News from MSU Media Relations--September 14

The lastest sports news from the MSU Media Relations Department...Football, Soccer, Women's Tennis and Men's Tennis.

STARKVILLE, Miss. - The Mississippi State Athletic Department has announced that it will offer a special discounted ticket for its next two home football games with Gardner-Webb (Sept. 22) and UAB (Oct. 6) at Davis Wade Stadium at Scott Field.

The tickets, which will cost just $15 each, will be located in the west side upper deck of the stadium. They will be sold through the MSU Athletic Ticket Office in the Bryan Athletic Administration Building and at the stadium ticket office on game days as long as supplies last.

Regular-priced lower level tickets also remain available for both of those contests.

For more information, fans are encouraged to contact the ticket office at 1-888-GO-DAWGS (1-888-463-2947).

STARKVILLE, Miss. - Coming off a weekend that resulted in two heart-breaking losses at the MTSU Tournament, Mississippi State (2-2-0) looks to rebound when it opens its 2007 home schedule this weekend. MSU will face a pair of Conference USA foes this weekend. The Bulldogs will take on Central Florida, Friday, September 14 at 7 p.m. (CT) before hosting Rice, Sunday, September 16 at Noon (CT).

MSU is 6-5-1 all-time in home openers, and 3-1-1 in their last five openers.

"I'm looking forward to playing at home," said MSU head coach Neil MacDonald. "We've had a good practice this week. We worked on some issues that we've had from the first two weeks of the season. These will be two really challenging games against teams that are regionally ranked. But, we're very positive going into this weekend."

Treena Ferguson leads the Bulldogs in almost every offensive category. She is currently first in the conference in points (10), shots (24) and shots on goal (12). She is also tied for fourth with four goals and tied for seventh with two assists. Katelyn Graben is also tied for third in assists (3) and tied for eighth in points (7). Defensively, Taryn Holland leads the SEC with 25 saves.

Central Florida enters this weekend's match with a 3-1-0 record. UCF is coming off a 2-0 weekend at the UCF Invitational, defeating UNLV and UC-Davis. Sophomore Courtney Whidden leads the Golden Knights with three goals and six points. Becca Thomas, Yvonne George, and Amanda Martorana each lead with two assists. UCF returns ten players and six starters from last year's squad that went 11-6-2 and finished second in Conference USA. Central Florida is led defensively by all-Conference USA goalkeeper Jennifer Manis. The senior has played every minute of the season for UCF, going 3-1-0 with a 0.78 goals against average. This will be the first meeting between the two teams. It will also be Central Florida's first true road game. The Golden Knights began the year 1-1 at the UT Lady Vol Classic, defeating Minnesota before falling to No. 7 Penn State.

Rice has won its last three matches after starting the season with a tie. The Owls defeated TCU and Stephen F. Austin last weekend. The Owls return 14 players and six starters from last year's squad that finished 11-6-1. Rice is led by forward Ashley Toussaint. The senior currently leads the team with nine points, scoring three goals and assisting on three others. Freshman midfielder Kate Edwards has added three goals for Rice. Defensively, the Owls are led by netminder Meghan Erkel. The freshman has played all but 33 minutes of Rice's games, earning a 0.75 goals against average. This will be the second meeting between the two schools. Rice defeated MSU last year in Houston, 3-2.

Mississippi State will close out its non-conference schedule next week. The Bulldogs will face North Florida on Friday, September 21, at 7 p.m. (CT), before traveling to Memphis on Sunday, September 23 at 1 p.m. (CT).

Women's Tennis
OXFORD, Miss. - Mississippi State's women's tennis team begins its 2007 fall campaign at the fifth annual Ole Miss Fall Classic in Oxford, Miss. Head Coach Tracy Lane and seven lady Bulldogs head to Oxford for this weekend's match. State's doubles teams include Martina Banikova and Radka Ferancova, Renée Joseph and Daniela Juskova, as well as Elna de Villiers and Valeriya Makarycheva.

"We are looking forward to opening our season," said Lane. "The tournament has a good field of schools, so we are looking forward to some really competitive matches."

The Bulldogs last played in the Ole Miss Fall Classic in the fall 2005 where de Villiers defeated fellow Bulldog Feit to win the silver draw in singles. Joseph also won the white draw for singles.

The flighted tournament will include teams from South Alabama, Memphis, Troy, Louisiana at Lafayette, Southern Illinois, Southern Mississippi, Arkansas State, Jacksonville State, as well as, other Southeastern Conference teams Georgia and host Mississippi.

To track the Lady Bulldogs on the courts, visit the Ole Miss Classic Tournament page at

Men's Tennis
STARKVILLE, Miss. - Mississippi State's men's tennis coach Per Nilsson announced Thursday the addition of Matt Hill as the assistant men's tennis coach. The hiring is pending the approval of the Board of Trustees, Institutions of Higher Learning.

Hill comes to MSU after a two-season stint as the volunteer assistant coach at the University of Alabama. In that capacity, Hill worked with the Crimson Tide players on the court as well as helping extensively with video work and the marketing aspect of the tennis program. While at Alabama, Hill also earned a master's in human performance with an emphasis in sports management.

"I am very glad that we could add Matt to our coaching staff here at MSU," said Nilsson. "He brings alot of experience to the table and will do a terrific job for us."

A native of Holt, Mich., Hill earned a degree in business marketing with a specialization in professional tennis management from Ferris State University in 2005. Also a member of the tennis team while at FSU, Hill helped lead the Bulldogs to the NCAA Division II quarterfinals for the first time in school history.

Adding to his credentials, Hill is a graduate of the USTA High Performance Program, and has coached Zonals Teams for the Southern and Midwest Section. Hill is a Level I USPTA Professional and has experience coaching nationally and sectionally ranked junior players. Hill currently serves on the board for the USTA Collegiate Team Committee to help increase tennis across all college campuses in the South.

"I am thrilled to get the opportunity to coach alongside Per here in the Southeastern Conference," said Hill. "It is good to stay in the best tennis conference in the nation and I can not wait to get things underway."

STARKVILLE, Miss. - The Mississippi State men's tennis team will open up its fall season this weekend (Sept. 14-16), as they travel to Murfreesboro, Tenn., to compete in the MTSU Blue Raider Invitational. All action will take place at the Buck Bouldin Tennis Complex on the Middle Tennesseee State campus.

"We are excited to get the season underway after a good bit of practice," said MSU head coach Per Nilsson. "Our guys are anxious to get out there and we are all ready to see how we stack up against some other competition."

Four MSU players will compete in two singles divisions and two doubles divisions. Bulldog senior and 40th-ranked Philippe Frayssinoux along with Pjotrs Necajevs will compete in the Singles Championship Flight while State junior Ryan Farlow and newcomer Maximilien Genuini will compete in the Singles A1 Flight.

In doubles, Frayssinoux will team with Farlow while Necajevs will compete with Genuini in the A1 Flight.

The tournament will also consist of a first-match consolation for all singles flights which will begin on Saturday morning. Play will get under way each day at 8:30 a.m.

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