NASHVILLE, Tenn. – Highlighted by the play of sophomore Jordan Angus and freshman Florian Lakat, the Mississippi State men’s tennis squad capped a successful first day of the 2013-14 season at the SEC Fall Classic in Nashville, Tenn., Thursday.
Angus, who earned his first career ITA ranking of 113th this preseason, dominated Jeff Offerdahl of host Vanderbilt 6-2, 6-4 to advance to second round action. Angus then easily dispatched Arkansas freshman Johan den Toom 6-0, 6-2 to earn a place in Friday’s third round of play, where he will face South Carolina’s No. 14-ranked and second-seeded Tsvetan Mihov.
Lakat, who was making his first career collegiate tennis appearance, defeated Kentucky sophomore Kevin Lai in a tough three-set match 6-3, 2-6, 6-3. The Paris, France, native continued his impressive play against LSU’s Boris Arias, defeating the Tiger 7-6(4), 6-3. With the win, Lakat also remains in the singles main draw and will battle Georgia’s 32nd-ranked and fifth-seeded Nathan Pasha Friday.
Senior Malte Stropp, who entered the tourney No. 40 in the nation and as a 9-16 seed, battled Kentucky’s Beck Pennington in the second round after both players received a first-round bye. After dropping the first set, Stropp stormed back in the second, but Pennington forced a tiebreaker and took the match 6-3, 7-6(8). Also falling in singles play for MSU was freshman Robin Haden, who dropped his match to Florida’s Mike Alford 6-2, 6-1. Haden will return to action tomorrow in singles consolation play.
In doubles play Thursday, the nation’s No. 6 duo of Bulldogs Angus and Stropp rolled easily into Friday’s third round with an 8-3 victory against Florida’s 60th-ranked team of Alford and Florent Diep. The seconnd-seeded MSU tandem is now 11-3 all-time in tourney matches, having won seven of their last eight, dating back to last fall. They will face the winner of Ole Miss’ Vinod Gowda and Zach Wilder and Vandy’s Anton Kovrigin and Mason Vierra.
The other MSU doubles team in competition Thursday was the freshmen pair of Lakat and Haden, who earned a first-round bye. The newcomers battled Ole Miss’ William Kallberg and Stefan Lindmark, falling 8-5.
The SEC Fall Classic continues Friday with doubles third round action, along with singles third and fourth rounds and singles first and second consolation rounds.
For more information on Mississippi State men’s tennis and updates throughout the SEC Fall Classic, fans can follow the Bulldogs on Twitter (@HailStateMT), Facebook (HailStateMT) and Instagram (HailStateMT). Mississippi State athletics can also be found on FanCred by going to http://www.fancred.com/go/hailstate/.
MSU Results At The SEC Fall Classic
September 19, 2013 – Nashville, Tenn.
Singles – Main Draw
First Round – No. 113 Jordan Angus (MSU) def. Jeff Offerdahl (Vanderbilt) 6-2, 6-4; Mike Alford (Florida) def. Robin Haden (MSU) 6-2, 6-1; Florian Lakat (MSU) def. Kevin Lai (Kentucky) 6-3, 2-6, 6-3
Second Round – No. 113 Angus (MSU) def. Johan den Toom (Arkansas) 6-0, 6-2; Lakat (MSU) def. Boris Arias (LSU) 7-6(4), 6-3; Beck Pennington (Kentucky) def. No. 40 Malte Stropp (MSU) [9-16] 6-3, 7-6(8)
Doubles – Main Draw
Second Round – No. 6 Angus/Stropp (MSU)  def. No. 60 Alford/Florent Diep (Florida) 8-3; William Kallberg/Stefan Lindmark (Ole Miss) def. Lakat/Haden (MSU) 8-5