STARKVILLE, Miss. – After opening their weekend with a win on Friday, the 22nd-ranked Mississippi State men’s tennis team (14-7, 4-3 Southeastern Conference) will close out its weekend home stand with a Sunday doubleheader at the A.J. Pitts Tennis Centre.
The Bulldogs will kick off Sunday against the No. 71 Arkansas Razorbacks (8-7, 1-5 SEC) at 1 p.m. CT, and then conclude the day against Nicholls State (10-7) at 5 p.m. CT. The Bulldogs will look to improve on their 9-0 home record for the 2014 campaign, the best since the 1998 squad was 11-0.
State enters Sunday after holding off a challenge from LSU on Friday, 4-2. Despite dropping the doubles point, the Bulldogs earned victories from No. 69 Florian Lakat, Tassilo Schmid, Rishab Agarwal and Jordan Angus to seal their fifth-straight win against the Tigers.
Lakat and Angus will help lead the Bulldog singles attack on Sunday. Both have 17 wins for the 2013-14 season, which leads the Maroon and White. Also spearheading the MSU charge are seniors Malte Stropp, ranked 91st nationally, and Zach White, who have combined for 23 wins this year. Agarwal, Schmid and Robin Haden round out the lineup for MSU.
In doubles, State is led by the 40th-ranked duo of Angus and Stropp, who have put together eight wins in the spring. Behind them are the tandems of Agarwal and White, who have a team-leading nine dual match wins, and Lakat and Schmid.
The Razorbacks come in after dropping a 4-2 decision at Ole Miss on Friday. Two ranked doubles squads lead UA into Sunday, with the duo of Hall Fess Pete Thomason coming in ranked 59th, while the tandem of Manfred Jeske and Mike Nott hold a ranking of 78th in the nation. UA is led by former Mississippi State head coach Andy Jackson, who won 220 matches in the Maroon and White, which still stands as the most in MSU men’s tennis history.
For Nicholls State, the Colonels are led by Nico Mertens, who has put together a 10-2 record while seeing time at the top three spots in the lineup. The Colonels enter Sunday after winning against New Orleans last Wednesday, 7-0, and Tyler Junior College on Friday, 5-2.
After Sunday’s contest, MSU will hit the road to face in-state rival Ole Miss in a match scheduled for Sunday, March 30, at 1 p.m. CT in Oxford, Miss.