STARKVILLE, Miss. - Mississippi State seniors Ivan Bjelica and Philippe Frayssinoux will begin play at the NCAA Singles Championship Wednesday at the Michael D. Case Tennis Center on the University of Tulsa campus.
Bjelica, currently ranked 12th and a 9-16 seed, will matchup with Virginia's 28th-ranked Treat Huey in first-round action of the 64-player field. Match time is set for 10 a.m. CT.
An All-American and All-Southeastern Conference selection this season, Bjelica holds a 16-6 overall record. The Belgrade, Serbia native had an 8-2 mark in Southeastern Conference play this season as seven of those victories came against ranked opponents. Earlier this season, Bjelica reached the finals of the SEC Indoor Championships, becoming the first Bulldog to so since former MSU All-American Simon Larose made the finals in 1998. During his career, Bjelica has amassed 101 total victories, 63 of which have come in singles.
Huey, ranked 28th nationally, enters Wednesday's match with a 32-7 record this season. The UVA senior was an All-American in doubles last season and has paired with teammate Somdev Devvarman to win the first two collegiate grand slam doubles championships this season.
Frayssinoux will match up with Florida State's Jean-Yves Aubone in the first round. Their first-round contest is set for 10 a.m. CT.
An All-SEC selection for the third time in his career this season, Frayssinoux led MSU with 24 singles victories this season. The Paris, France native, currently ranked 49th nationally, was as high as 14th in the rankings earlier this spring. With 83 career singles victories, Frayssinoux is just three wins shy of breaking into State's top-10 list of career singles wins.
Aubone has compiled a 21-9 singles record this season for the Seminoles and currently ranks 13th nationally. A 9-16 seed, Aubone has won nine of his last 11 matches entering the Singles Championship.
Bjelica and Frayssinoux's selections mark the 19th time in 20 years that MSU has qualified at least one singles or doubles participant for the NCAA Individual Championships. It also marks the first time since 2001 that MSU has had two participants in the singles draw.
TULSA, Okla. - Mississippi State senior Ivan Bjelica rallied to defeat Virginia's Treat Huey in his first-round match Wednesday at the NCAA Singles Championship in Tulsa, Okla. Bjelica, ranked 12th nationally and a 9-16 seed in the tournament, topped 28th-ranked Huey to advance to Thursday's second round.
After dropping a tight first set, 6-4, Bjelica would rally to take the second 6-3. In the decisive third set, the Belgrade, Serbia native held off Huey to take a 6-4 victory and clinch the match. With the win, Bjelica advances to face Ohio State's 32nd-ranked Stephen Moneke in the second round Thursday.
With the win, Bjelica upped his season's record to 17-6 as he became the first Bulldog to advance to the second round of NCAA Singles play since former State All-American Romain Ambert did so in 2003.
Senior Philippe Frayssinoux was also in NCAA Singles action on Wednesday but dropped his first round matchup with 13th-ranked Jean-Yves Aubone of Florida State. Ranked 49th nationally, Frayssinoux dropped the first set 6-3 before rallying for a 7-5 second-set win. However in the third set, Aubone outlasted Frayssinoux 6-3 to advance. Frayssinoux ends his collegiate career with 83 singles victories, just three shy of 10th best all-time at MSU.
Bjelica's second-round match time will not be set until late Wednesday.