STARKVILLE, Miss. – For the first time in three weeks, the No. 12 Mississippi State men’s tennis squad (12-6, 2-4 SEC) will face an SEC West opponent, as the Bulldogs hit the road to face No. 54 Arkansas (12-8, 0-5 SEC) and No. 48 LSU (6-7, 1-4 SEC) this weekend. MSU will face Arkansas this Friday, March 22, at 1 p.m. CT in Fayetteville, Ark., and LSU on Sunday, March 24, at 1 p.m. in Baton Rouge, La.
Headlining the Maroon and White lineup is freshman Romain Bogaerts, ranked 18th in the nation, and junior Malte Stropp, ranked 59th in the nation. Bogaerts has 11 wins in the spring, with nine of those coming at the No. 1 position. Stropp enters the weekend with 12 wins for the dual match season.
Senior James Chaudry and freshman Jordan Angus anchor the middle of the Bulldog lineup. Chaudry has claimed seven of his eight victories at the No. 3 spot this season. Angus leads the team with 14 victories for the spring and has won three of his last four matches.
Rounding out the MSU cast is a trio of Bulldogs - junior Zach White and freshmen Stefan Vinti and Pedro Dumont. White has captured five wins in dual match play, while Vinti has four wins for the spring. Dumont, who has won seven matches this spring, also holds an impressive 8-0 record for the 2012-13 season in matches that go to the third set.
In doubles, the Bulldogs’ 14th-ranked tandem of Angus and Stropp sit atop the MSU lineup. The duo has won seven matches in dual match play, with five coming against ranked opponents. Most recently, Angus and Stropp came back from a 5-0 deficit to defeat Kentucky’s No. 23 team of Tom Jomby and Kevin Lai 9-8(0), helping MSU capture the doubles point.
Closing out the doubles lineup is the team of White and Ethan Wilkinson and the freshmen pair of Bogaerts and Dumont. Both pairs have earned six wins for the spring season.
For the 54th-ranked Razorbacks, they will host the Bulldogs after winning their last match against Texas Pan American 6-1. The Razorbacks sport one ranked doubles squad, as the duo of Manfred Jeske and Mike Nott are ranked 60th in the nation.
The No. 48 LSU Tigers will welcome No. 7 Ole Miss Friday before hosting the Bulldogs in the Sunday afternoon matchup. LSU holds one ranked doubles squad, as Chris Simpson and Stefan Szacinski come in at No. 54 nationally. State and LSU met earlier this season in the ITA Kickoff Weekend in Starkville, with MSU claiming victory. LSU had a big upset over top 15-ranked Texas A&M in College Station this past Friday.
Following this weekend’s two-match road swing, the Bulldogs will return home to face in-state rival Ole Miss on Friday, March 29, at the A.J. Pitts Tennis Centre. That match is slated to begin at 2 p.m.