HOUSTON, Texas - There is no better way to start a season than with a win and the No. 11 Mississippi State (1-0) men's tennis team did just that, defeating No. 29 Texas Tech (0-1) 5-2 Sunday afternoon in a top 30 matchup.
"We are really happy with our team's performance today, especially with four freshmen in our lineup and against a very talented and well-coached Texas Tech squad," coach Per Nilsson said.
The Bulldogs wasted no time jumping out to an early lead, getting wins from their top two doubles squads.
The No. 28 Bulldog duo of Jordan Angus and Malte Stropp were down 3-2 early in their match, but a hold by Stropp followed by a break gave the tandem momentum, which they rode to an 8-5 victory against Red Raiders Gabriel Dias and Vitor Manzini.
State's No. 2 team of Zach White and Ethan Wilkinson also fell down early at 3-1, but fought back against the Tech duo of Hugo Dojas and Felip Soares, earning a break to clinch the match and the doubles point 8-5.
The MSU doubles squad of Pedro Dumont and Romain Bogaerts battled Texas Tech's Gabriel Wanderley and Francisco Zambon to a score of 5-5, where the match was suspended after White and Wilkinson clinched the doubles point for State.
In singles play, the Bulldogs leaned on the play of several freshmen to lead the way to victory.
State's Angus was the first to gain victory in singles, defeating Tech's Soares with ease 6-4, 6-1 for his first career victory in dual match play.
The match-clinching points came in rapid succession from senior James Chaudry and Bogaerts. Chaudry had to fight to earn the first set, but cruised to victory in the second, defeating Tech's Dojas 7-5, 6-1 to give MSU its third point. Seconds later, Bogaerts, ranked 25th in the nation, earned his first career dual match win with ease, defeating TTU's Dias 6-4, 6-1 and officially clinching the team win for the Bulldogs.
State's 81st-ranked Stropp then added to the Maroon and White's score, defeating Tech's Manzini in straight sets 6-4, 7-5.
State freshman Stefan Vinti put together the most hard-fought match of the day, pushing Tech's Raphael Pfister to three sets after dropping the first set 6-1. However, Vinti could not hold on in the super tiebreaker, dropping his match 6-1, 6-7(4), 1-0(7). Freshman Dumont then dropped his match to TTU's Zambon 6-3, 6-0 for the final point of the day.
The Maroon and White will return to action Monday when they wrap up their Houston road trip against the hosting No. 55 Rice Owls at 12 p.m. CT.
No. 11 Mississippi State 5, No. 29 Texas Tech 2
January 20, 2013 - Jake Hess Tennis Stadium - Houston, Texas
1) No. 81 Stropp (MSU) def. Manzini (TTU) 6-4, 7-5
2) No. 25 Bogaerts (MSU) def. Dias (TTU) 6-4, 6-1
3) James Chaudry (MSU) def. Dojas (TTU) 7-5, 6-1
4) Zambon (TTU) def. Dumont (MSU) 6-3, 6-0
5) Raphael Pfister (TTU) def. Stefan Vinti (MSU) 6-1, 6-7(4), 1-0(7)
6) Angus (MSU) def. Soares (TTU) 6-4, 6-1
Order of finish... Doubles (1,2)... Singles (4,6,2,3,1,5)