LEXINGTON, Ky. - The Mississippi State men's tennis team began singles play at the ITA Southeast Regional Indoor Championships in Lexington, Ky., Friday, but it was a tough day for State, as MSU's contingent was eliminated from main draw competition before the conclusion of the day. Two Bulldogs are still alive in consolation play heading into the weekend.
The day started well for MSU as three Bulldogs won their first-round main draw matches. Senior Ryan Farlow took advantage of his first round match with Christopher Swantenson of Stetson, posting a quick two-set win, 6-1, 6-1. Sophomore Antonio Lastre also took his first round match in a two-set victory over Gokay Celic, also of Stetson, 6-3, 6-2. Sophomore Tanner Stump continued the winning trend, defeating Justin Kirstein of Tennessee Tech, 6-3, 5-7, 6-2.
Farlow missed out on his follow-up contest, dropping the match to Boris Conkic of Tennessee, 6-1, 6-3. Lastre dropped his second-round affair to Brad Cox of Kentucky, 6-4, 6-4. Stump also fell in his second round battle against fourth-seeded and 19th-ranked Bruno Agostinelli of Kentucky, 7-5, 6-2.
In other first-round action Friday, MSU rookie Daniel Sanchez dropped a very competitive three-set match to Dan Cash of Florida, 7-6, 3-6, 7-6. Bulldog Chris Doerr struggled to rebound from a rocky start in his match against Tyler Hochwalt of Florida, slipping in the first round, 6-1, 6-2.
Doerr and Sanchez then rebounded in their consolation matches late Friday evening. Doerr was a 7-5, 6-1 winner over Leon Nasemann of Memphis. Sanchez downed Michael Langel, 6-0, 6-2. Both of those Bulldogs will continue consolation action Saturday.
STARKVILLE, Miss. - Former players representing eight decades of Mississippi State University baseball converge on the MSU campus this weekend for activities surrounding State's 13th Baseball Alumni Weekend.
More than 60 former Bulldog players and managers are expected for a weekend slate that includes a Saturday afternoon golf tournament at the MSU Golf Course, a Saturday night alumni dinner in the Bryan Building and a 1 p.m. alumni game at Dudy Noble Field.
"We're thrilled to have the Mississippi State baseball family back on campus this weekend," said Bulldog head coach John Cohen. "They built a foundation of excellence in baseball that must and will continue." Expected back this weekend are more than a dozen former players that were teammates of Cohen during his baseball career at State (1987 to 1990).
The anticipated returnees include five All-American, 11 All-SEC performers and five Diamond Dogs who advanced their baseball careers to the Major Leaguer level - Jeff Brantley, Eric DuBose, Dave "Boo" Ferriss, Nat Showalter and Bobby Thigpen.
Those former players participating in Sunday's baseball competition will be teamed with current Diamond Dogs in a nine-inning Maroon/White game. The game is open to the public with no charge for admission.
STARKVILLE, Miss. - Defending SEC Western Division champion Louisiana State rallied for a 26-24 win in a closely-contested pivotal third set Friday night and went on to top Mississippi State (6-13, 1-7 SEC) 3-1 at the Newell-Grissom Building. The Tigers (10-6, 5-4 SEC) claimed the match 25-18, 20-25, 26-24, 25-15 to hand LSU coach Fran Flory her 300th career coaching win.
The loss overshadowed a strong performance by Bulldog junior outside Ioana Demian, who finished with a match-high 16 kills and added 10 digs for her team-leading fifth double-double of the season.
Brittney Johnson tallied 12 kills on a .579 hitting night to lead the Tigers. Brittnee Cooper had 10 kills and four blocks.
"I liked our intensity and the way we battled a very talented and well-coached LSU team tonight," said Tina Seals. "We came so close but just couldn't find a way to get over the hump."
After LSU claimed the opening set 25-18, the Bulldogs, sparked by a six-kill performance by Demian, knotted the match with an impressive 25-20 decision in set number two. The Baia Mare, Romania product made good on six of her eight attack attempts in the stanza as State erased an 18-15 deficit and out-pointed the Tigers 10-2 down the stretch. MSU hit at a match-best .303 percentage and committed but four hitting errors in the set.
That momentum stayed with the Bulldogs for much of the third set, with a kill by Demian and an LSU attack error putting State at set point, 24-22. But the Tigers reeled off four straight points, two on Bulldog hitting errors and two on kills by Johnson, to take a 2-1 advantage in the match with a 26-24 win in the third set.
"That was a tough set to lose," said Seals. "We put ourselves in a position to take the lead in the match, but weren't able to keep our momentum going."
Freshmen Mandy Mellencamp and Faith Steinwedell had eight kills each and Caitlin Rance added a personal-best seven. MSU held a 56-53 edge in digs, with Kayla Woodard leading the squad with 17 ahead of Steinwedell with 15 and Demian with 10.
State struggled at service, yielding 13 costly points on service errors.
State concludes its weekend schedule Sunday with a 1 p.m. match against Georgia (11-9, 4-5 SEC) that will be regionally televised by FOX Sports Net South. The match is part of MSU's Breast Cancer Awareness Month activities, with limited edition T-shirts commemorating the event to be distributed to fans at the Newell-Grissom Building. Georgia blanked Alabama 3-0 Friday night in Tuscaloosa (25-18, 25-22, 25-17).
STARKVILLE, Miss. - Mississippi State junior goalkeeper Taryn Holland stopped nine shots, but Lauren Glancy's goal in the 77th minute provided all the offense Georgia would need as it escaped from the MSU Soccer Field with a 1-0 victory Friday night.
UGA (6-8-1, 4-2-1 SEC) came out firing, taking 32 shots on the night compared to just three for MSU, who fell to 5-11 and 0-7 in league play. Eleven of those attempts came on goal, but Holland, a Franklin, Tenn., native, made some outstanding saves to keep the match scoreless.
State did not register a shot on goal but had a trio of opportunities that just missed the mark. In the opening five minutes, the home-standing Bulldogs worked into UGA territory only to have sophomore Danielle Kite's shot sail high of the goal. State's other attempt of the first 45 minutes came at the 31:38 mark as senior Kevyn Shelledy, who returned to the lineup after missing the past two matches, turned and fired a shot that was deflected off-target by a Georgia defender.
MState managed just one shot attempt in the second half as senior Meredith Jacobson dribbled down the middle of the field and fired a shot from the 20-yard mark that sailed just over the cross bar.
"I thought we played well overall, but we could have possessed the ball better in the second half," Neil Macdonald said. "Georgia is a great team, and I thought we matched up very well with them. It looked like this game was going to end 1-0 after the first 10-15 minutes, but it was a matter of which team. Overall, I was very pleased with our performance."
Georgia clinched the win at the 76:30 mark as Glancy took a pass from Mariah Krase and Kelli Corless and hit a shot from 15 yards out that went just beyond the reach of Holland into the upper right portion of the net for her first goal of the season.
MState closes out the weekend's action on Sunday, hosting Tennessee in a match that is set for a 1 p.m. kickoff. Admission to all MSU home soccer matches is free.