STARKVILLE, Miss. - There was no place like home as the No. 11 Mississippi State men's tennis squad (3-0) opened up home play at the A.J. Pitts Tennis Centre Saturday with a 7-0 shutout victory against No. 25 LSU in their opening match of the ITA Kickoff Weekend.
With the victory, the Bulldogs will face the No. 21 Auburn Tigers Sunday at 1 p.m. The winner will advance to Seattle, Wash., to compete in the ITA National Team Indoor Championships February 15-18.
The No. 25 LSU Tigers will face the No. 23 Indiana Hoosiers in the consolation match Sunday, scheduled to begin at 10 a.m.
The Bulldogs grabbed the doubles point for the third consecutive match this season, led by a powerful performance from the Bulldogs' No. 28 duo of Jordan Angus and Malte Stropp. The nationally-ranked tandem defeated LSU's No. 33 pair of Chris Simpson and Stefan Szacinski with ease, 8-0, at the No. 1 position.
On court three, the Bulldog freshmen pair of Romain Bogaerts and Pedro Dumont were close to clinching as well, leading the Tiger duo of Boris Arias and Olivier Borsos 7-4 when play was suspended after the clinching victory.
In singles, the MSU young guns took charge from the start, with the three match-clinching points coming Bulldog true freshmen.
State's No. 25 Bogaerts was the first singles match to go final, with the Huppaye, Belgium, native defeating LSU's Olivier Borsos 6-1, 6-2 easily at the top spot in the lineup.
MSU's Angus then took down LSU's Trinh in straight-sets 6-0, 6-3 at No. 4, followed shortly by the match-clinching 6-0, 6-3 victory from MSU's Stefan Vinti against the Tigers' Mark Bowtell on court 5.
Following Vinti's victory that sealed the match's fate, the No. 81 junior Stropp took down LSU's Simpson 6-3, 6-4 at No. 2. Shortly after, senior James Chaudry defeated LSU's Szacinski 6-1, 6-3 on court 3.
In the final singles match of the day at No. 6, State's rookie Dumont battled through a tough three-set match to defeat Anderson of LSU 7-6(4), 1-6, 1-0(4).
"Going in I thought the match was going to be tougher than it was, but the guys did really well and pulled out a big win," head coach Per Nilsson said.
No. 11 Mississippi State 7, No. 25
January 26, 2013 - A.J. Pitts Tennis Centre - Starkville, Miss.
1) No. 25 Bogaerts (MSU) def. Borsos (LSU) 6-1, 6-2
2) No. 81 Stropp (MSU) def. Simpson (LSU) 6-3, 6-4
3) James Chaudry (MSU) def. Szacinski (LSU) 6-1, 6-3
4) Angus (MSU) def. Trinh (LSU) 6-0, 6-3
5) Stefan Vinti (MSU) def. Mark Bowtell (LSU) 6-0, 6-3
6) Dumont (MSU) def. Anderson (LSU) 7-6(4), 1-6, 1-0(4)
Order of finish... Doubles (1,2)... Singles (1,4,5,2,3,6)