With the loss, the Bulldogs dropped to 9-10 on the season and 1-8 in the SEC. Ole Miss improved to 11-5 overall and 5-4 in the SEC with the win.
State opened the contest with a strong start in doubles play, taking two matches in tiebreakers to gain the first point of the day. The MSU tandem of Petra Ferancova and Georgiana Patrasc defeated the Rebels’ 76th-ranked duo of Julia Jones and Zalina Khairudinova, 8-7 (2) on court 3 to start things. Just seconds later, the Bulldogs would clinch the doubles point, as the 40th-ranked duo of Alexandra Perper and Naomi Tran defeated Rebels Erin Stephens and Iris Verboven, 8-7 (1) at No. 1. Doubles action was suspended with MSU’s Roseline Dion and Timea Guibe trailing 7-6 in a close match on court 2.
Despite claiming the doubles point, the Bulldogs struggled early in singles play as the Rebels took the first two matches completed. MSu’s Tran fell on court 5 to Stephens, 6-1, 6-2, while Guibe was defeated 6-2, 6-0 on No. 3 by Jones and UM led 2-1.
State’s Patrasc, now 6-1 in SEC play this spring, then defeated UM’s Khairudinova 6-3, 6-1 on court 1 to tie the score at 2-2 but Ole Miss would respond with a victory on court 4, as the Rebels’ El Kamash defeated Dion 6-1, 6-4.
Needing the final two matches of the day, Mississippi State would not go quietly, as Ferancova and Perper found themselves in fierce battles on courts 2 and 6. After falling behind early 4-1 in the second set, Ferancova battled back against Verboven, coming as close as 4-3 at one point, before falling 7-6 (4), 6-3 in the match clincher for the Rebels. Singles play was then suspended with Perper trailing 6-3, 3-6, 4-3 at No. 2 to Caroline Rohde-Moe.
“I saw some great fight in our team today,” said head coach Daryl Greenan. “We lost a close battle today against a good team. I’m proud of the way that our girls are putting it all out there on the court, and I’m disappointed to come out with the loss, but we definitely had some highlights. Winning the doubles point was huge and gave us a chance, and Georgiana at No. 1 is continuing to play well, moving to 6-1 in the SEC now. We came up short, but we are fighting hard and we are getting better.”
Mississippi State will conclude its 2014 home season this weekend, as the Bulldogs host No. 4 Florida on Friday, April 4, at 5 p.m. and then hold Senior Day against No. 56 South Carolina on Sunday, April 6, at 12 p.m.
For more information on the Mississippi State women’s tennis team, fans can follow the Bulldogs on Twitter (@HailStateWT), Facebook (HailStateWT) and Instagram (HailStateWT).
No. 26 Ole Miss 4, No. 75 Mississippi State 2
March 30, 2014 – A.J. Pitts Tennis Centre – Starkville, Miss.
1. No. 66 Georgiana Patrasc (MSU) def. Zalina Khairudinova (UM), 6-3, 6-1
2. Alexandra Perper (MSU) vs. Caroline Rohde-Moe (UM), 6-3, 3-6, 3-4, susp.
3. Julia Jones (UM) def. Timea Guibe (MSU), 6-2, 6-0
4. Mai El Kamash (UM) def. Roseline Dion (MSU), 6-1, 6-4
5. Erin Stephens (UM) def. Naomi Tran (MSU), 6-1, 6-2
6. Iris Verboven (UM) def. Petra Ferancova (MSU), 7-6 (4), 6-3
Order of finish