STARKVILLE, Miss. – In a seven-hour and 32-minute marathon match, the Mississippi State Lady Bulldog tennis team (7-9, 1-7 SEC) outlasted the No. 54 ranked Lady Tigers of LSU (8-10, 1-7) Sunday in a thrilling 4-3 decision, posting its first SEC victory of 2013.
Due to soggy and very windy conditions, the match was played indoors at McCarthy Gymnasium and started with singles competition.
MSU true freshman Georgiana Patrasc notched a quick win on court 1 to jumpstart the day’s match in favor of the Lady Bulldogs. Patrasc defeated Kaitlin Burns of LSU 6-2, 6-1. Alexandra Perper extended the MSU lead to 2-0, persevering to post a come-from-behind 6-7(6), 6-1. 6-2 triumph over Mary Jeremiah of the Lady Tigers on court 2.
LSU then even the match with two wins of its own. A 6-2, 6-3 win for Ella Taylor against Lady Bulldog sophomore Naomi Tran at the No. 3 position closed the MSU lead to 2-1. The Lady Tigers then evened the overall score at 2-2 as freshman Ariel Morton took down Petra Ferancova of MSU in a 6-1, 6-3 decision on court 4.
Roseline Dion then put MSU back on top with a focused 6-3, 6-3 victory on court 5 against LSU senior Keri Frankenberger, winning the last three games to give the Lady Bulldogs the 3-2 lead.
MSU’s Lien Van Geel competed against Lady Tiger Ebie Wilson at the No. 6 position, but before that match was decided, court 1 doubles commenced and the Lady Bulldogs' No. 46-ranked pair of Perper and Tran notched an 8-2 doubles win over Jeremiah and Morton of LSU on court 1. Following Perper and Tran’s triumph, court 3 doubles then went on court due to Wilson (still playing singles) being part of LSU's No. 2 team.
Van Geel would ultimately fall to Wilson 7-6(2), 7-5 in a closely contested match at No. 6, tying the team score at 3-3 and leaving the final two doubles matches on court, with State needing to win just one to clinch the match.
As the teams battled back and forth, LSU gained leads on both courts and it appeared the Tigers might steal the win from State. But on court 3, while LSU seemed in command on court 2, the Lady Bulldog duo of Dion and Patrasc fought back from a 6-4 deficit to force a deciding tiebreaker. In the breaker, the teams stayed on serve to 4-3. Dion and Patrasc then won three of the next four points to claim a 9-8(4) victory and clinch the exciting win for MSU.
Court 2 doubles was suspended at that point with LSU leading 7-3.
MSU head coach Daryl Greenan was very impressed by the effort shown by his team in the match.
“That was just an incredible and courageous performance from our girls. At 7 1/2 hours, it was the longest match I have been a part of. To come out on top feels amazing,” said Greenan. “Our girls have been fighting, grinding and preparing for each match with the expectation of doing something special. We have had highlights along the way, but getting this win was huge. I was very proud of our effort in every position, but special mention should go to Roseline Dion who found a way to take her game to the next level today.”
MSU’s next match will be on the road against No. 36 Ole Miss, a contest set for Friday, Mar. 29, at 1 p.m. in Oxford. Updates for MSU matches can be found through twitter (@mstateWT) or through live stats at hailstate.com.
MISSISSIPPI STATE 4, #54 LSU 3 March 24, 2013 – Starkville, Miss.
1) Georgiana Patrasc (MSU) def. Kaitlin Burns (LSU) 6-2, 6-1
2) Alexandra Perper (MSU) def. Mary Jeremiah (LSU) 6-7(6), 6-1, 6-2
3) Ella Taylor (LSU) def. Naomi Tran (MSU) 6-2, 6-3
4) Ariel Morton (LSU) def. Petra Ferancova (MSU) 6-1, 6-3
5) Roseline Dion (MSU) def. Deri Frankerberger (LSU) 6-3, 6-3
6) Ebie Wilson (LSU) def. Lien Van Geel (MSU) 7-6(2), 7-5
2) Keri Frankenberger/Ebie Wilson (LSU) vs. Petra Ferancova/Sarai Flores (MSU) 7-3, susp.
3) Roseline Dion/Georgiana Patrasc (MSU) def. Kaitlin Burns/Ella Taylor (LSU) 9-8(4)
Order of finish: Doubles (1,3) Singles (1,2,3,4,5,6)