GAINESVILLE, Fla. – Mississippi State Lady Bulldog tennis competed closely in singles competition at some positions, but was unable to pull out a win, falling 4-0 in the team’s road dual match against the No. 2 ranked Lady Gators of Florida Sunday.
With the setback, State fell to 7-12 overall, 1-10 in SEC play. Florida improved to 17-2, 10-1, while winning its 10th straight match overall.
Florida jumped to an early 1-0 lead, clinching doubles competition. Alexandra Cercone and Caroline Hitimana of Florida posted the first victory of the day, taking down the Lady Bulldog duo of Georgiana Patrasc and Roseline Dion in an 8-0 decision on court 2. The No. 20 ranked Lady Gator pair of Lauren Embree and Sofie Oyen secured the doubles point with an 8-2 triumph against MSU’s No. 56 ranked Alexandra Perper and Naomi Tran at the top spot. Petra Ferancova and Lien Van Geel of the Lady Bulldogs held a 6-4 lead on court 3 against Danielle Collins and Olivia Janowicz of UF when play was suspended.
The Lady Gators continued their momentum in singles as Janowicz, ranked at No. 118, toppled MSU’s Ferancova 6-1, 6-1 at the No. 4 spot. No. 53 ranked Cercone of Florida extended the team’s lead to 3-0 with a 6-2, 6-0 triumph over Tran on court 3. A court 6 win by UF's 115th-ranked Danielle Collins clinched the match for Florida, as she defeated MSU freshman Van Geel 6-1, 6-3.
Georgiana Patrasc and Alexandra Perper of the Lady Bulldogs had both split sets when play was suspended. Patrasc dropped the first set on court 1 to the nation’s No.1-ranked player Lauren Embree 6-0, but rallied back to take the second set 6-4. Perper took the first set 6-4 against Florida’s No. 12 ranked Oyen on court 2, but dropped the second set 6-2. Hitimana of Florida held a 6-4, 3-1 lead over Roseline Dion of the Lady Bulldogs at the No. 5 position.
"I thought the doubles was closer than the score indicated, but Florida did a better job in the important points," said head coach Daryl Greenan. "In singles we were battling evenly on most courts. Once again I was impressed with the top of our lineup. Georgiana and Alexandra were in good positions to upset the No. 1 and No. 12 players in the country. Our improvement has been steady this season and that is a good feeling. We are ready to finish strong leading up to hosting the SEC Tournament in a couple weeks."
The Lady Bulldogs will return home next weekend for a pair of matches that will conclude the 2013 regular season. MSU will host fourth-ranked Texas A&M Friday, April 12, at 3 p.m. before welcoming No. 49 Missouri Sunday, April 14, at 1 p.m. State will then prepare to host the 2013 SEC Women's Tennis Championship, which will be held at the Pitts Tennis Centre April 17-21 as a part of Super Bulldog Weekend festivities. Updates for MSU matches can be found on Twitter at @mstateWT. Live stats can be found on hailstate.com.
#2 Florida 4, Mississippi State 0
April 7, 2013 – Gainesville, Fla.
1. #20 Lauren Embree/Sofie Oyen (UF) def. #65 Alexandra Perper/Naomi Tran (MSU) 8-2
2. Alexandra Cercone/Caroline Hitimana (UF) def. Georgiana Patrasc/Roseline Dion (MSU) 8-0
3. Petra Ferancova/Lien Van Geel (MSU) vs. Danielle Collins/Olivia Janowicz (UF) 6-4, susp.
1. #125 Georgiana Patrasc (MSU) vs. #1 Lauren Embree (UF) 0-6, 6-4, susp.
2. Alexandra Perper (MSU) vs. #12 Sofie Oyen (UF) 6-4, 2-6, susp.
3.#53 Alexandra Cercone (UF) def. Naomi Tran (MSU) 6-2, 6-0
4. #118 Olivia Janowicz (UF) def. Petra Ferancova (MSU) 6-1, 6-1
5. #125 Caroline Hitimana (UF) vs. Roseline Dion (MSU) 6-4, 3-1, susp.
6. #115 Danielle Collins (UF) def. Lien Van Geel (MSU) 6-1, 6-3
Order of finish: Doubles (2,1) Singles (4,3,6)