News from MSU Media Relations--May 3

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

Men's Tennis
STARKVILLE, Miss. - Mississippi State junior Ivan Bjelica has been selected to compete in the 2007 NCAA Singles Championship May 23-28 in Athens, Ga., as announced by the NCAA Division I Selection Committee Wednesday.

Currently ranked 34th nationally, the Belgrade, Serbia native compiled a 22-14 overall singles record this season. Bjelica notched a 5-5 Southeastern Conference record and went 10-5 at the #1 position for State in dual matches. He was named first-team, all-SEC for his efforts.

Other highlights of Bjelica's season include eight wins over ranked opponents while only two of his losses came to opponents not ranked. Last fall, Bjelica reached the semifinals of the ITA Southeast Regional Championship and the finals of the MTSU Blue Raider Invitational. Bjelica opened the spring ranked a career-high 32nd in the country.

MSU junior Philippe Frayssinoux was selected as one of eight alternates for the singles championship. Currently ranked 66th nationally, the Plaisir, France, native compiled a 23-14 singles record this season. Frayssinoux was 7-4 in SEC matches this season and was a member of the all-SEC second team.

With the at-large selection, it marks the 18th time in the last 19 seasons that MSU men's tennis has had a singles or doubles participant in the NCAA Individual Championships.

Play in the NCAA Singles Championship will begin Wednesday, May 23rd, at Georgia's Dan Magill Tennis Complex.


Women's Tennis
STARKVILLE, Miss. - Mississippi State women's tennis standout Martina Banikova has been selected to compete in the 2007 NCAA Singles Championship May 23-28 in Athens, Ga., as announced by the NCAA Division I Selection Committee Wednesday.

Currently ranked 46th nationally, Banikova, a sophomore, has notched a 16-14 overall record this year including 9-7 in dual match competition. The Kosice, Slovakia, native earned her first national ranking this season coming in at 71 st before steadily moving up the polls to her current position.

Among her results in 2006-07, the sophomore has registered three wins over top 40 opponents this spring, including one in the top 10. She was 4-6 in Southeastern Conference matches, playing all her contests at the No. 1 position in State's lineup. She also clinched two Lady Bulldog wins this season, including State's SEC victory over Alabama.

With Banikova's at-large selection, she becomes the sixth player in MSU women's tennis history to garner a selection to the NCAA Singles Championship field, with the last coming in 2005.

First-round action begins Wednesday, May 23, at Georgia's Dan Magill Tennis Complex.


Women's Basketball
LAFAYETTE, La. - Louisiana's Ragin' Cajuns named Errol Rogers the 11th head women's basketball coach in school history on Wednesday. His hiring is pending approval by the University of Louisiana System Board of Supervisors.

Rogers replaces J. Kelley Hall, who resigned April 3 to accept the head coaching position at Cincinnati.

The Louisiana-Lafayette graduate spent the last four seasons as an assistant coach at Mississippi State with his primary responsibilities including on-court teaching and assisting with recruiting. The Bulldogs enjoyed a 12-win turnaround last season and advanced to the WNIT quarterfinals ­ their second WNIT trip in the last three seasons.

Rogers' collegiate experience also includes four years as an assistant coach at Bethune-Cookman College from 1999-2003 where he was in charge of developing game strategies, conditioning and training, recruiting, and arranging travel and lodging accommodations. BCC enjoyed back-to-back winning seasons in his final two years, marking the best two campaigns for the Wildcats in the past decade.

"I'm very pleased to bring a coach to our University that was born in Louisiana, graduated from Louisiana-Lafayette and has coaching ties to the state," said interim athletics director David Walker. "His recruiting abilities are very well known and I expect our program's recent success to continue. He came highly recommended by some very well respected and prestigious college coaches."

Prior to his stint as an assistant coach on the collegiate level, Rogers spent eight years as a high school head coach in Louisiana. He accumulated a career record of 200-76 on the high school level in the state of Louisiana and was named Coach of the Year six times during his career.

Rogers' final high school stop was at Lafayette High, leading his team to a district co-championship, the first in school history.

He was the head girl's coach from 1993-98 at Opelousas Catholic High School, coincidently, during nearly the same period Cajuns head men's basketball coach Robert Lee was the head boy's basketball coach at Opelousas High School from 1992-96.

Rogers tallied 120 victories with OHS, as the Tigers were named district champions twice and had appearances in the playoffs all five years.

He started coaching in the high school ranks from 1991-93 at the Holy Rosary Institute. Rogers advanced to the state semifinals with his girl's team, leading HRI to its first Sweet 16 appearance in school history. The 1993 team produced the most wins in school history.

Rogers got his start in coaching at the Immaculate Heart of Mary Middle School during his tenure from 1984-91. In addition to coaching the girl's basketball team, he also had stints as the athletic director and head football coach. While at the helm of the basketball team, Immaculate Heart was Catholic league champions four times.

In 1985, Rogers founded the Acadiana Stars, an AAU girl's basketball club in Lafayette. He was instrumental in helping bring the first AAU national championship to Lafayette for girls 14 and under in 1997. Former WNBA Miami Sol standout Shari Sam went through his program.

A native of Lake Charles, La., Rogers is married to the former Damita Nabers. The couple has six children, five daughters, Dominique (19), Desiree (14), Danielle (11), Erin (7) and Erika (3) and one son, Errol, Jr. (5).

WHAT THEY'RE SAYING ABOUT COACH ROGERS

"His recruiting abilities are very well known and I expect our program's recent success to continue. He came highly recommended by some very well respected and prestigious college coaches." - Louisiana-Lafayette Interim Athletics Director David Walker

"We are very happy that Errol has the chance to become a head coach at his alma mater. He has done a tremendous job while being a part of the Lady Bulldog family. I appreciate his loyalty, enthusiasm and the example he has set for our team. We will miss him and his family and wish him the very best." - Mississippi State Head Coach Sharon Fanning


Gene's Page Top Stories