LEXINGTON, Ky. - The 38th-ranked Mississippi State men's tennis team dropped a hard fought 4-2 decision to 50th-ranked Kentucky Friday evening at the Boone Tennis Complex in Lexington, Ky. The Bulldogs fell to 8-7 overall and 2-5 in Southeastern Conference play.
Kentucky took an early lead in doubles when they rallied to win on two of three courts. The first complete came on court #1 where Wildcats Bruno Agostinelli and Brad Cox downed MSU's duo of Ivan Bjelica and Philippe Frayssinoux 8-3. The Bulldogs responded with a win on court #2 where Ryan Farlow and Pjotrs Necajevs topped UK's Will Beck and Shane Collins 8-2. The decision would then come down to court #3 where UK's team of Alex Lambropoulos and Marcus Sundh rallied from a 6-3 deficit to edge MSU's team of Chris Doerr and Tanner Stump 8-6.
UK would take a 2-0 advantage when Marcus Sundh downed State's Chris Doerr 6-0 7-5 on court 3 to begin singles play. The Bulldogs would storm back to even the match when 50th-ranked Frayssinoux moved past UK's Cox 7-6, 6-3 on court #3 and MSU's Farlow rallied in the third set to defeat Beck of Kentucky 6-1, 3-6, 6-4 on court #4. With the match tied 2-2, UK began to pull away from State. The Wildcats took a 3-2 advantage as 48th-ranked Agostinelli held on to defeat State's 37th-ranked Bjelica 6-4, 3-6, 6-3 on court #1. MSU left its chances to rally with a pair of true freshman on courts #5 and #6. However it was not to be as Kentucky clinched the win as Wildcat Alex Lambropoulos defeated State's Stump 6-3, 6-3 on court #6. The match between MSU's Antonio Lastre and UK's Alberto Gonzales on court #5 was suspended at 6-1, 2-6, 3-3 when the match was clinched.
"It takes something estra to win on the road in the SEC, and we just couldn't finish when the opportunity presented itself," said MSU head coach Per Nilsson. "It is disappointing to lose a match when it was in your hand."
With the loss, State fell to 18-21 against Kentucky in the series since 1969. Frayssinoux upped his win streak to six matches while Bjelica had a three match winning streak snapped. The doubles team of Ryan Farlow and Pjotrs Necajevs snapped a two match losing skid with their doubles win.
The Bulldogs will continue its road swing Sunday, as they take on 35th-ranked Vanderbilt in Nashville, Tenn. Match time is set for 1 p.m. CT.
STARKVILLE, Miss. - After being delayed for more than an hour due to an early rain shower, Mississippi State's women's tennis team fought hard but ultimately fell to 23rd-ranked Kentucky, 5-1, Friday afternoon at the A.J. Pitts Tennis Centre. Due to weather concerns, singles was played first in the affair.
State dropped to 7-8 overall and 0-7 in SEC play with the loss. Kentucky moved to 13-5 and 4-3 on the season.
After the Wildcats posted an early 2-0 lead with straight-set wins at two positions, State extended the match with four three-set singles contests to keep the things tight. UK, however, would ultimately claim three of those four fierce battles to secure the victory.
UK grabbed the early lead with strong 6-2, 6-2 and 6-2, 6-1 victories at No. 2 and 5 singles, respectively. At No. 2, 88th-ranked Sarah Woestmann defeated MSU's Renee Joseph and at No. 5 Alaina Trgovich downed Lady Bulldogs DeAndra Saddler.
Much later on in the contest, UK went up 3-0 when Megan Broderick provided a 3-6, 6-1, 6-4 comeback win over State's Martina Banikova at the No. 1 spot in the lineup. The match-clincher would then come at the No. 4 spot, where UK's Christine Johnston outlasted State's Radka Ferancova 6-4, 3-6, 6-3.
In the remaining matches, State's Valeriya Makarycheva battled back from dropping her first set with Whitney Spencer to win 6-7(9), 6-2, 7-5. In the final match of the day, UK's Carolina Escamilla edged State's Elna de Villiers in three sets, 7-6(3), 3-6, 7-5.
