News from MSU Media Relations--February 8

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

Men's Tennis
STARKVILLE, Miss. - Despite a strong effort, the Mississippi State men's tennis team dropped a tough 4-0 decision to fifth-ranked Mississippi on Thursday night at the River Hills Cup in Jackson, Miss. With the loss State falls to 1-1 this season while the Rebels improved to 4-1.

In a close doubles contest, the Rebels grabbed the point by capturing two of the three doubles matchups. On court #3, Rebels Jonas Berg and Kalle Norberg claimed an 8-4 win over Artem Kuznetsov and Pjotrs Necajevs. Ivan Bjelica and Philippe Frayssinoux had match points on court #1 against the 24th-ranked pair of Bram ten Berge and Matthias Wellermann, but could not complete it as UM's Jakob Klaeson and Robbye Poole topped MSU's pair of Ryan Farlow and Tanner Stump 8-4 on court #2 before #1 could finish.

State would go down 2-0 when 14th-ranked Frayssinoux fell 6-4, 6-0 to 48th-ranked Poole of UM. On court #3, MSU's Farlow, a Madison, Miss., native, dropped the first set 6-3 to 58th-ranked Rebel ten Berge. In the second set, Farlow had break chances, but ultimately fell 7-6(3) in a tiebreaker as the Rebels took a 3-0 lead. On court #1, a well-contested match was taking place between Bjelica and fifth-ranked Wellermann. Wellermann took the first set 6-3. Bjelica would battle back to even the match with a 7-6(3) win in the second set. The third set went much like the second as both players held serve throughout to send it to a tiebreaker. However, with Bjelica leading 3-0 in the decisive frame, the match would be suspended as UM's Berg topped State's Kuznetsov 6-3, 6-1 on court #4 to clinch the match for UM. Play was also suspended on court #5 with Mississippi's Norberg leading MSU's Maximilien Genuini 5-1.

"I thought we gave good effort tonight against a good team," said MSU head coach Per Nilsson. "We just could not get over the hump and they got the best of us. We just have to work hard and bounce back."

With the loss against the Rebels, State has now lost nine straight in the annual River Hills matchup. The Bulldogs also dropped their 20th-straight overall match to UM.

State will return to action Sunday, as they travel to Atlanta, Ga. to take on 41st-ranked Georgia Tech. Match time is set for 11 a.m. CT at the Bill Moore Tennis Center on the Georgia Tech campus.

Women's Basketball
STARKVILLE, Miss. - Mississippi State University junior guard Marneshia Richard has been named to the ESPN the Magazine Women's Basketball Academic All-District Second Team, as announced today by the College Sports Information Directors of America.

The Lamar, Miss.-native boasts a 3.66 in industrial engineering. Richard earned the Robert H. Wood Civil Engineering Scholarship and is a member of the National Society of Collegiate Scholars. Richard has been named to the Dean's List every semester at MSU and has been named to the Southeastern Conference Academic Honor Roll. Richard is also a member of M-Club, MState's student-athlete community service organization.

First team selections included Sarah Pfeifer (Arkansas), Danielle Green (Oklahoma State), Maryann Abanobi (Texas-Arlington), Ashley Paris (Oklahoma) and Twiggy McIntyre (Houston). Joining Richard on the second team were Erin Myrick (Texas Tech), Joyce Ekworomadu (Texas State), Jordan Murphee (Texas Tech), Brittney Vaughn (Arkansas) and Deziree Green (Texas A&M Corpus Christi).

Men's Golf
STARKVILLE, Miss. - The Mississippi State men's golf team opens the 2008 spring season Saturday, Feb. 6, in Gainesville, Fla., at the SunTrust Gator Invitational, hosted by the University of Florida.

The three-round invitational will be formatted with two rounds played on Saturday and the final round played on Sunday. The 54-hole event will be played at the par-70, Mark Bostick Golf Course at the University of Florida.

"It is great to start off with the season with such a strong field that includes several top 25 teams," said MSU Head Coach Clay Homan. "We want to start the spring off on a positive note after an impressive fall season."

After an impressive fall season, that included three top five finishes, Homan leads the Bulldogs into the spring season ranked 25th in GolfWeek and 27th in Golf Stat.

Making the trip for the Bulldogs will be two seniors Josh Oller and Jake Lambert and three juniors, Carlos Sainz, Jr., Josh Bevell and Noah Goldman. Oller competed in three of the five tournaments for MState this past fall, while Lambert is making his debut appearance for MSU this season. Sainz, Jr. and Bevell competed in all five of the Bulldogs' fall tournaments that included a top 10 showing by Sainz, Jr. at the Memphis Intercollegiate. Goldman competed in four of the five MSU fall tournaments, including a career low-round 66 at the Magnolia Cup, where Goldman was named Cup Medalist for a second straight year.

Joining Mississippi State in the two-day tournament will be reigning Sun Trust Gator Invitational champions Florida, and fellow SEC-members LSU and Mississippi. Also competing will be Coastal Carolina, Duke, Florida State, Georgia Southern, Georgia State, North Florida, South Alabama, South Florida, UAB and Wake Forest.

Women's Tennis
STARKVILLE, Miss. - Mississippi State's Lady Bulldog tennis team hosts Rice and Louisiana Monroe this weekend at the A.J. Pitts Tennis Centre. The match with the Rice Owls is set for 2 p.m CT on Friday, while Saturday's contest against the Warhawks of ULM is slated for 1 p.m.

The match versus Rice will serve as the second ever meeting between the two schools. MSU fell at Rice 4-2 on Feb. 10, 2006, in the two teams' only previous match. The Owls enter the match 4-2 with their only losses coming against 21st-ranked Florida State and 27th-ranked Texas A&M.

The match on Saturday will mark the 20th meeting between State and Louisiana Monroe. The Warhawks are 2-0 with victories over Alcorn State and McNeese State. State leads the all-time series 11-8.

MSU enters this weekend's action coming off a 6-1 win over Louisiana-Lafayette last Saturday. The victory was head coach Tracy Lane's 10th home opening win in her 12 years at State.

"Our girls played great last weekend," said Lane. "Now we have to look to maintain that winning attitude and continue that success through the rest of the season."

Following this weekend's action, the Lady Bulldogs will continue their eight-match homestand on Feb. 19, hosting Southeastern Louisiana that day at 2 p.m. at the Pitts Tennis Centre.

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