News from MSU Media Relations--September 16

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

STARKVILLE, Miss. - Courtney Whidden's second goal of the game with just under four minutes remaining broke a 2-2 tie and prevented Mississippi State (2-3-0) from securing a comeback, as the Bulldogs fell to Central Florida (4-1-0), 3-2.

MSU had just tied the game at two when the Knights were awarded a free kick. Nikki Moore took the kick, sending a shot towards the net. Whidden corralled the ball, and netted it into the left corner, giving UCF its third lead of the match.

Two minutes earlier, State tied the game for the second time. Lauren Host intercepted a long kick just past midfield. After dribbling into the offensive zone, she passed off to Treena Ferguson, who rifled a shot past Central Florida goalkeeper Jennifer Manis. The goal, her fifth of the season, also set a record, as Ferguson has now recorded a point in five consecutive games.

The first half was hard fought, as both teams battled for every inch, trading shots.

State had the first scoring chance of the day with seven minutes remaining in the half. Danielle Kite dribbled the ball down the right side of the field before passing of to Katelyn Graben. The sophomore then dumped the ball off to Treena Ferguson who fired a shot from 30 yards away, sending the ball just over the net.

After Danielle dos Santos picked up a yellow card with just over two minutes remaining, for UCF, the Bulldogs had another opportunity. Bethany Frazier sent a cross toward the net. After a deflection, Ashley Hood one-timed a shot, but Manis made the save, preserving the scoreless tie.

The Knights had their first scoring opportunity of the night with less than a minute to play. Becca Thomas sent a corner kick toward the front of the net. MSU goalkeeper Taryn Holland over ran the ball, and it fell in front of dos Santos, who sent it towards the open net. But, Kite was there backing up Holland, and she made the save.

UFC broke the scoreless tie with just 15 seconds remaining in the half. Courtney Whidden knocked in Thomas' corner kick into the right corner, putting Central Florida up 1-0.

State finally broke through, tying the game with 15 minutes left. Ashley Hood picked up the ball in front of the UF net and passed it to Heather Buttrey, who beat Manis for her first goal of the season.

However, the Knights came right back. Seconds later, Kate Begley intercepted a pass and immediately fired a shot from 40 feet away that slipped just under the crossbar, giving UCF a 2-1 advantage.

Mississippi State looks to bounce back this Sunday when they face Rice at 12 p.m. (CT). Admission to all MSU soccer games is free, and fans can also follow all the action live at

STARKVILLE, Miss. - Mississippi State fans will get their first opportunity to see the 2007-08 softball team in action this weekend as the team hosts the first of three consecutive Fall Tournaments.

The Bulldogs will play two games on Sunday, hosting the University of Alabama-Huntsville and Wallace State Community College. Alabama-Huntsville and Wallace State will get the action started at 11:00 a.m. followed by Mississippi State and Alabama-Huntsville at 1:00 p.m. Mississippi State and Wallace State will close out the action at 3:00 p.m.

All games will be played at the MSU Softball Field and admission is free.

Women's Tennis
OXFORD, Miss. - On the second day of competition at the Ole Miss Classic Saturday, Mississippi State advanced senior Renée Joseph and junior Daniela Juskova to the singles finals of the Red and White draws, respectively.

On her way to the finals, Joseph downed Angela Dangood of Louisiana-Lafayette in an exciting three sets 4-6, 6-3, 6-2. Following that, she proceeded to win 6-3, 6-2 over Renee Branker of Arkansas State. Juskova triumphed over Lauren Gutterman of Southern Mississippi 6-0, 6-4 and then defeated Caroline Jouanin of Troy 6-4, 6-1 to advance to the finals in her draw.

In other singles competition, Lady Bulldog Valeriya Makarycheva defeated Eloah Lopes of Jacksonville State 6-2, 6-3 in the quarterfinals of the Silver Draw. She then fell 6-1, 6-2 to Leydi Zora of Arkansas State. In the White Draw, Tatiana Feit lost to Stephanie Viera of Troy 6-4, 6-1.

In the second round of the Blue Draw, MSU's 29th-ranked Martina Banikova was upset 6-1, 6-2 by Nika Koukhartchouk of host Mississippi. Also, State's Radka Ferancova took Laura van de Stroet of Mississippi to three sets, but eventually fell 6-2, 0-6, 7-5 in a first-round Blue Draw Consolation battle.

The Lady Bulldogs had three doubles pairs in competition on Saturday including the duo of Banikova and Feracova who defeated Majorie Ondeck and Lindsey Wiseman of Memphis 8-2 to advance to the finals of the Blue Consolation Draw. In other action in that draw, Joseph and Juskova were defeated 9-7 by Branker and Maria Ondeck of South Alabama. Finishing up doubles play was the tandem of Elna de Villiers and Makarycheva who lost a tough match to Koukhartchouk and Yana Kireeva of Mississippi 8-6 in the main draw semifinals of the Blue Draw.

Action on Sunday will begin with doubles finals at 9:30 a.m. CT with singles finals to follow.

