With the win, the Bulldogs move to 9-5 on the season and 1-3 in SEC play. Tennessee drops to 4-7 overall and 0-3 in the SEC. This is Mississippi State's first win over Tennessee since 1987 and only the fourth win against the Vols all time.
A rookie from Noisy le Roi, France, Guibe downed Tennessee’s Victoria Olivarez at the No. 4 position, 7-6(4), 6-4, capping an exciting victory for the Bulldogs. Serving up a set and 5-4 in the second, Guibe fended off several break points before finally claiming victory on State’s third team match point with her teammates and parents looking on.
Guibe’s win came after senior Alexandra Perper rallied from a 3-1, second-set deficit to win 7-6(3), 6-4 at the No. 2 position over UT’s Joanna Henderson, tying the match at 3-3. The Bulldogs and Vols got to that point after an intense war all afternoon.
The Bulldogs got off to a hot start in doubles action, as the MSU duo of Perper and Naomi Tran picked up their second win of the weekend on court 1, 8-3 over UT’s Eve Repic and Victoria Olivarez. The Bulldogs would clinch the doubles point when Petra Ferancova and Georgiana Patrasc took a hard-fought 8-6 decision at No. 3 over UT’s Henderson and Tiffany Tavares. MSU’s Rosie Dion and Guibe were also leading 6-4 in their match on court 2 when doubles play was suspended.
The Bulldogs continued their momentum into singles play, fighting back and forth with the Volunteers. Scoring would begin with the 93rd-ranked Patrasc picking up an impressive 6-2, 6-2 triumph over No. 55 Vol Eve Repic at the No. 1 position. State led 2-0.
From there, Tennessee would reel off three straight wins to take a 3-2 lead in the match, as MSU’s Dion, Tran and Ferancova all dropped their matches. Dion fell 6-3, 6-2 on court 3 to UT’s Laurence Guevremont, Tran lost a tough 7-5, 6-3 battle to Brittany Lindl at No. 5, and Fernacova fell by the same score to Tavares at No. 6.
That would set up the thrilling finish as Perper and Guibe closed out the win for State side-by-side on courts 2 and 4.
“It was an exciting college match,” said head coach Daryl Greenan. “We knew it was going to be a battle and we knew we had a shot. We played well in doubles and got the point, and then it came down to 3-3 at Timea’s court. She did an outstanding job finishing. She’s a freshman, but she doesn’t play like it. She’s a warrior and I love the way she competes. (This team) is improving each week and we know that they’re going to lay it out on the line on gameday.”
The Bulldogs will be back in action this Friday, March 14, as they No. 22 Kentucky (12-4 overall, 2-2 SEC) at 3 p.m. at the A.J. Pitts Tennis Centre. Live stats will be available on hailstate.com.
For more information on the Mississippi State women’s tennis team, fans can follow the Bulldogs on Twitter (@HailStateWT), Facebook (HailStateWT) and Instagram (HailStateWT).
Mississippi State 4, No. 42 Tennessee 3
March 9, 2014 – A.J. Pitts Tennis Centre – Starkville, Miss.
1. No. 93 Georgiana Patrasc (MSU) def. No. 55 Eve Repic (UT), 6-2, 6-2
2. Alexandra Perper (MSU) def. Joanna Henderson (UT), 7-6(3), 6-4
3. Laurence Guevremont (UT) def. Roseline Dion (MSU) 6-3, 6-2
4. Timea Guibe (MSU) def. Victoria Olivarez (UT), 7-6(4), 6-4
5. Brittany Lindl (UT) def. Naomi Tran (MSU) 7-5, 6-3
6. Tiffany Tavares (UT) def. Petra Ferancova (MSU), 7-5, 6-3
Order of finish: