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No. 22 MSU Menís Tennis Sweeps Sunday DH; Now 11-0 At Home

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Senior Zach White clinched the Bulldogs' 4-0 victory against Nicholls State Sunday night, finishing out a sweep of weekend play at the A.J. Pitts Tennis Centre.
Photo Courtesy of Bill Simmonds

STARKVILLE, Miss. – It’s been “Home, Sweet Home” for the 22nd-ranked Mississippi State Bulldogs (16-7, 5-3 Southeastern Conference) throughout the 2014 season, and that trend continued Sunday as they used a sweep of a doubleheader to improve to 11-0 at the A.J. Pitts Tennis Centre this season, the best start at home since 1998.

State used a 4-2 victory against 71st-ranked Arkansas (11-12, 1-6 SEC) and a 4-0 win against Nicholls State (10-8) to earn the weekend sweep and record one of the best starts at home in program history.

In the day’s first match, State started down 1-0 after the Razorbacks grabbed the doubles point with wins on courts one and two. UA’s No. 78 team of Manfred Jeske and Mike Nott defeated MSU’s 40th-ranked duo of Jordan Angus and Malte Stropp 8-2 to start. State leveled the playing field with an 8-5 victory from Rishab Agarwal and Zach White on court three against UA’s Jacob Herndon and Johan den Toom, putting all eyes on court two.

Despite a rally attempt, UA’s 59th-ranked squad of Hall Fess and Pete Thomason defeated MSU’s Florian Lakat and Tassilo Schmid 8-5 at the No. 2 position to seal the doubles point for the Razorbacks.

Singles play proved to be a battle for both sides, as momentum constantly shifted back-and-forth. Arkansas struck first, extending their lead to 2-0 as Jeske defeated MSU’s No. 91 Stropp 6-1, 6-4 on court two. That point would prove to be the last for the Razorbacks for the day, as MSU flipped the script on what was looking to be an upset in the making for the Hogs by taking three consecutive three-set wins to clinch.

The Bulldogs got their first point of the day thanks to a dominating straight-sets victory from No. 69 Lakat, who defeated UA’s Nott 7-6(4), 6-1 at the top spot. MSU evened the score at 2-2 when White fought back after dropping his first set to defeat the Razorbacks’ Fess 4-6, 6-4, 6-2 at the No. 3 position.

State grabbed its first lead of the match thanks to another three-set victory from Schmid at the sixth position, as he downed UA’s Thomason 6-3, 4-6, 6-2. The clincher came from the Bulldogs’ Angus at the No. 4 position, as he battled back from dropping a second-set tiebreaker to dominate the third en route to defeating UA’s Jovan Parlic 7-5, 6-7(6), 6-1 and give MSU the 4-2 win.

Play on court five was suspended at the clinch, with State’s Agarwal leading 6-7(8), 6-3, 4-3 against UA’s den Toom.

The Bulldogs then shifted focus to Nicholls State, as the Colonels entered looking for their first win in Starkville in program history. However, MSU would not be the victim of upset, as they roared out of the gates to take doubles with wins on courts one and three.

Angus and Robin Haden paired together to defeat NSU’s Evan Karatzas and Nico Mertens 8-5 on court three to land the first punch. State would take the doubles point with an 8-2 victory from Lakat and Schmid on court one against the Colonels’ Lukas Clemens and Kieran Cronin.

Play on court two was suspended, with the match between MSU’s Agarwal and White and NSU’s Partha Adavelly and Bernard Wezeman tied at 6-all.

With the same energy they used to take the doubles point, the Bulldogs showed no signs of slowing down in singles play, as they used all straight-sets wins to claim a 4-0 victory against the Colonels. Schmid was the first Bulldog off the court, as he easily handled NSU’s Sam Meessan 6-3, 6-3 at the No. 5 position to up the MSU lead to 2-0.

Following suit was Angus, who cruised to a 6-4, 5-0 victory against NSU’s Clemens on court three, putting MSU within one of victory. White clinched the match for the Bulldogs, downing NSU’s 107th-ranked Mertens 6-3, 6-2 on court two for the clincher. The win was the first ranked victory of the year for the MSU senior.

Play on courts one, four and six were suspended at the clinch. MSU’s No. 69 Lakat was up a set, 6-2, 2-5 against NSU’s Adavelly on one. On court four, the Bulldogs’ Agarwal led NSU’s Wezeman 6-1, 3-6, 1-0, while MSU’s Robin Haden led NSU’s Cronin 7-5, 5-1 on court six.

“I thought we did great today,” coach Per Nilsson said. “We found ourselves in a bit of hole after doubles play against Arkansas, but we had a good team meeting before singles and came out strong. As for the whole day, it shows the toughness of the team to come out for two matches and not throw in the towel and I’m happy about that.”

The Bulldogs return to action next Sunday, March 30, at 1 p.m. CT, in Oxford, Miss., as they face in-state rival No. 45 Ole Miss.

For more information on Mississippi State men’s tennis and updates, fans can follow the Bulldogs on Twitter (@HailStateMT), Facebook (HailStateMT) and Instagram (HailStateMT).


No. 22 Mississippi State 4, No. 71 Arkansas 2
March 23, 2014 – A.J. Pitts Tennis Centre – Starkville, Miss.


1. No. 78 Manfred Jeske/Mike Nott (UA) def. No. 40 Jordan Angus/Malte Stropp (MSU) 8-2

2. No. 59 Hall Fess/Pete Thomason (UA) def. Florian Lakat/Tassilo Schmid (MSU) 8-5

3. Rishab Agarwal/Zach White (MSU) def. Jacob Herndon/Johan den Toom (UA) 8-5


1. No. 69 Lakat (MSU) def. Nott (UA) 7-6(4), 6-1

2. Jeske (UA) def. No. 91 Stropp (MSU) 6-1, 6-4

3. White (MSU) def. Fess (UA) 4-6, 6-4, 6-2

4. Angus (MSU) def. Jovan Parlic (UA) 7-5, 6-7(6), 6-1

5. Agarwal (MSU) vs. den Toom (UA) 6-7(8), 6-3, 4-3 (susp.)

6. Schmid (MSU) def. Thomason (UA) 6-3, 4-6, 6-2

Order of finish… Doubles (1,3,2)… Singles (2,1,3,6,4)


No. 22 Mississippi State 4, Nicholls State 0
March 23, 2014 – A.J. Pitts Tennis Centre – Starkville, Miss.


1. Florian Lakat/Tassilo Schmid (MSU) def. Lukas Clemens/Kieran Cronin (NSU) 8-2

2. Rishab Agarwal/Zach White (MSU) vs. Partha Adavelly/Bernard Wezeman (NSU) 6-6(susp.)

3. Jordan Angus/Robin Haden (MSU) def. Evan Karatzas/Nico Mertens (NSU) 8-5


1. Lakat (MSU) vs. Adavelly (NSU) 6-2, 2-5(susp.)

2. White (MSU) def. No. 107 Mertens (NSU) 6-3, 6-2

3. Angus (MSU) def. Clemens (NSU) 6-4, 6-1

4. Agarwal (MSU) vs. Wezeman (NSU) 6-1, 3-6, 1-0(susp.)

5. Schmid (MSU) def. Sam Meessan (NSU) 6-3, 6-3

6. Robin Haden (MSU) vs. Cronin (NSU) 7-5, 5-1(susp.)

Order of finish… Doubles (3,1)… Singles (5,3,2)


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