STARKVILLE, Miss. – For the third-consecutive season, the Mississippi State men’s tennis squad will begin its dual match campaign ranked in the top 15 of the Intercollegiate Tennis Association National Rankings. The Bulldogs were ranked 14th in the new ITA rankings, released Thursday.
Individually, the Bulldogs have two representatives in the singles rankings, with one ranked duo in the doubles poll.
Senior Malte Stropp will begin the spring ranked 39th in singles play. Stropp put together an impressive fall campaign, highlighted by capturing the 2013 USTA/ITA Southern Region singles championship. True freshman Florian Lakat, hailing from Paris, France, earned six wins in fall play and will begin the spring season ranked 63rd.
In doubles, the duo of Stropp and sophomore Jordan Angus earned the No. 52 ranking in Thursday’s poll. The Bulldog tandem won six matches in the fall, with three coming against ranked opponents and also made a run to the finals of the USTA/ITA Southern Regional Championships.
State will kick off the 2014 campaign on January 18, as they host Jackson State (11 a.m. CT) and Alabama State (4 p.m. CT) in a doubleheader at the A.J. Pitts Tennis Centre on campus.
Last season under head coach Per Nilsson, who enters his seventh season in 2014, State made its first appearance in the NCAA Round of 16 since 2001 after two straight SEC West crowns under Nilsson’s guidance in 2011 and 2012.