STARKVILLE, Miss. – Coming off a solid performance to open Southeastern Conference play at home, 17th-ranked Mississippi State’s Florian Lakat has been named SEC Freshman of the Week for the third time this season, the league announced Wednesday.
Lakat also earned the weekly rookie honors on Jan. 22 and Feb. 11 of this spring. The three honors put Lakat one away from tying now-senior Malte Stropp’s school record of four SEC FOW awards in a single season.
The Paris, France, native received the award after going 3-0 for the weekend (2-0 singles, 1-0 doubles), with all wins being clinchers. With the two singles clinchers, Lakat now has clinched four of MSU’s 12 victories for the 2014 spring season, which leads the Maroon and White.
Lakat battled back after dropping the first set of Saturday’s match to Alabama’s 75th-ranked Becker O’Shaughnessey to clinch MSU’s 4-3 win against the Crimson Tide, the fifth-straight win against the Bulldogs’ rivals from Tuscaloosa, Ala. In Sunday’s match against Auburn, Lakat earned a crucial first-set tiebreaker victory to propel himself to a straight-sets win against AU’s Dennis Lengsfeld, clinching State’s 4-1 against the Tigers.
The freshman also saw success in doubles action, pairing with junior Tassilo Schmid to down Alabama’s Dean Donohue and Nikko Madregallejo 8-3 to secure the doubles point for the Bulldogs in that affair.
MSU’s star freshman and the rest of the Bulldogs return to action this weekend as they hit the road for a four-match league road swing. State will kick off the trip in Athens, Ga., this Friday, March 7, at 1 p.m. CT against the No. 16 Georgia Bulldogs, followed by a trip to Knoxville, Tenn., on Sunday, March 9, at 12 p.m. CT against No. 13 Tennessee.