News from MSU Media Relations--October 17

The latest sports news from the MSU Media Relations Department...Men's Tennis, Football, Volleyball, Soccer and Cross Country.

Men's Tennis
LEXINGTON, Ky. - The Mississippi State men's tennis team began play at the ITA Southeast Regional Indoor Championships Thursday with the tandems of junior Chris Doerr and sophomore Tanner Stump, along with senior Ryan Farlow and sophomore Antonio Lastre, teaming up in doubles competition. The tournament is a qualifying event for the ITA National Indoor Championships, which will be held Nov. 6-9, in Charlottesville, Va.

Doerr and Stump, who were 4-1 on the year and coming off a finals appearance at Southern Intercollegiate Championships entering the match, took the court after a first-round bye against Jeremy Tweedt and Christian Hansen of Tennessee, dropping the match, 8-3.

After a first-round bye, Farlow and Lastre slipped up in their match against Boris Conkic and Matteo Fago of Tennessee, 8-2.

MSU will begin singles play on Friday with freshman Daniel Sanchez, Doerr, Farlow, Lastre and Stump all competing.

HAMMOND, La. - After advancing to the main draw of the Hammond Future with three straight victories in the qualifying draw, Mississippi State freshman men's tennis player Daniel Sanchez dropped a tight three-set match in the first round of the main draw Wednesday.

Sanchez faced Travis Helgeson and was able to take the first set before eventually dropping the final two sets, 3-6, 6-1, 6-3. The loss completed State's play at the event.

The MState men's tennis team now looks forward to this year's ITA Southeast Region Indoor Championships in Lexington, Ky., this weekend (Oct. 16-19). MSU will begin with doubles play on Thursday with the tandem of junior Chris Doerr and sophomore Tanner Stump in action. They are 4-1 on the young fall season, falling in the championship match of the Southern Intercollegiate Championships. Senior Ryan Farlow and sophomore Antonio Lastre will also team up.


Football
STARKVILLE, Miss. - Mississippi State will become one of the first collegiate football teams to hold a Breast Cancer Awareness game when the team plays Kentucky on November 1.

"This is a great opportunity to raise awareness on a national level for a disease that has or will touch so many," said Chad Thomas, athletics promotions coordinator.

Details of events surrounding the Breast Cancer Awareness game will be announced throughout game week, and a kickoff time for the game is expected to be set next Monday.

STARKVILLE, Miss. - Mississippi State fans wishing to watch the Bulldogs in action at Tennessee this weekend will have the opportunity to do so through ESPN GamePlan.

The national pay-per-view outlet will feature six games this weekend, with the MSU-UT game the only one in primetime. Fans can also watch the action online through ESPN360.com.

A one-day subscription to the service costs $21.95, and can be purchased through local cable or satellite operators. The game will be blacked out on this service in the state of Tennessee.


Volleyball
STARKVILLE, Miss. - Mississippi State begins a season-longest five-match home stand Friday night when the Bulldogs (6-12, 1-6 SEC) play host to defending SEC Western Division champion Louisiana State (9-6, 4-4 SEC) in a 7 p.m. match at the Newell-Grissom Building.

State hosts SEC West foe Georgia Sunday in a 1 p.m. match regionally-televised by FOX Sports Net South, then entertains Kentucky (Oct. 24), Tennessee (Oct. 26) and Alabama (Oct. 29) to close out a seven-match home slate for October.

"We're excited about being home for our next five matches," said Bulldog head coach Tina Seals. "Our young team has been playing better as the season has gone along, but we'll have to compete at a high level and get some offensive consistency to be successful against a talented LSU team."

The Tigers have claimed the last four MSU-LSU volleyball matchups, including a 3-2 thriller in last year's meeting in Starkville.

Freshman outside hitter Faith Steinwedell turned enjoyed her best weekend as a Bulldog last week. The rookie from LaJolla, Calif., matched a season-best with 11 kills in a Friday night match at Ole Miss and then topped that with a 12-kill performance Sunday at Arkansas. During the road trip she eclipsed the century mark in both kills (114) and digs (113) for the season.

Junior outside hitter Ioana Demian continues to lead the club with 177 kills, while junior middle Ashley Newsome ranks third in the SEC with 72 total blocks and freshman Mandy Mellencamp leads State's regulars with a .220 attack percentage.

MSU will be observing National Breast Cancer Awareness month with Sunday's "Dig for the Cure" match against Georgia. T-shirts commemorating the event will be distributed to fans, and those attending the match are encouraged to wear pink.


Soccer
STARKVILLE, Miss. - The Mississippi State soccer team returns home from a four-match Southeastern Conference road trip Friday night, hosting Georgia at 7 p.m. as part of the "Kick for the Cure" festivities at the MSU Soccer Field.

Admission to all MState home soccer matches is free, and fans are encouraged to wear pink to support Breast Cancer Awareness Weekend. The first 150 fans to Friday evening's match will receive a limited edition Mississippi State Breast Cancer Awareness Weekend t-shirt.

State, who hosts four of its final five matches of the regular season, brings a 5-10 record and 0-6 conference mark into Friday's match with UGA. Georgia stands 3-2-1 in league play and 5-8-1 overall.

MState will be looking for a second straight win over Georgia after claiming a 1-0 win in Athens last season. Head coach Neil Macdonald's squad was out-shot 26-9 in the match, but goalkeeper Taryn Holland stopped nine UGA attempts on goal while Katelyn Graben clinched the win with her unassisted goal in the 81st minute. Last season's win was MSU's third victory in the last five meetings between the two squads.

The Maroon and White returns home looking to rebound following 2-1 and 3-0 road losses to South Carolina and No. 12 Florida, respectively, last weekend. The Bulldogs snapped a four-match scoreless streak against the Gamecocks as freshman Tarah Henderson scored on a 1-on-1 breakaway in the 79th minute.

The goal was the fourth of the year for the Martinez, Ga., native, moving her into the team lead. She is tied with senior Kevyn Shelledy for tops on the squad with eight points. Shelledy, who missed both of last weekend's matches, has scored three times on the year while also tying for the team assist lead with two.

Holland and the State defense will be facing a UGA squad that has been out-scored 25-17 this season. The Franklin, Tenn., native leads the league with 94 saves on the year, an average of 6.27 per contest.

Carrie Patterson paces Georgia with 14 points on the year. She sits in a tie with Ashley Miller for the team's goal lead with five, and she also paces the squad with four assists. Michelle Betos has seen every minute in goal this season for UGA, stopping 78 shots.


Cross Country
STARKVILLE, Miss. - The Mississippi State men's and women's cross country teams head back to Indiana for the Pre-National Invitational this Saturday. The races begin at 11 a.m. and will be held on the LaVern Gibson Championship Cross Country Course at the Wabash Valley Family Sports Center in Terre Haute, Ind.

Just two weeks ago, MSU participated in the Notre Dame Invitational at South Bend, Ind.

On Saturday, both teams face stiff competition from not only within the SEC, but also nationally ranked teams. The women will square off against Alabama, Auburn, Florida, Georgia, Ole Miss, South Carolina and Vanderbilt from the SEC, while the men face Alabama, Auburn, Florida, Georgia, Ole Miss and Tennessee in SEC competition.

"We are fighting to finish in the Top 3 to 5 spots," Coach Al Schmidt said. "We are really looking forward to running against SEC opponents, Alabama, Auburn, Georgia and Vanderbilt, whom we haven't seen this year. It will be a good last race to give us an idea of where we stand going into SEC's."

The women's race is stacked with 86 teams running, with 19 currently ranked in the NCAA Top 30. On the men's side there are 82 teams racing, with 22 ranked.


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