KNOXVILLE, Tenn. – In the second match of a four-match Southeastern Conference road swing, the 17th-ranked Mississippi State Bulldogs (12-6, 2-2) fell in a heartbreaker to 13th-ranked Tennessee (12-5, 1-2) 4-3 Sunday afternoon on the road.
The Volunteers put the first point on the board in doubles play with wins on courts one and three. MSU’s Jordan Angus and Malte Stropp dropped their match on court one to UT’s second-ranked duo of Mikelis Libietis and Hunter Reese 8-5 to start. The Vols clinched the point with an 8-5 win on court three from Andrew Dromsky and Markus Kerner against State’s Rishab Agarwal and Zach White 8-5.
The Bulldogs roared back in singles play, picking up two straight-set victories to give the Bulldogs a 2-1 lead. The tying point came on court six, where the Bulldogs’ Schmid earned a dominating 6-3, 6-0 win against the Vols’ Bartosz Sawicki. State then earned the lead when White downed UT’s Fickey in convincing fashion, 6-4, 6-1 on court three.
UT responded to the strong MSU start with straight-set wins at the top two spots. The Vols’ No. 32 Libietis defeated MSU’s 71st-ranked Stropp 7-5, 6-2 on court one, followed by a 7-6(1), 6-0 victory from UT’s No. 21 Reese against State’s No. 63 Lakat at the two spot to put UT up 3-2.
State leveled the score with a 6-1, 7-6(4) triumph on court five from the freshman Agarwal against UT’s Dromsky, putting the match on court four, where MSU’s Angus forced a deciding third set after taking the second 6-3. However, an early break for UT’s Chaplin decided the match, as Angus dropped his match 6-4, 3-6, 6-3 to give Tennessee the overall victory.
The Bulldogs continue their SEC road trip as they head to Lexington, Ky., and Nashville, Tenn., next weekend. State will face No. 22 Kentucky on Friday, March 14, at 1 p.m. CT, followed by a Sunday, March 16, showdown at No. 18 Vanderbilt at 12 p.m. CT.
For more information on Mississippi State men’s tennis and updates throughout the 2014 Blue Gary National Tennis Classic, fans can follow the Bulldogs on Twitter (@HailStateMT), Facebook (HailStateMT) and Instagram (HailStateMT).
No. 13 Tennessee 4, No. 17 Mississippi State 3
March 9, 2014 – Barksdale Stadium– Knoxville, Tenn.
1. No. 32 Libietis (UT) def. No. 71 Stropp (MSU) 7-5, 6-2
2. No. 21 Reese (UT) def. No. 63 Lakat (MSU) 7-6(1), 6-0
3. White (MSU) def. Fickey (UT) 6-4, 6-1
4. Chaplin (UT) def. Angus (MSU) 6-4, 3-6, 6-3
5. Agarwal (MSU) def. Dromsky (UT) 6-1, 7-6(4)
6. Schmid (MSU) def. Bartosz Sawicki (UT) 6-3, 6-0
Order of finish… Doubles (1,3)… Singles (6,3,1,2,5,4)