OXFORD, Miss. – The 49th-ranked Mississippi State men’s tennis team dropped its final regular season match of the season to No. 18 Ole Miss on the road, 4-1. MSU fell to 9-11 on the season and 2-8 in Southeastern Conference action, Ole Miss improved to 16-5 and 7-4 in league play.
“We did not come out playing very well,” said head coach Per Nilsson. “You cannot play the way we did and expect to beat a quality team like Ole Miss.”
For the first time in four matches, MSU dropped the doubles point. The Bulldogs took an early lead in the attempt to claim the doubles point with an 8-2 victory at the No. 3 position. State’s tandem of Louis Cant and Chris Doerr claimed their fifth-straight match by defeating Ole Miss’ Harry Fowler and Adrian Skogeng. Ole Miss evened the score in doubles at the No. 2 slot. Bulldog duo Daniel Sanchez and Tanner Stump dropped an 8-6 decision to the Rebels 83rd-ranked duo Jonas Lutjen and Tucker Vorster. The doubles point was clinched in the Rebels favor at the No. 1 spot, where MState’s 30th-ranked duo George Coupland and Artem Ilyushin had a four-match win streak snapped with an 8-6 setback to Ole Miss’ No. 26 Chris and Marcel Thiemann.
State evened the score at one all with a straight-set victory at the No. 6 slot, by Sanchez who defeated the Rebels’ Fowler, 6-4, 6-3. Sanchez ended the regular season with three-straight victories.
Ole Miss regained the lead with a come-from-behind victory at the No. 2 spot, where State’s No. 87 Coupland had his three-match win streak snapped by 81st-ranked Vorster of Ole Miss. Coupland had a set lead early, but eventually dropped two-straight sets, picking up the loss.
The Rebels extended the lead on court three; State’s Ilyushin dropped a close two-set battle to Lutjen of the Rebels, 6-4, 7-6(6). The Rebels clinched the match at the No. 5 position, where MSU sophomore Max Gregor dropped a tight two-set bout of his own to Ole Miss’ Skogeng, 7-6(4), 6-2.
On court one, MSU’s 63rd-ranked Cant held a 4-3 third-set lead when match play was suspended against No. 54 Marcel Thiemann of Ole Miss. Bulldog junior Antonio Lastre trailed 2-1 in the third set against Chris Thiemann when play was suspended.
“We have to shake this one off,” said Nilsson. “We have a quick turnaround and we need to be ready for the SEC Tournament.”
MSU will begin postseason play next weekend at the SEC Tournament, which will be played in Lexington, Ky.
#18 OLE MISS 4, #49 MISSISSIPPI STATE 1
Oxford, Miss. – 4/17/10
No. 1 – #26 Chris Thiemann/Marcel Thiemann (Ole Miss) def. #30 George Coupland/Artem Ilyushin (MSU) 8-6; No. 2 – #83 Jonas Lutjen/Tucker Vorster (Ole Miss) def. Daniel Sanchez/Tanner Stump (MSU) 8-6; No. 3 – Louis Cant/Chris Doerr (MSU) def. Harry Fowler/Adrian Skogeng (Ole Miss) 8-2; (Order of Finish: 3,2,1).
No. 1 – #63 Cant (MSU) vs. #54 M. Thiemann (Ole Miss) 4-6, 6-3, 4-3, susp.; No. 2 – #81 Vorster (Ole Miss) def. #87 Coupland (MSU) 4-6, 6-3, 6-1; No. 3 – Lutjen (Ole Miss) def. Ilyushin (MSU) 6-4, 7-6(6); No. 4 – Antonio Lastre (MSU) vs. C. Thiemann (Ole Miss) 6-4, 6-7(3), 1-2; No. 5 – Skogeng (Ole Miss) def. Max Gregor (MSU) 7-6(4), 6-2; No. 6 – Sanchez (MSU) def. Fowler (Ole Miss) 6-4, 6-3; (Order of Finish: 6,2,3,5).