STARKVILLE, Miss. - Mississippi State Lady Bulldog tennis (5-2) will rocket into 2013 Southeastern Conference play with a home match against the No. 17 ranked Lady Tigers of Auburn (10-1) at 3 p.m. on Friday at MSU's A.J. Pitts Tennis Centre.
MSU currently holds a 4-1 record in home matches on the season, most recently posting a solid 6-1 win against Samford University Wednesday afternoon.
In the win over Samford, the doubles pair of Alexandra Perper and Naomi Tran remained undefeated at the No. 1 position, stretching their record to 5-0 this season. Petra Ferancova and Georgiana Patrasc also remained unbeaten (now 4-0 as a duo) with an 8-0 win in the contest.
In singles, Perper is now 5-1 at the No. 1 position after a straight-set win Wednesday. Lady Bulldog freshman Sarai Flores has also proved to be a stable component to MSU victories this season, now with a 5-2 mark at No. 6 in her first season with MSU. Veterans Rosie Dion, Ferancova and Tran, as well as newcomers Patrasc and Lien Van Geel, have all seen time in the lineup early on this year.
Auburn boasts one ranked singles player and two ranked doubles duos in its lineup. Lady Tiger freshman Pleun Burgmans holds the No. 70 slot nationally in her debut season. Jen Pfeifler and Jackie Kasler pair up to claim the No. 34 ranking in doubles, and the No. 57 ranked position is held by Auburn's Burgmans and Plamena Kurteva.
"We are excited to begin SEC play," said head coach Daryl Greenan. "Auburn has recently moved into the top 20 and our next opponent, Alabama is sitting at No. 5 nationally, so we have huge challenges ahead of us this weekend."
Following Friday's action, the Lady Bulldogs will continue their opening weekend of SEC play in a home match on Sunday against No. 5 ranked Alabama at 1 p.m. Updates for all MSU matches are available through twitter @mstateWT and through Live Stats at hailstate.com.