STARKVILLE, Miss. – Looking to follow up an impressive performance at the 2013 SEC Fall Classic, the Mississippi State men’s tennis squad will look to continue its success at the 2013 ITA All-American Championships in Tulsa, Okla., beginning Saturday. The event marks the first major of the college tennis season.
Tourney play will kick off Saturday with the pre-qualifying round, which features two MSU newcomers. True freshman Florian Lakat, who made an impressive run to the SEC Fall Classic Round of 16 in his collegiate debut, including an upset against Georgia’s 32nd-ranked Nathan Pasha, will lead State in pre-qualifying action. Lakat will face Memphis’ David O’Hare in the first round and will need four wins to advance to qualifying.
Joining Lakat in prequalifying is fellow freshman Robin Haden. Haden, who earned a first-round bye in the tournament’s opening stage, will face the winner of UT-San Antonio’s Yannick Junger and Morgan State’s Duk Young Park. Haden will need three victories to advance to qualifying play.
The qualifying round is set to follow pre-qualifying, beginning Monday, Sept. 30. Sophomore Jordan Angus, who earned his first career ranking of 113th in the ITA preseason rankings, will represent the Bulldogs in the qualifying bracket of the All-American, with Lakat and Haden having the chance to play their way into the bracket.
Main draw play will begin Thursday, Oct. 3, with State already having representatives in both singles and doubles play. No. 40 Malte Stropp will take the court for the Bulldogs in singles play. Angus and Stropp, the nation’s sixth-ranked doubles squad and finalists at last week’s SEC Fall Classic, will pair up for main draw play.
The University of Tulsa's Michael D. Case Tennis Center will be the host site for this year's tournament, the ninth-straight year the school has hosted the ITA All-Americans. Main draw singles quarterfinalists, doubles finalists and consolation champions will receive an automatic entry into the USTA/ITA National Indoor Intercollegiate Championships on Nov. 7-10, held at the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center in Flushing Meadows, N.Y.
For more information on Mississippi State men’s tennis and updates throughout the 2013 ITA All-American Championships, 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/.