STARKVILLE, Miss. - The Mississippi State men's golf team is set to compete in the Mobile Bay Intercollegiate for the fourth straight season and sixth all-time. The Bulldogs will tee off Sunday, March 22, for the first round and continue with one round being played on Monday and Tuesday at the par-72, 7,239-yard Magnolia Grove Falls Golf Course.
"We are coming down the home stretch in our season," said head coach Clay Homan. "We need to get off to a good start tomorrow."
MSU will send their starting five into competition this week, in addition to a player competing as an individual. The starting five for the Bulldogs will be all seniors in Noah Goldman, Carlos Sainz, Jr., Matt Fast, Josh Bevell and Brian Mason. Freshman Brooks Bankhead will compete as an individual.
"We know what we have to do this week," said Homan. "We have a great opportunity to win this week as long as we go out and play well."
MSU will play in a field of 15 opponents that includes Akron, Arkansas State, Hartford, Illinois State, Louisiana Tech, Memphis, New Mexico State, Richmond, South Florida, Southern Mississippi, Texas-Arlington, Toledo, Troy, Xavier and host South Alabama.
MONTGOMERY, Ala. - The No. 48 Mississippi State men's tennis team (5-8), concluded play at the Blue Gray Classic Saturday with a tough 4-3 loss to 54th ranked Virginia Commonwealth (11-6).
MSU opened the match with a 1-0 lead by claiming the doubles point. State's Chris Doerr and Tanner Stump led the way by upsetting No. 40 Benjamin Bouhana and Emil Lindgren of VCU, 8-6, at the No. 1 position. VCU would respond at the No. 3 spot when the Rams' Martin Schullhauser and Nicolas Vinel took down MSU's duo of Ryan Farlow and Antonio Lastre, 8-6. But MState's rookie tandem of Louis Cant and Artem Ilyushin would come through for the Bulldogs with their tiebreaker victory over Tibaut Charron and Bobo Delemark of VCU, 9-8(3) at No. 2.
VCU would surge back by claiming the opening two points in singles, first at the No. 6 position where Filip Svensson took down MSU's Stump 6-1, 6-4. VCU followed with Charron winning 6-3, 6-4 at No. 1 over MSU's 108th-ranked Farlow.
MSU would rebound soundly at the No. 2 and 5 positions, when State's Ilyushin won in identical sets over the Rams Schullhauser, 6-4, 6-4. Then the Bulldogs' Doerr ousted Lindgren of VCU 6-3, 6-2 for 3-2 State lead.
But the Rams would claim the final two points of the evening to claim the match with MSU's Cant slipping up at the No. 4 position to Vinel of VCU, 6-4, 6-4. The match then came down to the No. 3 position where the Bulldog sophomore Lastre dropped a hard-fought three-set affair to the Rams' Bouhana, 6-4, 4-6, 6-3.
Since starting the season 5-4, MSU has felt the woes of a crucial injury in their lineup as true freshman Daniel Sanchez suffered a knee injury last weekend that has prevented him from playing the last four matches, all of which have resulted in close losses. Sanchez had been playing #2 singles and doubles.
"Playing without one of our best players this week made things difficult for us and we had to make some unanticipated adjustments," said Missisissippi State head coach Per Nilsson. "We are not happy with the outcome of the matches, but I am proud of how we still pushed three top 50 teams to the last couple of games each day…we could have won all three of these matches just as easily as we lost them. Our guys are fighting hard and putting us in a position to win and that's all we can ask. Now we will prepare to restart SEC play next weekend."
MSU will resume action this Friday, March 27, when the Bulldogs travel to Columbia, S.C., to take on the Gamecocks of South Carolina. State will follow that up with a Sunday, March 29, home match against the seventh-ranked Florida Gators at 1 p.m. CT.