STARKVILLE, Miss. – Behind solid play at the No. 1 singles position this past weekend, Mississippi State freshman Florian Lakat has tied a school record with his fourth Southeastern Conference Freshman of the Week honor, the league announced Wednesday.
Lakat’s fourth FOW award for the year ties the record held by current senior Malte Stropp, who earned the honor four times during his freshman campaign in 2011, when he was later named SEC Freshman of the Year. Lakat, who is ranked 67th in the latest ITA Singles Rankings, was also named the conference’s freshman of the week on Jan. 22, Feb. 11 and March 5 of this spring.
The Paris, France, native received the award after going 2-0 in singles play at the No. 1 position, while also teaming up with MSU junior Tassilo Schmid for a doubles win at the top spot against Nicholls State on Sunday. With the singles wins, Lakat has now won three of his last four matches.
Also of note is the freshman’s Friday win against LSU’s Chris Simpson, who was ranked 62nd nationally, which gave him six ranked victories for the 2013-14 season, a team-leading five of those coming in the spring. Lakat has also put together a 9-1 record at home this season, which stands one win behind sophomore Jordan Angus for the best home record on the team.
In doubles play, Lakat paired up with Schmid for the weekend, with the highlighting victory coming against Nicholls State’s top duo of Lukas Clemens and Kieran Cronin. The win moves the duo to 3-0 this season when playing at the No. 1 doubles position.
Lakat’s victories helped propel Mississippi State to a sweep of last weekend’s home stand, including SEC wins against LSU and Arkansas. The wins moved MSU to 11-0 at home for the 2014 season, matching the best home start since the 1998 squad went 11-0 in Starkville.
The 17th-ranked Bulldogs return to action Sunday, March 30, as they travel to Oxford, Miss., for a Magnolia State showdown against the No. 48 Ole Miss Rebels. The in-state rivalry is set to begin at 1 p.m. CT.