State Men's Tennis Set to Begin 2012-13 Season
STARKVILLE, Miss. - Athens, Ga., will be the site of the beginning of the 2012-13 season for Mississippi State Men's Tennis as the Bulldogs will begin play in the Southern Intercollegiate Tournament Friday.
Much has changed since the spring, when State brought in its second-consecutive Southeastern Conference Western Division title and finished in the top 20 nationally for the second year in a row.
Gone are senior All-Americans Artem Ilyushin and Louis Cant, along with fellow all-SEC senior George Coupland, who were all intricate parts to MSU's back-to-back SEC West titles and NCAA Tourney appearances in 2011 and 2012.
Replacing the departed seniors are four star freshmen that make up one of coach Per Nilsson's best recruiting classes since coming to State in 2008. Pedro Dumont of Brasilia, Brazil, Romain Bogaert of Huppaye, Belgium, Jordan Angus of London, England, and Stefan Vinti of Medias, Romania, will join the men's tennis squad this season looking to continue State's recent success.
Participating in singles play this weekend will be returnees James Chaudry, Malte Stropp, Zach White and Ethan Wilkinson. Chaudry and Stropp were both top 100 players nationally last season for the Bulldogs, with Stropp being named 2012 ITA Southern Region Player to Watch. From the rookie class, Dumont, Bogaert and Angus will be in action. Teaming up in doubles will be Chaudry/Stropp, Angus/Dumont and White/Wilkinson.
"It is a new year, a new team. We are looking to get together as a group and get to know each other," Nilsson said on his expectations for this weekend. "We just want to see the new guys play and see what it is all about, while working on improving with the returning players."
The Southern Intercollegiate Tournament will conclude with Monday's finals. Fans can keep up with all results through hailstate.com or by following Mississippi State Men's Tennis on Twitter (@mstateMT) and through Facebook (facebook.com/mstateMT).