COLUMBIA, S.C. - Freshman Tarah Henderson netted her team-leading fourth goal of the season as State fell 2-1 to South Carolina Friday evening at Stone Stadium in Columbia, S.C.
Trailing 2-0, Henderson's goal came in the 79th minute on a breakaway from midfield. State cleared the ball to midfield, and it deflected off a Carolina player directly to the Martinez, Ga., native who sprinted to the goal and chipped the ball over Gamecock goalkeeper Mollie Patton.
The goal was one of two attempts on net for the Bulldogs, who were out-shot 20-4 in the match. State drops to 5-9 overall and 0-5 in league play, while South Carolina improves to 9-2-3 and 3-1-1 in the SEC.
"I was very pleased with the way we came back strong in the second half after not playing as well in the first half. We worked hard and started winning first and second balls which created some opportunities. Our defense was strong in the second half, and we played the way we are capable of playing," MState head coach Neil Macdonald said.
With 27 minutes left in the second half, Fancher, who missed high on State's lone first-half attempt, found fellow senior Bethany Frazier on the left sideline. The Madison, Miss., native lined a shot to the near side of the net that Mollie Patton managed to corral.
The Bulldogs just missed out on notching the tying goal in the 89th minute as Frazier's free kick attempt sailed just wide of the top corner of the net.
State found itself in an early deficit as the Gamecocks struck with both goals in the first eight minutes of the match. Kayla Grimsley scored the first as she headed in her eighth goal of the year off a Samantha Diaz-Matosa free kick at the 2:18 mark. USC extended the lead to 2-0 at the 7:57 point as Shannon Bigbie found Brooke Jacobs on the right side of the box for her first goal of the season, a chip shot over a diving Taryn Holland who stopped nine shots on the night.
MSU's next action comes Sunday as the Bulldogs travel to Gainesville, Fla., to challenge the 10th-ranked Florida Gators in a match that kicks off at Noon CST.
OXFORD, Miss. - Playing at Ole Miss's Palmer/Salloum Tennis Center, the Mississippi State women's team picked up a victory in both singles and doubles Friday during the opening rounds of the three-day event.
With four players in singles action, the MSU squad saw its first win of the day come from junior Valeriya Makarycheva. Playing in the top flight of the tournament, Makarycheva defeated Anne Weijenborg of Arkansas-Little Rock 7-5, 6-1 to advance to Saturday's quarterfinal matchup with fourth-seeded Nanar Airpetian of Arkansas. Also competing the A Flight, State's Natalya Mayuk lost a close match 1-6, 7-5, 6-4 to Louisiana-Lafayette's Brigette Markovich.
Meanwhile, MSU's Elizabeth Hall and Jordan Zachary will each play in Saturday's consolation round of the D Flight after losses in that draw Friday. Hall dropped a tight 6-4, 7-6 decision to Marina R.D. Gaun of ULL while Zachary was outlasted 7-4, 4-6, 6-1 by Memphis' Sarah Irvin.
In doubles Friday, the State duo of Hall and Zachary picked up their second win of the fall campaign, claiming an 8-2 triumph over the mixed duo of Fanny Lopez and Laura Lundy from Arkansas-Little Rock and Jacksonville State, respectively. The Lady Bulldog tandem then fell in the quarterfinals of the B Flight 8-4 to Mena Kamal and Leydi Zora of Arkansas State.
Makarycheva and Mayuk fell to Paula Chelminska and Jenny Herring of Arkansas-Little Rock 8-2 in Flight A.
Action at Ole Miss Fall Classic continues Saturday.
OXFORD, Miss. - Looking to build off strong performances from Friday, several Lady Bulldog tennis players were back in action today for day two at the Ole Miss Fall Classic Saturday.
With both doubles teams already eliminated, State played a handful of singles matches Saturday. After recording a victory in yesterday's play, MSU junior Valeriya Makarycheva's bid to advance to the semifinals of the A Flight fell short as she lost in straight sets 6-2, 6-1 to fourth-seeded Nanar Airpetian of Arkansas.
Meanwhile, in consolation matches, State's Jordan Zachary landed in the finals of the D Flight consolation draw by defeating Fanny Lopez of Arkansas-Little Rock 7-5, 6-4. Zachary will play tomorrow's title match in that draw against Robyn Jones of Memphis. Also in consolation play, freshman Natalia Mayuk fell short of the finals in the A Flight consolation bracket, losing 6-2, 6-1 to Sona Novakova of Armstrong Atlantic State in the semis.
Pulling out due to injury was State's Elizabeth Hall. She was slated to play in the D Flight consolation round.
GREENSBORO, N.C. - Mississippi State's Lady Golfers will continue the 2008-09 fall season on Sunday in Greensboro, N.C., at the UNCG-Starmount Fall Classic. Hosted by UNC-Greensboro, the event will feature 15 squads from across the nation, including 47th-ranked Georgia State and the 56th-ranked Bulldogs of MSU.
Holding the best average at Mississippi State leading into the event, sophomore Mallory Batson will lead the charge for State. Finishing ninth overall amongst the individual standings in the Lady Bulldogs' most recent outing, Batson is averaging a three-round total of 224.5 so far this season. Joining Batson on the trip will be juniors Suzanne Stanley and Gina Sharp, along with sophomore Erika Thornton and lone senior Jillian Jones.
"Each tournament we are looking to improve in our place finish in relation to the field," MSU head coach Christi Sanders said. "Coming off a fourth-place finish excites us that we are moving our way up the leaderboard. This weekend is another new challenge, at again, an unfamiliar venue. We will strategize for each player during the practice round and then give it our best effort during the competition days."
Mississippi State's Lady Golfers will begin play at 8:15 a.m. CT on Sunday, while tee time remains the same for Monday's second round and Tuesday's third and final round.
STARKVILLE, Miss. - The Mississippi State men's tennis team will send sophomore Antonio Lastre and freshman Daniel Sanchez to the Hammond Future this Saturday in Hammond, La.
Lastre and Sanchez will each be playing in their second competition of the fall for the Maroon and White. Lastre will look to earn his second victory on the young fall season, after going 1-1 at the Southern Intercollegiate Championships in Athens, Ga., in September.
Sanchez will look to earn his first victory for the Bulldogs after dropping his debut match at State in a impressive three-set bout with 71st-ranked Javier Garrapiz of host Georgia at the Southern Intercollegiate. He then fell in a consolation match later in the tournament.
HAMMOND, La. - Three Mississippi State men's tennis players won their first-round qualifying match at the Hammond Future in Hammond, La., Saturday.
Junior Chris Doerr won his opening match in two sets, defeating Austin Rega, 6-1, 6-3. Sophomore, Antonio Lastre won his first-round contest in the qualifying draw in a tight bout against Sami Mouline, 6-1, 2-6, 6-1. Freshman Bulldog Daniel Sanchez picked up a victory over Cody Loup in straight sets, 6-3, 6-2.
All three individuals will play their second-round matches in the qualifying draw on Sunday and must win three matches to qualifying for the main draw.