Angus/Stropp Sail Into Quarters; Rookie Lakat Registers Upset
NASHVILLE, Tenn. – Day two of the SEC Fall Classic for the Bulldogs drew highlights in both singles and doubles play, as the Mississippi State men’s tennis squad closed out another day of play at the Vanderbilt-hosted tourney in Nashville, Tenn., Friday.
Doubles started off the tourney’s second day, with MSU’s sixth-ranked and second-seeded duo of Jordan Angus and Malte Stropp turning in an easy win to advance to Saturday’s quarterfinals. Angus and Stropp downed the Vanderbilt duo of Anton Kovrigin and Mason Vierra 8-1. The Bulldog tandem will face Texas A&M’s 12th-ranked team of Harrison Adams and Shane Vinsant, a 5-8 seed, on Saturday.
In singles play, MSU freshman Florian Lakat pulled off one of the tourney’s bigger upsets so far Friday, as he took down Georgia’s Nathan Pasha in the third round. Pasha, who is ranked 32nd nationally and is the tournament’s No. 5 seed, put up a fight, but the State newcomer held on to win in straight sets 6-4, 6-4.
Lakat’s win set up a Friday afternoon round of 16 battle with Texas A&M’s Vinsant, ranked 56th nationally and a 9-16 seed in the tournament. Lakat dropped the first set 6-3, but roared back to even the score at one set all, taking the second 6-3. The two battled into a third-set tiebreaker, with a trip to the quarterfinals on the line. However, Lakat fell in the tiebreaker, dropping the match 6-3, 3-6, 7-6(3), ending an impressive run by the Paris, France, freshman in his first event as a Bulldog.
The sophomore Angus was the second Bulldog competing in Friday’s singles main draw, as he battled South Carolina’s No. 14-ranked and second-seeded Tsvetan Mihov. After dropping his first set 6-2, Angus fired back in the second, but could not capitalize, falling 6-2, 7-5.
MSU also had two players in consolation action Friday, with senior Malte Stropp and freshman Robin Haden beginning their play in the second round after receiving first-round byes. Stropp, ranked 40th in the nation, battled Auburn’s Dante Saleh, but fell 6-3, 6-2. On the other side of the bracket, Haden competed against LSU’s Andrew Korinek, dropping the match 7-5, 6-2.
“We’ve seen some good things from everyone so far and have picked up some quality wins,” coach Per Nilsson said. “Florian (Lakat) especially had a good run in singles and Malte (Stropp) and Jordan (Angus) are playing really well in doubles.”
Play continues Saturday at the 2013 SEC Fall Classic, with doubles quarterfinals beginning at 9 a.m. CT.
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 20, 2013 – Nashville, Tenn.
Singles – Main Draw
Third Round – No. 14 Tsvetan Mihov (S. Carolina)  def. No. 113 Jordan Angus (MSU) 6-2, 7-5; Florian Lakat (MSU) def. No. 32 Nathan Pasha (Georgia)  6-4, 6-4
Round of 16 – No. 56 Shane Vinsant (Texas A&M) [9-16] def. Lakat (MSU) 6-3, 3-6, 7-6(3)
Doubles – Main Draw
Round of 16 – No. 6 Angus/Stropp (MSU)  def. Anton Kovrigin/Mason Vierra (Vanderbilt) 8-1
Singles – Consolation Draw
Second Round – Andrew Korinek (LSU) def. Robin Haden (MSU) 7-5, 6-2; Dante Saleh (Auburn) def. No. 40 Malte Stropp (MSU) 6-3, 6-2
Numbers preceding names are current national rankings; tournament seedings in brackets