Doubles matches were not played after the match had been clinched in singles.
Mississippi State now prepares for Sunday's home matchup with #11 Vanderbilt. That contest is slated for a 1 p.m. start at the Pitts Tennis Centre.
Track & Field
STARKVILLE, Miss. - As a part of Super Bulldog Weekend 2008, the Mississippi State track and field squads host the Bulldog Invitational on Saturday, March 29. Action begins at 9 a.m. at the W.O. Spencer Stadium/Carl Maddox Track on the MSU campus. Admission to all MSU track and field meets is free.
Other teams scheduled to participate include Alabama A&M, Alcorn State, Louisiana Tech, SE Missouri, Rust College, Murray State, Mississippi Valley State, Wallace State Community College and host-Mississippi State.
Last weekend, the Bulldogs and Lady Bulldogs dominated the field, winning the 12th annual Jace Lacoste Invitational. Senior Golden Coachman picked up his first NCAA regional qualifying mark of the season in the 800-meter run with his first-place time of 1:49.19. Freshman Emanuel Mayers also notched his first collegiate regional qualifying mark in the 400-meter hurdles, carding a time of 52.05, while taking first place in that event, as well.
In women's action, sophomore Bridgett Rose battled in the 100-meter hurdles and earned her second regional qualifying mark of the season, finishing the race in 13.80.
Action from the Bulldog Invitational can be followed by going to www.mstateathletics.com.
STARKVILLE, Miss. - Mississippi State junior Darryl Brady continued his opening day success, tallying a personal-best 6,642 points to win his first decathlon at the Alabama Relays. Teammate senior Joseph Queen finished a close second with 6,522 points. The event was held at the Sam Bailey Track & Field Complex in Tuscaloosa, Ala. on the campus of the University of Alabama.
After finishing sixth and seventh in the 110-meter hurdles, senior Joseph Queen and Brady both established new personal-bests in the discus, throwing 116 feet, two inches and 109-03 to finish second and third, respectively. Brady and Queen continued their command of the field going into the pole vault. Brady launched a personal-best throw of 14-03 ¼ to take top honors in the event. Queen followed behind to grab second place with his throw of 13-11 ¼. The duo drew third- and fourth- place spots in the javelin throw, going into the final event of the day, the 1500-meter run. Queen, the Jackson, Miss.-native, snagged a third-place finish in the 1500-meter run, running the event in 4:39.64. Despite, finishing the 1500 in 5:02.07, good for sixth place, Brady was able to come away with the decathlon title.
"Going one and two in an event is obviously an excellent thing," said assistant track and field coach Bryan Fetzer. "With Darryl (Brady) winning his first decathlon, that is a great accomplishment for him. He had a lot of personal-bests throughout the competition. The good thing is they (Brady and Queen) have a lot left. We can have a lot of improvement from here into SEC's and that is a positive."
Continuing their positive success from the decathlon, in the heptathlon, junior Dorothy Youmans scored 4,812 points to pick up first place, collegiately, and sophomore LaQuinta Aaron amassed 4,794 points to place second, collegiately. With Youman's point total, the Poplarville, Miss.-native moves into fifth all-time in the heptathlon at MSU. Junior Marrissa Harris posted a top-10 finish in the event.
Youmans and Aaron finished in front of SEC foes, Alabama and Mississippi.
Proceeding competition in the long jump and javelin throw, the trio headed to the final event of the day, the 800-meter run, with all three posting new personal-bests in the run.
"Dorothy (Youmans) had the meet of her life," said Fetzer. "This is a step in the right direction. LaQuinta (Aaron) did some positive things, as well. She had a good second day. I was really excited about how the ladies finished up in the last event. It showed a lot about them and where they are at and where their focus is."
As part of Super Bulldog Weekend activities, both track squads will be in action tomorrow, hosting the Bulldog Invitational. The first event kicks off at 9:00 a.m. from W.O. Spencer Stadium/Carl Maddox Track on the MSU campus. Admission to the meet is free.