News from MSU Media Relations--October 3

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

STARKVILLE, Miss. - The Mississippi State softball squad was named one of the NFCA's 2007 All-Academic Teams. MSU earned a 3.411 cumulative grade point average, good for 11th nationally, its highest ranking ever.

"We've been real fortunate to have a lot of great student-athletes here at Mississippi State," said MSU head coach Jay Miller. "Last year's team sort of raised the bar up a level. It was our highest GPA, and our highest finish nationally - an 11th place finish - that we've ever had. We look forward to continuing that this year and hopefully breaking into the top ten." State was also the second highest SEC squad. South Carolina earned a fifth-place finish.

The Mississippi State softball team has long carried a rich tradition of academic success. Since 1997, the Bulldogs have sent 119 student-athletes to academic honor roll accolades and 46 of its own to NFCA academic scholar-athlete accolades. As a team, the Bulldogs have consistently finished with one of the country's top 45 team grade point averages, including top 18 finishes in each of the past six seasons.

The 2007 NFCA Academic All-American Team will be announced later this year.

Women's Tennis
PACIFIC PALISADES, Calif. - On the opening day of the qualifying rounds at the Riviera/ITA Women's All-American Tennis Championships Tuesday, Mississippi State's 29th-ranked Martina Banikova dropped a tight decision to 57th-ranked Jennifer Migan of Indiana State.

Both sets were close in the contest. In the first set, Migan took a very close 7-5 win before closing out the Lady Bulldog junior in the second 6-4.

The All-American annually features many of the nation's top players. Banikova was making her first career appearance in the tournament.

Banikova will now return home and join her teammates for their next fall action at the ITA South Region Indoor Championships in Athens, Ga., beginning Saturday, Oct. 20.

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