STARKVILLE, Miss. – For the third time this season, the No. 13 Mississippi State men’s tennis squad (13-6, 3-4 SEC) will face No. 10 in-state rival Ole Miss (12-5, 5-3 SEC) Friday at the A.J. Pitts Tennis Centre for the rubber match of the 2013 regular season. The match is scheduled to start at 1 p.m. CT.
State has won four of the last five meetings between the two Magnolia State schools. The two have met twice this season already, with the series split between the two. The Bulldogs defeated Ole Miss 4-2 on February 7 to capture the River Hills Cup in Jackson, Miss. Ole Miss evened the series with a 4-2 victory in Seattle, Wash., at the 2013 ITA National Team Indoor Championship.
Leading the way for the Bulldogs are freshman Romain Bogaerts and junior Malte Stropp. Bogaerts, ranked 20th in the nation, has won 25 matches for the 2012-13 season, while holding a 12-5 record in dual match play. Stropp, who moved up nine spots in the national singles rankings this week to 50th, is 12-2 for the spring, with three wins coming against ranked opponents.
In the middle of the Bulldog lineup is the freshman-senior pair of Jordan Angus and James Chaudry. Angus holds a team-leading 14 victories this spring, while Chaudry is 8-5 in dual match play, with seven of those victories coming at the No. 3 position.
Rounding out the MSU lineup is the trio of junior Zach White and freshmen Pedro Dumont and Stefan Vinti. White is 6-5 this spring, with four of those wins at the No. 5 position. Dumont is 8-5 in dual matches, with a 6-2 record at the sixth spot. Vinti has earned four victories this spring, with two at both the fifth and sixth spots.
In doubles, MSU is led by the 15th-ranked duo of Angus and Stropp. The two have put together a 7-8 record for the spring, including five victories against ranked opponents, all top 45 opponents.
The Bulldog pair of junior White and senior Ethan Wilkinson has put together a 6-8 record at the No. 2 spot, while the newly ranked tandem of Bogaerts and Dumont, at 73rd in the nation, are 7-5 for the spring.
The Rebels enter Friday’s match after defeating Arkansas 4-1 last Sunday. Ole Miss touts three nationally-ranked singles players and two ranked doubles squads. Sophomore Nik Scholtz leads the way at No. 5 in the nation, with senior Jonas Lutjen (12th) and William Kallberg (84th) rounding out the Rebels’ singles rankings. In doubles, the Rebels sport the No. 4 duo of Scholtz and Lutjen and the 67th-ranked team of Johan Backstrom and Stefan Lindmark.
Following Friday’s match the Bulldogs will remain at home, as they welcome No. 25 South Carolina to A.J. Pitts on Friday, April 5, for MSU Senior Day. The match is set to begin at 2 p.m. CT.