MSU's Ilyushin Named SEC Player Of The Week For Second Time
STARKVILLE, Miss. - Following an impressive 4-0 weekend in singles and doubles, Mississippi State's 15th-ranked senior Artem Ilyushin was tabbed the SEC's Men's Tennis Player of the Week for the second time this spring.
During Friday's match in Gainesville, Ilyushin downed his 61st-ranked Florida foe in Bob van Overbeek in straight sets at the No. 1 position. Alongside senior George Coupland, the duo ousted a top-10 foe in the top spot to take a 4-3 decision from the Gators for the first time since 2001.
On Sunday, the Bulldogs returned home where again, Ilyushin downed 104th-ranked Ivan Machado of South Carolina in a quick two-setter to help the Bulldogs to a 6-1 ousting of the Gamecocks. Also, Coupland and Ilyushin took the win from a 64th-ranked opponent on court 1 doubles to help the Bulldogs earn the doubles point for fifth time in SEC play.
Their impressive feats this weekend boosted the duo into the rankings for the first time this season as Coupland and Ilyushin were tabbed 43rd in the recent ITA poll released Tuesday.
Ilyushin has now won nine out of his last ten matches, defeating eight ranked opponents en route, six of which coming against players ranked in the top-40 in the country. Ilyushin's most notable win on the season came against third-ranked Will Spencer of Georgia in a tight 4-3 heartbreaker in Athens, Ga.
The Bulldogs will be back in action this weekend as they host 27th-ranked LSU at 2 p.m. CT on Friday and the No. 39 Razorbacks of Arkansas on Sunday at 1 p.m. The matches are to be played at the A.J. Pitts Tennis Centre on the campus of Mississippi State University.
Sunday's match against the Hogs is Senior Day where MSU will congratulate a trio of seniors in Louis Cant, Coupland and Ilyushin on their achievements in the Maroon and White.