NASHVILLE, Tenn. – In the final match of the day in the second round of the 2014 SEC Championship Thursday, the 17th-ranked Mississippi State Bulldogs (18-10, 7-5 Southeastern Conference) fell to the No. 55 LSU Tigers (14-13, 2-10 SEC), 4-2.
The Bulldogs now wait to hear their destination for the 2014 NCAA Championship, which begins May 9-11 with the First and Second Rounds. State will learn where it will be playing on April 29 with the NCAA.com Selection Show, which will air at 4 p.m. CT. MSU expects to earn its 23rd appearance in the NCAA Championship with a bid this season.
On Thursday, LSU jumped out in front by taking the doubles point, taking the matches on courts two and three. State’s tandem of Rishab Agarwal and Zach White fell to LSU’s Boris Arias and Andrew Korinek 8-0 on court three to give the Tigers the advantage. MSU started a rally late, but fell short, as the Tigers’ Justin Butsch and Chris Simpson edged Florian Lakat and Tassilo Schmid 8-5 to give LSU an early 1-0 lead.
Singles play provided a chance for the Bulldogs to reverse the momentum despite dropping the doubles point. State jumped out of the gates early on the top three courts, as the Bulldogs took the first sets in those three matches. Likewise, LSU would gain the early advantage on the bottom three courts, forcing the Bulldogs to have to split sets on at least one court to stay in the match.
The Tigers struck first in singles, as Korinek defeated Agarwal 6-1, 6-1 on court four and Harrison Kennedy defeated Schmid 6-2, 6-0 to give LSU a 3-0 lead. From there, MSU would begin to rally, gaining victories at the three and one spots in the order to pull within one. MSU’s Angus downed LSU’s Butsch on court three 6-1, 6-4 to put State on the board, while the Bulldogs’ No. 72 Lakat defeated the Tigers’ No. 84 Simpson 6-2, 6-3 to cut LSU’s lead to 3-2.
The match then came down to courts two and six, where LSU’s Arias forced State’s White to a third set, while MSU’s Robin Haden battled with the Tigers’ Trinh in the second set, trying to split sets to keep the Maroon and White’s hopes alive. Despite a lot of fight and heart from State’s freshman, Trinh took the match from Haden 6-1, 6-4 on court six to eliminate the Bulldogs.
The match between White and Arias on court three was suspended at the clinch, with Arias leading 3-6, 6-3, 2-1 in the final set.
No. 55 LSU 4, No. 17 Mississippi State 2
April 17, 2014 – Currey Tennis Center – Nashville, Tenn.
1. No. 72 Lakat (MSU) def. No. 84 Simpson (LSU) 6-2, 6-3
2. Arias (LSU) vs. White (MSU) 3-6, 6-3, 2-1(susp.)
3. Angus (MSU) def. Butsch (LSU) 6-1, 6-4
4. Korinek (LSU) def. Agarwal (MSU) 6-1, 6-1
5. Harrison Kennedy (LSU) def. Schmid (MSU) 6-2, 6-0
6. Trinh (LSU) def. Robin Haden (MSU) 6-1, 6-4
Order of finish… Doubles (3,2)… Singles (4,5,3,1,6)