COLUMBIA, Mo. – Despite putting forth a tremendous effort that came down to a third set on court six, the Mississippi State women’s tennis team fell 4-3 to No. 53 LSU in the opening round of the 2014 SEC Championship on Wednesday. The Bulldogs end the season at 9-15 overall and 1-12 in the SEC.
State came out battling from the start in doubles, as the 46th-ranked tandem of Alexandra Perper and Naomi Tran defeated LSU’s Joana Vale Costa and Noel Scott, 8-4 on court one. The Tigers evened the score on court two, as MSU’s Rosie Dion and Timea Guibe fell 8-2 to LSU’s Abby Owens and Gabrielle Otero, leaving the doubles point to be determined on court three.
Mississippi State would respond with a scorching start in singles play, as the Bulldogs took four out of six first sets. A 6-2, 6-1 win on court three by Guibe against Owens would get MSU started, as the Bulldogs took two straight victories from Tran on court 5, 6-1, 6-4 against LSU’s Holloway and Perper on No. 2, 6-3, 6-2 against the Tigers’ Scott. The Tigers would respond with a win on court one, as 56th-ranked Patrasc fell 6-4, 6-2 to the Tigers’ Costa. The match was later tied at 3-3, as LSU’s Taylor defeated MSU’s Dion 6-1, 6-3 win on No. 4.
The match would come down to the action at the sixth position, as Ferancova and Otero were forced into a third set after splitting the first two, 6-4, 1-6. Both players battled in an intense nail-biting match, but in the end, it was Otero and LSU that would come out on top, taking the third set 6-4 and claiming the match to advance to the next round.
"I'm proud of the way our girls responded after losing the doubles point," said head coach Daryl Greenan. "It was a great battle and our girls fought extrememly hard. Unfortunately, losing the doubles meant we ended up with a 4-3 loss instead of a 4-0 win."
For more information on the Mississippi State women’s tennis team, fans can follow the Bulldogs on Twitter (@HailStateWT), Facebook (HailStateWT) and Instagram (HailStateWT).
No. 53 LSU 4, Mississippi State 3
April 16, 2014 – Mizzou Tennis Center – Columbia, Mo.
2014 SEC Championship – First Round
1. No. 46 Alexandra Perper (MSU) def. Joana Vale Costa/Noel Scott (LSU), 8-4
2. Gabrielle Otero/Abby Owens (LSU) def. Rosie Dion/Timea Guibe (MSU), 8-2
1. Joana Vale Costa (LSU) def. No. 56 Georgiana Patrasc (MSU), 6-4, 6-2
2. Alexandra Perper (MSU) def. Noel Scott (LSU), 6-3, 6-2
3. Timea Guibe (MSU) def. Abigail Owens (LSU), 6-2, 6-1
4. Ella Taylor (LSU) def. Rosie Dion (MSU), 6-1, 6-3
5. Naomi Tran (MSU) def. Skylar Holloway (LSU), 6-1, 6-4
6. Gabrielle Otero (LSU) def. Petra Ferancova (MSU), 4-6, 6-1, 6-4
Order of finish