MSU's Tournament Run Ends With Hard-Fought Setback To Tennessee
STARKVILLE, Miss. – Following a first-round win against Missouri to open SEC Championship play Wednesday, 12th-seeded Mississippi State fell 4-0 in the second round Thursday to the tournament’s No. 5 seed, the No. 29 ranked Lady Vols of Tennessee, 4-0.
The Lady Bulldog squad completed its 2013 dual campaign with a 9-14 record.
The Lady Vols notched an early 1-0 lead with the doubles point. Court 3 was the first to finish as Jesse Grace and Caitlyn Williams of UT took down the Lady Bulldog duo of Petra Ferancova and Sarai Flores in an 8-0 shutout. Tennessee’s No. 5 ranked pair of Brynn Boren and Kata Szekely then clinched the point by downing MSU’s No. 68 ranked Alexandra Perper and Naomi Tran in an 8-5 decision on court 1. Lady Bulldogs Roseline Dion and Georgiana Patrasc held a 6-5 advantage against Tennessee’s Joanna Henderson and Sarah Toti on court 2 when play was suspended.
UT carried the momentum from doubles into singles competition, extending the team’s overall lead to 2-0 with a 6-1, 6-0 triumph for Mimi Fotopoulos against Ferancova at the No. 4 position. Court three followed as Tennessee’s Caitlyn Williams defeated sophomore Naomi Tran 6-0, 6-1 on court 3 to extend the UT lead to 3-0.
MSU true freshman Georgiana Pastrasc then fell on court 1 as UT’s No. 24-ranked Brynn Boren won the last two games to clinch Tennessee’s berth into the quarterfinals with a 6-3, 6-3 victory on court 1.
When the match was clinched, State had great chances for victories on the remaining three courts. Perper and Flores were both close to closing out wins with impressive leads on courts 2 and 6, respectively.
The veteran Perper led No. 31 Kata Szekely 6-2, 4-2 when UT took the match. Flores held a 6-3, 5-1 advantage against Jesse Grace on court 6. Dion was down a set, but up 3-2 in the second on court 5 against Tiffany Tavares.
"We battled pretty good today, but came up a little short against a talented Tennessee team,” MSU Daryl Greenan said. “Perper looked like she was on her way to a big win at No. 2, and Flores was only two points away from sealing the victory at No. 6. Rosie was battling on court 5 when Tennessee clinched, so we were really just a match away from a big upset. I am proud of the way our girls fought late in the season. We were getting better every week, and I feel like we finished strong with a few big SEC wins.”
Updates for the remainder of the 2013 SEC Tournament can be found through Twitter (@SECtennis and @mstateWT) and through live stats on the tournament headquarters page at www.HailState.com/SECtennis.
No. 29 TENNESSEE 4, MISSISSIPPI STATE 0
April 18, 2013 - Starkville, Miss.
1. #5 Brynn Boren/Kata Szekely (UT) def. #73 Alexandra Perper/Naomi Tran (MSU) 8-5
2. Roseline Dion/Georgiana Patrasc (MSU) vs. Joanna Henderson/Sarah Toti (UT) 6-5, susp.
3. Jesse Grace/Caitlyn Williams (UT) vs. Petra Ferancova/Sarai Flores (MSU) 8-0
1. #24 Brynn Boren (UT) def. Georgiana Patrasc (MSU) 6-3, 6-3
2. Alexandra Perper (MSU) vs. #31 Kata Szekely (UT) 6-2, 4-2, susp.
3. Caitlyn Williams (UT) def. Naomi Tran (MSU) 6-0, 6-1
4. Mimi Fotopoulos (UT) def. Petra Ferancova (MSU) 6-1, 6-0
5. Tiffany Tavares (UT) vs. Roseline Dion (MSU) 6-2, 2-3, susp.
6. Sarai Flores (MSU) vs. Jesse Grace (UT) 6-3, 5-1
Order of finish: Doubles (3,1), Singles (4,3,1)