OXFORD, Miss. - Mississippi State opened play in Oxford with an impressive doubles outing Friday, winning four out of six doubles matches. Mississippi State continued its hot streak later in the day, winning its first four singles matches and five of seven overall.

"Winning four out of six in doubles and five out of seven in singles is not a bad start at all" said head coach Tracy Lane. "We look forward to winning even more matches tomorrow."

The State duo of Elna de Villiers and Valeriya Makarycheva reached the semifinals of the Red Draw by knocking out Martina Ce and Michaela Cruise from Southern Illinois 8-1. They followed that with an 8-6 triumph over Shannon Rogers and Ali Blackett from Southern Mississippi.

MSU's other doubles teams, Martina Banikova and Radka Ferancova and Daniela Juskova and Renée Joseph, each lost their opening round matchups in Blue Draw. However, both teams rebounded from those setbacks with first-round wins in the consolation play.

Makarycheva started the Lady Bulldogs off right in singles competition with a convincing 6-0, 6-4 win over Andrea Courtney of Southern Illinois in the Silver Draw. Juskova defeated Martina Ruiz De Gauna of Louisiana-Lafayette 6-4, 6-2 in White Draw action. Continuing the trend, Tatiana Feit downed Lindsey Wiseman of Memphis 6-2, 6-0 in that same field. Finishing up the impressive streak of four straight wins, Joseph won 6-2, 6-0 over Brittany Serret of Southern Mississippi in Red Draw play.

Heading into the night, de Villiers lost a hard-fought, three-set match to Leonie Guijt of Troy 6-2, 3-6, 6-4 in the Red Draw. Also, Ferancova dropped her match to the tournament's fourth overall seed - Michaela Babicova of Southern Alabama - 6-2, 6-0 in the Blue Draw.

Finishing off the day strong for State was the 29th-ranked Banikova. As the tournament's overall number two seed in the Blue Draw, she downed Kim Van der Horst of Louisiana-Lafayette 6-1, 6-3.

State will continue doubles play at 8 a.m. CT Saturday with singles play to follow.

Men's Tennis
MURFREESBORO, Tenn. - Mississippi State senior and 40th-ranked Philippe Frayssinoux won a pair of matches on Saturday on the second day of the MTSU Blue Raider Invitational and advanced to the finals of the Championship Flight to be played on Sunday.

The Plasir, France native opened the day with a solid 6-4, 6-3 win over Louisville's Kenneth Nordheim to advance to the final four of the draw. In that semifinal match, Frayssinoux eased to a 6-3, 6-3 win over Morgan Richard of host MTSU moving to 2-0 on the season. With the two wins, Frayssinoux advances to face MTSU's Marc Rocafort in the finals on Sunday at 10:30 a.m.

In the A1 singles flight, Bulldog junior Ryan Farlow knocked off Jimmy Khougassian of Memphis in his first match by a 6-1, 6-0 score to advance. However, in his quarterfinal match, Farlow dropped a 6-2, 6-2 decision to Greg Anderson of Morehead State. Also falling in the A1 singles flight was freshman Maximilien Genuini who lost a 6-2, 6-4 match to Lucas de Brito of Austin Peay.

Also in action in the Championship Flight, State sophomore Pjotrs Necajevs dropped his opening match to 98th-ranked Amrit Narasimhan of Memphis in a close 1-6, 6-4, 7-6(5) decision. In a consolation match later in the day, Necajevs fell in another three-setter 6-2, 3-6, 1-0(5) to Viktor Maksimcuk of Louisville.

"We had some ups and some downs today," said MSU head coach Per Nilsson. "We just have to keep playing hard and keep improving."

Joining Frayssinoux in action on Sunday will be Ryan Farlow who will compete in consolation against Dusan Milovanovic of Morehead State.

MURFREESBORO, Tenn. - Mississippi State senior Philippe Frayssinoux along with sophomore Pjotrs Necajevs won three matches on the first day of the MTSU Blue Raider Invitational on Friday to claim the doubles title in the A1 Flight. Due to rain, all doubles competition was played out on Friday as singles competition will begin on Saturday.

After a first-round bye, the duo of Frayssinoux and Necajevs took out Louisville's team of Kenneth Nordheim and Morten Sivertsen 8-5 to move into the semifinals. In the semifinal match, the tandem downed Marc Rocafort and Morgan Richard of host MTSU 8-3 and earned a spot in the finals.

Meanwhile, the other MSU team of Ryan Farlow and freshman Maximilien Genuini, who also received a bye, advanced to the semis by knocking off Western Kentucky's Chad True and Andy True in the second round by a score of 8-4. However, in the semifinals, Farlow and Genuini dropped an 8-6 decision to MTSU's Joeo Paoliello and Richard Cowden.

In the finals, Frayssinoux and Necajevs eased to an 8-3 win over Paoliello and Cowden to take the doubles title.

Play will resume on Saturday as 40th-ranked Frassinoux and Necajevs will compete in the Championship Singles Flight while Farlow and Genuini will play in the A1 Singles Flight.

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