STARKVILLE, Miss. - In the final non-conference home match of 2013, the Mississippi State Lady Bulldog tennis squad (5-2) posted an impressive 6-1 victory against Samford University (5-3) Wednesday afternoon at the A.J. Pitts Tennis Centre.
To begin the day's action, MSU snagged the early 1-0 lead by taking the doubles point in closely contested competition. Petra Ferancova and Georgiana Patrasc were the first to notch a doubles win, posting a dominant and speedy 8-0 victory against Samford's AnnMarie Lyon and Sara Gail Niebur. Samford evened doubles play as the duo of Carita Moolman and Adri Lochner claimed the court two win, taking down MSU's pair of Lien Van Geel and Sarai Flores 8-4.
The undefeated MSU doubles pair of Alexandra Perper and Naomi Tran began their match at the No. 1 position with a 4-0 lead against the Samford duo of Kristin Lewis and Stephanie N'tcha. Lewis and N'tcha rallied back, winning six straight games to take a 6-4 lead. Perper and Tran fought back from a 7-5 deficit to tie the score at 7-7, sending the match into a deciding tiebreaker that they won 8-6.
MSU freshman Sarai Flores notched the first singles victory of the day, taking down Lochner of Samford 6-2, 6-3 at the No. 6 position. Patrasc extended the MSU lead to 3-0 with a 6-1, 6-4 triumph against N'tcha of Samford on court 2.
The fifth win of the Lady Bulldogs' dual season was clinched with a 6-4, 6-4 victory for the freshman Van Geel against Samford's Lyon at the No. 5 position.
After the match had been clinched, a win for MSU's Perper followed, as she downed Lewis of Samford 6-4, 7-6(1). Roseline Dion continued the Lady Bulldog winning streak, stretching the MSU lead to 6-0 with a 7-5, 6-2 victory over Moolman of Samford at the No. 4 position.
MSU's Tran was State's only casualty in the match, falling in a close affair to Jessica Northcutt of Samford 7-5, 7-5 on court 3.
"That was a hard earned victory today," said head coach Daryl Greenan. "It would have been easy to be distracted by the windy conditions, but the girls did a pretty good job staying focused. Our schedule gets a lot tougher moving into SEC play this weekend. We need to continue working hard and stay focused on our goals for this season."
The Lady Bulldogs will be back in action this weekend to kick off their 2013 Southeastern Conference campaign with a match against No. 17 ranked Auburn Friday and a Sunday match against No. 5 ranked Alabama. Friday's match is set to begin at 3 p.m. and Sunday's match will begin at 1 p.m. Both matches will be located at the Pitts Tennis Centre.
MISSISSIPPI STATE 6, SAMFORD 1
February 27, 2013 - Starkville, Miss.
1. Alexandra Perper/Naomi Tran (MSU) def. Charlotte Phillips/Rocio Martin (SU) 8-7(6)
2. Adri Lochner/Carita Moolman (SU) def. Sarai Flores/Lien Van Geel (MSU) 8-4
3. Petra Ferancova/Georgiana Patrasc (MSU) def. AnnMarie Lyon/Sara Gail Niebur (SU) 8-0
1. Alexandra Perper (MSU) def. Kristin Lewis (SU) 6-4, 7-6(1)
2. Georgiana Patrasc (MSU) def. Stephanie N'tcha (SU) 6-1, 6-4
3. Jessica Northcutt (SU) def. Naomi Tran (MSU) 7-5, 7-5
4. Roseline Dion (MSU) def. Carita Moolman (SU) 7-5, 6-2
5. Lien Van Geel (MSU) def. AnnMarie Lyon (SU) 6-4, 6-4
6. Sarai Flores (MSU) def. Adri Lochner (SU) 6-2, 6-3
Order of finish: Doubles (3,2,1), Singles (6,2,5,1,4,3)