News from MSU Media Relations--February 3

The latest sports news from the MSU Media Relations Department...Track & Field, Women's Tennis, Men's Tennis and Women's Basketball.

Track & Field
LEXINGTON, Ky. - Sophomore Wendy Copeland posted a personal-best jump of 19 feet, 10.75 inches in the long jump to take the long jump portion of the Rod McCravy Memorial Invitational Saturday, Feb. 2 at the Nutter Fieldhouse in Lexington, Ky.

In the 3000-meter run, freshman Sarah Hammes ran a time of 10 minutes, 19.46 seconds while freshman Lydia Chebii crossed the line at 10:52.13.

Junior Gabrielle Dillion posted a 7.62 time to advance to the finals of the 60-meter dash. In the finals, Dillion ran a 7.67.

In the 800-meter run, freshman Diamond Marks ran a time of 2:16.91 to finish 13th, collegiately.

The Lady Bulldogs will take a week off and return to action on Fri. and Sat. (Feb. 15-16), trekking to Fayetteville, Ark. to compete in the Tyson Invitational.

Women's Tennis
STARKVILLE, Miss. - The Mississippi State's women's tennis team defeated Louisiana-Lafayette Saturday at the A.J. Pitts Tennis Centre to claim victory in its 2008 season opener. The Bulldogs move to 16-1 all-time against the Ragin Cajuns.

"It is always good to get a win," said head coach Tracy Lane. "This might not have been our prettiest win, but it was a very hard-fought win. It is good to see that even when we are not playing our best, we can still find a way to win."

MSU grabbed the doubles point early with strong 8-2 and 8-3 wins at the No. 3 and 2 positions. At No. 3 Mississippi State's pairing of Daniela Juskova and Valeriya Makarycheva downed ULL's tandem of Mia Gordon and Marina Ruiz De Gauna. On court #2, MSU's team of Radka Ferancova and Renee Joseph bested Louisiana-Lafayette's Angela Dangond and Kim Van der Horst. Mississippi State also won at the No. 1 position with Bulldogs Martina Banikova and Elna de Villiers defeating ULL's Julie Mazinova and Myrthe Molenveld 8-7(3).

In singles, MSU took a 2-0 advantage when Makarycheva promptly defeated Ruiz De Gauna 6-2, 6-1. State went up 3-0 when Radka Ferancova provided a 6-4, 6-3 win over Louisiana-Lafayette's Dangond at position No. 3.

The match-clincher would come at the No. 2 spot, where Mississippi State's 67th-ranked Joseph bested ULL's Molenveld 6-4, 6-3. In the other singles matches, MSU's de Villiers posted a three set win over Van der Horst 4-6, 6-4, 6-0 at the No. 4 positions while State's Juskova also defeated Bridget Markovich in three sets 5-7, 6-4, 7-5 on court #5. Mississippi State's lone setback came at the No. 1 position where Banikova was out lasted 7-5, 3-6, 1-0 (11).

State's next action will come at home on Friday, Feb. 8 at 2 p.m. against Rice University and then again on Saturday, Feb. 9 at 1 p.m. against Louisiana Monroe.

Men's Tennis
STARKVILLE, Miss. - The Mississippi State men's tennis squad will open its 2008 season Sunday, hosting UAB at the A.J. Pitts Tennis Centre on the MSU campus. Match time is set for 1 p.m. C.T.

Led by first-year head coach and former letterman Per Nilsson, the Bulldogs return six lettermen from last season. State is led by a pair of seniors who will head the lineup this season. Philippe Frayssinoux is ranked 14th nationally entering the dual-match season while fellow senior Ivan Bjelica is coming off an appearance in the finals of the SEC Indoor Singles Championship.

Also returning for State is junior Ryan Farlow and a trio of sophomores in Chris Doerr, Artem Kuznetsov and Pjotrs Necajevs. Three newcomers also join Mstate this spring including Maximilien Genuini, Antonio Lastre and Tanner Stump.

Led by veteran head coach Derek Tarr, UAB returns six letterwinners from the 2007 season. UAB opened its season on Friday, posting a 6-1 win over North Alabama in Birmingham.

In the series with UAB, Mississippi State holds a commanding 22-1 overall lead. The Bulldogs also hold a 21-1 lead over the Blazers at home. Last season, State won a 6-1 match over the Blazers in Starkville to open the season.

Women's Basketball
STARKVILLE, Miss. - Looking for their second consecutive win and first road victory in conference play, the Mississippi State Lady Bulldogs (14-7, 2-4 SEC) travel to Auburn University (14-6, 2-3 SEC) to take on the Tigers Sunday afternoon. Tipoff between the two schools is slated for 2 p.m. CT at Beard-Eaves Memorial Coliseum with Bart Gregory calling the action on WFCA 107.9 FM.

Mississippi State looks to continue its success against the state of Alabama this season. The Lady Bulldogs defeated UAB, 79-69, earlier on the year, and toppled SEC-foe Alabama, 72-59, in their last outing. State has won four out of the last seven against the Tigers. The Lady Bulldogs last won at Auburn during the 2003-04 season, taking a 65-56 victory over AU on the Plains.

After dropping three straight conference games to open league play, MSU has rebounded to take wins over Mississippi and Alabama in the last two weeks. During the matchup with the Crimson Tide, State had four players score in double figures, led by sophomore guard Alexis Rack's 19 point output to go along with a career-high 15 rebounds by sophomore forward Tysheka Grimes. Through six games in conference play, those two have helped the team rank near the top of the league in three-point field goals made and offensive rebounding. Rack leads the league with an average of 2.76 made threes per game, and is 14th in the nation in that category.

The Lady Bulldogs have also received considerable contribution from reserve Mary Kathryn Govero. Govero hit three consecutive shots that sparked a major run in State's last game against Alabama. The freshman scored 11 points in that contest, upping her average to 6.2 points per game.

Auburn enters Sunday's game coming off an open-date on Thursday. In the Tigers' last outing, AU defeated archrival Alabama, 62-48. Before downing the Crimson Tide, Auburn picked up a major victory over then-10th ranked Georgia, 82-52 on Jan. 13. The Lady Tigers are led by preseason all-SEC selection DeWanna Bonner. Bonner is averaging 16.9 points and 9.8 rebounds a game.

Following Sunday's contest with the Tigers, Mississippi State plays host to conference and national-power Tennessee Thursday, Feb. 7. Tipoff between the Lady Bulldogs and Lady Vols is scheduled for 7 p.m. CT and will be televised by CSS.

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