STARKVILLE, Miss. – Ranked inside the top 10 for the first time this season, the ninth-ranked Mississippi State men’s tennis squad (16-8) will open up the 2013 SEC Championship in Oxford, Miss., against the No. 11 Kentucky Wildcats (19-10) Thursday, April 18. The match is set to begin at 6 p.m. CT at Ole Miss' Palmer/Salloum Tennis Center.
The winner of Thursday’s second-round match will move on to face top-seeded and second-ranked Georgia Friday at 6 p.m. CT.
State, who has won three of its last four matches, has faced Kentucky three times in SEC Championship, having won two of those contests. The most recent matchup came in 2006 in Tuscaloosa, Ala., when the Bulldogs defeated the Wildcats 4-2 to advance to the semifinals. The teams last meeting overall was earlier this season, when the Wildcats claimed a first-round win over the Bulldogs in the ITA National Team Indoor Championship in Seattle.
Leading the way for State in singles is the 1-2 combo of freshman No. 12 Romain Bogaerts and junior No. 55 Malte Stropp. Bogaerts, who is 15-5 this season and 6-3 in the SEC, has won 13 of his matches at the top spot. Stropp, who has garnered 13 victories this spring, has picked up four of those against a ranked opponent.
In the middle of the MSU lineup have been senior James Chaudry and freshman Jordan Angus. Chaudry has won nine matches this season, with eight of those at the No. 3 position. Angus has claimed 15 wins this spring, tying Bogaerts for the most dual match victories this season.
Anchoring the Maroon and White order is junior Zach White and freshman Pedro Dumont. White has won eight matches this spring, with six SEC wins as well. Dumont has won 12 matches in dual match play, including winning his last five matches.
Also seeing considerable time in the Bulldog lineup this season is freshman Stefan Vinti, who has picked up four victories this spring.
In doubles, the 10th-ranked duo of Angus and Stropp sit atop the MSU lineup. The top 10 team has won nine matches this spring, with six xoming against ranked opponents. Following suit for the Bulldogs is the duo of Dumont and Ethan Wilkinson (2-2 this spring) and the team of Bogaerts and White (2-1 this spring).
The Wildcats are led by ranked singles players Anthony Rossi (17th) and Tom Jomby (21st), while in doubles UK is paced by the ninth-ranked duo of Jomby and Kevin Lai.
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