STARKVILLE, Miss. - Mississippi State seniors Ivan Bjelica and Philippe Frayssinoux both earned bids to compete in the 2008 NCAA Singles Championship announced Wednesday by the NCAA Division I Men's Tennis Subcommittee. Tournament play will be held May 21-26 at the Michael D. Case Tennis Center on the University of Tulsa campus.
A native of Belgrade, Serbia, Bjelica was one of 16-seeded players among the field. The seeding signifies automatic postseason All-American honors for Bjelica who becomes the first Bulldog to garner that status since Romain Ambert did so in 2004. After a 16-6 campaign this season, the All-Southeastern Conference First Team selection becomes MSU's 18th netman to earn All-American honors. Bjelica is currently ranked 12th nationally in singles, the highest ranking of his career.
Frayssinoux, earning his first career NCAA Single's invitation, has compiled a 24-11 overall record this season for State. The Paris, France native won six SEC matches this season and was named to the All-SEC Second Team. Frayssinoux reached a high ranking of 14th this season in singles early this spring.
The selection of the Bulldog duo marks the first time since 2001 that two Bulldogs have been selected for NCAA singles competition. In an eight-year span from 1994-2001, MSU put at least two players in the Singles Championship.
Bjelica and Frayssinoux were also selected as the fifth alternate for the 32-team Doubles Championship. The duo is currently ranked 35th nationally after an 8-7 campaign this season.
Draws for the Singles and Doubles competition will be released closer to the start of tournament play.