MINNEAPOLIS, Minn. - Mississippi State Lady Bulldog tennis fell 4-3 in a closely contested road match against the No. 65 ranked Golden Gophers of the University of Minnesota Friday night.
Doubles play proved to be crucial in the Lady Bulldogs' debut road match of the season. MSU's Alexandra Perper and Naomi Tran paired up to take the first doubles win of the day at the No. 1 position, posting an 8-4 victory against Natalia Pintusava and Paula Rincon-Otero of Minnesota. UM evened the doubles score with an 8-6 win from the Lady Gopher pair of Tereza Brichacova and Doron Muravnik, as they took down Lien Van Geel and Sarai Flores of the Lady Bulldogs at No. 2.
The doubles point was decided in another hard-fought contest on court 3. Minnesota's duo of Jessika Mozia and Yuliana Umanets rallied to defeat MSU's Georgiana Patrasc and Roseline Dion in an 8-6 decision, giving the Lady Gophers an early 1-0 lead.
Singles play began with an early Minnesota win at the No. 4 position as Mozia for the Lady Gophers took down MSU sophomore Petra Ferancova 6-1, 6-3. Minnesota raised their overall lead to 3-0 with a 7-5, 6-2 win for Muravnik on court 6 against MSU's Flores.
Competition was neck-and-neck on the remaining courts, and State appeared it might make a big comeback, but the match was finally clinched by Minnesota with a very tight 6-4, 6-4 victory on court 2 as MSU's Patrasc fell to Brichacova of the Lady Gophers 6-4, 6-4.
Although the match already belonged to Minnesota, the Lady Bulldogs posted victories on all remaining courts beginning with the freshman Van Geel, who posted a 7-6(5), 6-4 win against Minnesota's Aria Lambert at the No. 5 position.
MSU's Tran followed suit with a 6-2, 1-6, 6-1 triumph over Minnesota's Rincon-Otero on court 3. State's Perper completed the night's competition with a solid 6-3, 4-6, 6-4 victory at the top spot against Pintusava for Minnesota.
"It was a heck of a battle and a heartbreaking loss. We had our chances to win the doubles point, but did not capitalize," head coach Daryl Greenan said. "Not getting that point proved to be the difference."
The Lady Bulldogs will be back in action Saturday as they remain in Minnesota to take on the Lady Badgers of Wisconsin in a neutral site match. Updates for Lady Bulldog tennis can be found at hailstate.com or through Twitter (@mstateWT).
#65 MINNESOTA 4, MISSISSIPPI STATE 3
February 22, 2013 - Minneapolis, Minn.
1. Perper/Tran (MSU) def. Pintusava/Rincon-Otero (MINN), 8-4
2. Brichacova/Muravnik (MINN) def. Van Geel/Flores (MSU), 8-6
3. Mozia/Umanets (MINN) def. Patrasc/Dion (MSU), 8-6
1. Alexandra Perper (MSU) def. Natallia Pintusava (MINN), 6-3, 4-6, 6-4
2. Tereza Brichacova (MINN) def. Georgiana Patrasc (MSU), 6-4, 6-4
3. Naomi Tran (MSU) def. Paula Rincon-Otero (MINN), 6-2, 1-6, 6-1
4. Jessika Mozia (MINN) def. Petra Ferancova (MSU), 6-1, 6-3
5. Lien Van Geel (MSU) def. Aria Lambert (MINN), 7-6(5), 6-4
6. Doron Muravnik (MINN) def. Sarai Flores (MSU), 7-5, 6-2
Order of finish: Doubles (1,2,3), Singles (4,6,2,5,3,1)