STARKVILLE, Miss. – With the 2014 SEC Championship on the horizon, the 18th-ranked Mississippi State Bulldogs (18-8, 7-4 Southeastern Conference) look to close the regular season on a high note on Sunday as they host the 10th-ranked Texas A&M Aggies (20-6, 9-2 SEC) for Senior Day at the A.J. Pitts Tennis Centre. Match time is set for Noon CT.
The Bulldogs look to even the series against the Aggies on Sunday, as TAMU leads 3-2. The match will mark the second ever in Starkville between the two squads, with MSU taking the first meeting 5-2 in 1998. This will be the first trip to Starkville for Aggie tennis since Texas A&M joined the SEC in 2012-13.
The Bulldogs will lean on the freshman-senior combo of 72nd-ranked Florian Lakat and 90th-ranked Stropp at the top of the singles order. Lakat is currently riding a three-match winning streak, including the match-clincher in MSU’s last contest against South Carolina. Stropp is looking to end his senior regular season on a high note. He holds 14 wins overall this year, eight in dual match play.
In the middle for the Maroon and White is the second Bulldog senior, White, and sophomore Jordan Angus. White is coming off an impressive straight-sets victory last weekend at South Carolina, where he improved his record at the No. 2 position to 3-0 for his career. Angus will look to continue his hot streak, as he holds a team-leading seven-match winning streak, while also leading MSU in wins for the year overall (22) and in dual match play (17).
At the bottom of the order has been a trio of Bulldogs. Rishab Agarwal has been solid throughout the year while playing mostly at the fifth spot, going 13-6 this spring. Tassilo Schmid has also seen significant time this spring, going 11-4 in dual match while also holding a 5-1 SEC record. Robin Haden has picked up four wins this spring in seven decisions.
In doubles play, State is led by the duo of Angus and Stropp, who enter Sunday ranked 28th nationally. Angus and Stropp have won their last three matches, while going 11-7 in spring play. At the second spot has been the tandem of Lakat and Schmid, who have earned nine wins this spring. Rounding out the doubles order is the team of Agarwal and White, who are 11-6 this spring.
The Aggies come to Pitts on the heels of a tough 4-3 loss at Ole Miss Friday, a setback that broke a nine-match win streak. TAMU will sport three ranked singles players and three ranked doubles squads in Sunday’s matchup. No. 14 Harrison Adams (23-10 for 2013-14, 12-7 for dual match), No. 21 Shane Vinsant (27-8, 15-3) and No. 51 Jeremy Efferding (23-9, 15-6) lead the way for the Aggies in singles. Doubles play for TAMU will be led by the duos of No. 6 Junior Ore and Jackson Withrow (18-8, 9-3), No. 64 Adams and Vinsant (22-12, 17-6) and No. 66 Efferding and Jordan Szabo (22-8, 16-4).
Following Sunday’s Senior Day, the Bulldogs will head to Nashville, Tenn., for the 2014 SEC Championship, which will be held April 16-20 at Vanderbilt’s Brownlee O. Currey Jr. Tennis Center. The draw for the tournament will be released Sunday following the completion of all regular season play around the league.