Lady Bulldogs Fall At Tennessee In SEC Road Opener
KNOXVILLE, Tenn. - Despite some closely contested matches at the top of the lineup, Mississippi State Lady Bulldog tennis (5-5, 0-3 SEC) fell in a road match against No. 62 Tennessee (3-5, 1-1) 7-0 Friday. MSU will continue its weekend of SEC play with a Sunday match against No. 7 Georgia.
Doubles play began Friday with a dominant streak in favor of Tennessee. The Lady Vols' No. 5 duo of Brynn Boren and Kata Szekely took the first match on court 1 in an 8-0 decision against MSU's previously undefeated pair of Alexandra Perper and Naomi Tran. UT claimed the doubles point with another 8-0 victory at the No. 3 position. Tennessee's Sarah Toti and Mimi Fotopoulos defeated Lien Van Geel and Roseline Dion of the Lady Bulldogs in the match.
Doubles play completed with an 8-3 victory for UT's Caitlyn Williams and Joanna Henderson on court 2 as the pair took down Georgiana Patrasc and Petra Ferancova of MSU.
Tennessee continued its winning trend in singles competition, with a court 6 victory for Tiffany Tavares, who posted a 6-1, 6-1 win against MSU's Dion. Court 5 was the next to complete as UT's Fotopoulos notched a 6-1, 6-3 triumph over Lady Bulldog Van Geel, bringing the Lady Vol lead to 3-0.
UT clinched the team victory with a win at the No. 4 position from Henderson, who bested MSU's Ferancova in a 6-0, 6-2 decision.
The Lady Bulldogs were very competitive at the top three spots in the lineup, falling a second-set tiebreaker in one and splitting sets in two of the remaining matches.
On court 2, MSU's Perper fell 6-4 in the first set, rallying to take the second 6-2 before dropping the deciding super tiebreaker 10-4 versus UT's 43rd-ranked Szekely. MSU's Tran fell 6-2 in the first set at the No. 3 position to Lady Vol Williams, but made a gallant effort to take the second set, leading 6-5 before ultimately dropping the set and match 6-2, 7-6(8).
MSU rookie Georgiana Patrasc saw a four-match winning streak end with a loss in her career debut at the No. 1 position, falling to Tennessee's No. 21 ranked Boren. Boren took the first set 6-2. Patrasc evened the score, taking the second set 7-6(6), but could not clinch the win, falling in a very close 11-9 decision in the deciding super tiebreaker for the third set.
"Tennessee played extremely well in doubles, and carried that momentum into singles," said head coach Daryl Greenan. "I thought we did a great job battling back on the top three courts. It was a shame that we came out with nothing to show for it. Georgiana came the closest, missing out on a match point to beat the No. 21 player in the country. We finished a whole lot stronger than we started in that match. We are going to need a better start against Georgia on Sunday."
The Lady Bulldogs will face No. 7 Georgia in Athens at 12 p.m. CT Sunday. Updates for this match can be found through Twitter (@mstateWT) or through LiveStats at hailstate.com.
#62 TENNESSEE 7, MISSISSIPPI STATE 0
March 8, 2013 - Knoxville, Tenn.
1) #5 Brynn Boren/Kata Szekely (UT) def. Alexandra Perper/Naomi Tran (MSU) 8-0
2) Joanna Henderson/Caitlyn Williams (UT) def. Petra Ferancova/Georgiana Patrasc (MSU) 8-3
3) Mimi Fotopoulos/Sarah Toti (UT) def. Roseline Dion/Lien Van Geel (MSU) 8-0
1) #21 Brynn Boren (UT) def. Georgiana Patrasc (MSU) 6-2, 6-7(6), 1-0(9)
2) #43 Kata Szekely (UT) def. Alexandra Perper (MSU) 6-4, 2-6, 1-0(4)
3) Caitlyn Williams (UT) def. Naomi Tran (MSU) 6-2, 7-6(6)
4) Joanna Henderson (UT) def. Petra Ferancova (MSU) 6-0, 6-2
5) Mimi Fotopoulos (UT) def. Lien Van Geel (MSU) 6-1, 6-3
6) Tiffany Tavares (UT) def. Roseline Dion (MSU) 6-1, 6-1
Order of finish: Doubles (1,3,2), Singles (6,5,4,2,3,1)