STARKVILLE, Miss. - In its first Southeastern Conference match of the 2013 season, Mississippi State's Lady Bulldog tennis team (5-3, 0-1 SEC) fell 5-1 to the No. 17 ranked Lady Tigers of Auburn (11-1, 1-0) Friday afternoon.
State will continue SEC play with a match against No. 5 ranked Alabama Sunday, March 3, at the A.J. Pitts Tennis Centre beginning at 1 p.m.
Due to frigid temperatures Friday, the match with Auburn began with singles competition.
Court 4 was the first to complete, as Lady Bulldog sophomore Petra Ferancova fell in a 6-1, 6-0 decision to Auburn's Jackie Kasler. Court 5 followed with a 6-2, 6-1 victory for Jen Pfiefler of Auburn against MSU freshman Lien Van Geel. Auburn extended its lead to 3-0 with a 6-2, 6-2 victory for Emily Flickinger at the No. 3 position against MSU's Naomi Tran.
Auburn's No. 70 ranked Pleun Burgmans clinched the match for the Lady Tigers, posting a 6-4, 6-4 win at the No. 1 position against MSU's Alexandra Perper. The setback was Perper's first loss of the 2013 dual season.
The final two matches of the afternoon were then completed, with the teams splitting decisions. Lady Bulldog Roseline Dion lost her grip on a 4-1 lead, falling 7-6(6) in the first set on court 6 to Plamena Kurteva of Auburn. Dion then retired before the second set commenced, stretching the Lady Tiger lead to 5-0.
Georgiana Patrasc posted MSU's lone victory of the day, coming back from a 6-1 loss in the first set to take the second set on court 2 6-3. Patrasc sealed the win with a 10-7 victory in the deciding super tiebreaker.
Doubles matches were not played.
"Auburn was a better team than us today," said head coach Daryl Greenan. "We were pretty evenly matched in three positions, but lost decisively in the other three. Georgiana did a great job adjusting after losing the first set and competed hard to earn the win. We are going to need all 6 players on the court to be fired up and playing well to have a chance against No. 5 Alabama on Sunday."
Updates for the Lady Bulldogs Sunday match against No. 5 Alabama on Sunday will be available through twitter @mstateWT and through LiveStats at hailstate.com.
No. 17 AUBURN 5, MISSISSIPPI STATE 1
March 1, 2013 - Starkville, Miss.
Doubles play was not contested.
1. No. 70 Pleun Burgmans (AU) def. Alexandra Perper (MSU) 6-4, 6-4
2. Georgiana Patrasc (MSU) def. Michala Kucharova (AU) 1-6, 6-3, 1-0(7)
3. Emily Flickinger (AU) def. Naomi Tran (MSU) 6-2, 6-2
4. Jackie Kasler (AU) def. Petra Ferancova (MSU) 6-1, 6-0
5. Jen Pfiefler (AU) def. Lien Van Geel (MSU) 6-2, 6-1
6. Plamena Kurteva (AU) def. Roseline Dion (MSU) 7-6(6), ret.Order of finish: Doubles (not contested), Singles (4,5,3,1,6,2