bases with 41, which is tied for the MSU single-season record. She is also third in runs (46) and hits (64) and seventh with a .393 batting average.
Kelli Miller leads the Bulldogs from the mound with a 12-8 record and a 1.60 ERA. In 114.0 innings of work, the senior has struck out 57 batters. Kelsey Nurnberg is 7-3 with a 2.24 ERA and 41 strikeouts in 87.1 innings of work.
Georgia is coming off a weekend that saw them get swept in a three-game series by South Carolina. As a team, Georgia is hitting .266 with 54 doubles and 21 home runs. UGA has also stolen 114 bases in 129 attempts. Offensively, UGA is led by Kellie Middleton. The senior is hitting .347 with five home runs, 11 doubles and 33 RBI. She has also crossed the plate 38 times. Charvi Greer is hitting .364 with 11 RBI and 37 runs.
From the pitching circle, the Bulldogs are led by Kasi Carroll. The senior leads the team with a 20-7 record and a 1.71 ERA. She also has 16 complete games, while striking out 164 batters. Christie Hamilton is 13-11 with a 2.75 ERA and 122 strikeouts. Opponents are hitting .235 against UGA pitching.
Following this weekend's action, the Bulldogs will head to Hattiesburg to face Southern Miss in a midweek contest on Tuesday, April 24 at 6 p.m. (CT).
Track & Field
STARKVILLE, Miss. - Mississippi State's track and field team will travel to the plains of Auburn, Ala. to compete in the Auburn Invitational on Saturday, April 21 at the Hutsell-Rosen Track facility.
MState is coming off a split weekend with 17 athletes making the trek to Walnut, Calif. for the prestigious Mt. SAC Relays, while the rest of the squad competed in the Mississippi Open in Oxford, Miss. last Saturday. MSU senior Travis McKay won the 3000-meter steeplechase at the Mt. SAC Relays with a time of eight minutes, 52.23 seconds. 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. State reeled in five NCAA Regional qualifying marks at the Ole Miss event. The Bulldogs notched four post season marks at the event. The men registered two qualifying marks in both the 400-meter dash and the 800-meter run. Bruce Davis and Arthur Davis earned bids to the post-season competition in the 400-meter dash.
On the women's side, senior Jen McPherson claimed third place in the 1500-meter run at the west coast event 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. Michelle Corrigan broke a 12-year standing record in the 10K at Mt. SAC with a time of 35:30.43. The previous record was held by Stacey Moseley, who set the record in 1995. Lady Bulldog freshman Bridgette Rose became the sixth competitor on the women's side to earn an NCAA Regional mark. The Leeds, Ala.- native claimed the 100-meter hurdles event with a time of 13.78 at the Mississippi Open.
The Maroon and White will compete against 16 teams at the AU-hosted event, including Southeastern Conference foes Tennessee (men) and Auburn. The Tigers enter the meet ranked No. 2 in the country. Other teams include: Bevill State, Birmingham Southern, Central Michigan (women), Charlotte, Columbia, Columbus State, Florida Atlantic, Gardner Webb, Georgia Southern, Jacksonville State, Navy (women), Troy , UAB and Wallace State.
Field events start at 10:30 a.m. CST with the javelin while the first running event is scheduled for 12:30 p.m. with the 100-meter preliminaries. Live results will be available at www.AUTigers.com.
Following Saturday's action, MSU will participate in the Penn Relays that will run from Thursday, April 26 thru Saturday, April 28 in Philadelphia, Pa.