AUBURN, Ala. - Mississippi State freshman Romain Bogaerts fought until the end, but fell short of the USTA/ITA Southern Regional Championship Monday, falling to No. 5-ranked and top seed Nik Scholtz of Ole Miss 7-5, 6-4.
State's Bogaerts fell down 2-0 early in the first set, but battled back, fighting off two break points and holding serve to go up 3-2. After going back and forth, Scholtz took three-straight games to win the first set 7-5.
In the second set, the Huppaye, Belgium, native Bogaerts took the first game, but found difficulty breaking Scholtz's serve throughout the set. Going down 5-3, the MSU freshman held serve to come within a game of tying, but Scholtz earned a hold of his own to take the match and the singles title.
Bogaerts' run to the title match included five-straight wins for the unseeded MSU rookie, including upsets of three top 10 seeds in the event.
"It was a great run by Romain in singles this week," sixth-year MSU coach Per Nilsson said. "If he continues to get stronger mentally and physically, he can become one of the best players in our league."
The Bulldogs will return to action Friday, Oct. 26, when they travel to Pensacola, Fla., for the USTA Futures. The tournament will run until Saturday, Nov. 3.
MSU Results At The USTA/ITA Southern Regional Championships October 22, 2012 - Auburn, Ala.
Final - No. 5 Nik Scholtz (Ole Miss)  def. Romain Bogaerts (MSU) 7-5, 6-4
Numbers preceding names are current national rankings; seedings in brackets