#14 State Tennis Downs #46 TCU 4-1 Through Rain-Plagued Weekend

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79th-ranked MSU junior James Chaudry clinched the match in a thrilling second-set tiebreaker for the No. 14 Bulldogs in their 4-1 victory over 46th-ranked TCU Saturday.
Photo Courtesy of John R. Cade

STARKVILLE, Miss. - After two long days of rain delay, Mississippi State's 14th-ranked men's tennis team (5-2) posted a 4-1 decision over the No. 46 Horned Frogs of TCU (1-3) on Saturday, starting the match in Starkville and completing it indoors in Tuscaloosa, Alabama.

The match, originally scheduled for Friday, was postponed to Saturday morning at 10 a.m. due to rain. The match got started on time Saturday and, in an impressive showing during doubles play, the 12th-ranked MSU tandem of Louis Cant and Malte Stropp breezed through their TCU foe in Nick Chappell and J.T. Sundling 8-1 to take the early match in the top spot.

However, the doubles point would not end quickly as the Horned Frogs were battling in the No. 2 and 3 positions. The TCU duo of Paul Chappell and Will Stein battled James Chaudry and Ethan Wilkinson on court 3. With the match in a tight dual at 6-6 and TCU holding serve, the Bulldogs could not break back as Chappell and Stein took the match 8-6 allowing the doubles decision to be made on court 2.

With the match also tight in the two spot, the Bulldog tandem of George Coupland and Artem Ilyushin took an early 3-1 lead over TCU's Daniel Sanchez and Blake Wiggins. However, the Horned Frogs battled back to take the 4-3 lead and hold serve to 6-6 until the Bulldogs broke back 7-6. With Coupland serving for the match and the doubles point, the Dogs took the 8-6 victory on court 2 and the doubles point putting MSU up 1-0 headed into singles action.

As most singles play progressed into late in the first set midday Saturday, rain began pouring on the A.J. Pitts Tennis Centre with only one first set decided. With the inclement weather persisting, the match was moved to the University of Alabama's Indoor Tennis Complex in Tuscaloosa, Ala.

The teams resumed play at 3:15 Saturday afternoon, and the first to finish play in singles was the 90th-ranked Stropp of MSU. On court 3, he took an easy decision from TCU's Max Stevens 6-0, 6-3 extending the Bulldogs' lead to 2-0.

Also taking an easy two-setter for the Bulldogs was No. 32 Coupland in the fifth spot. Ousting P. Chappell of TCU, Coupland earned a 6-4, 6-2 victory, giving the Bulldogs a 3-0 lead.

However, the Horned Frogs answered on court 6 where Facundo Lugones squared off with MSU's Zach White. Being down 5-3 in the first, White fought his way to a 6-6 tiebreaker where his efforts fell short as he dropped in the first 7-6(4). Lugones took a 6-4 decision in the second to give TCU their only point of the day with the match at 3-1.

Clinching the match for the Bulldogs was the 79th-ranked Chaudry on No. 2. Taking the easy first set 6-3 from Sundling, the second would prove to be a battle. Dualing back-and-forth to a 5-5 score, Chaudry earned a break for a 6-5 advantage to serve for the match. However, Sundling would break back and send the second set to a tiebreaker. The tiebreaker would be decided in the same fashion as neither player would not in. However, with the match at 7-7, Chaudry would take the last two points to decide the match 6-3, 7-6(7) and clinch the match for the Bulldogs 4-1.

With matches still out on courts 1 and 3, all play was suspended at that point. In the top spot for the Bulldogs was Ilyushin where he faced TCU's N. Chappell. Chappel led 4-1 in the third set. On court 3 for the Dogs was the 45th-ranked Cant where he had battled back over his Horned Frog foe, Sanchez. Cant led 5-1 in the third set when play was suspended.

Next up for the Bulldogs is the annual River Hills Cup in Jackson, Miss., against their in-state rival, Ole Miss. The match is scheduled for Thursday, February 9, at 5 p.m. CT at River Hills Club.

#14 Mississippi State 4, #46 TCU 1                                                                                            
2/4/12 - A.J. Pitts Tennis Centre - Starkville, Miss. (Match Begin)
                                                                                                                                                                    University of Alabama Tennis Complex - Tuscaloosa, Ala. (Match End)

1) #12 Louis Cant/Malte Stropp (MSU) def. Nick Chappell/J.T. Sundling (TCU) 8-1
2) George Coupland/Artem Ilyushin (MSU) def. Daniel Sanchez/Blake Wiggins (TCU) 8-6
3) Paul Chappell/Will Stein (TCU) def. James Chaudry/Ethan Wilkinson (MSU) 8-6

1) Ilyushin (MSU) vs. N. Chappell (TCU) 6-4, 2-6, 1-4 (susp.)
2) #79 Chaudry (MSU) def. Sundling (TCU) 6-3, 7-6(7)
3) #45 Cant (MSU) vs. Sanchez (TCU) 2-6, 6-2, 5-1 (susp.)
4) #90 Stropp (MSU) def. Max Stevens (TCU) 6-0, 6-3
5) #32 Coupland (MSU) def. P. Chappell (TCU) 6-4, 6-2
6) Facundo Lugones (TCU) def. Zach White (MSU) 7-6(4), 6-4

Order of finish... Doubles (1,3,2)... Singles (4,5,6,2)


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