HOUSTON, Texas - Houston was wrapped in Maroon and White this weekend, as the Mississippi State Bulldogs (2-0) defeated the 55th-ranked Rice Owls (0-2) to sweep weekend play at the Jake Hess Tennis Stadium.
Just as they did Sunday in a 5-2 victory against No. 29 Texas Tech, the Bulldogs jumped out to an early lead by taking the doubles point. However, freshmen dominated the doubles play Monday.
State's 28th-ranked duo of freshman Jordan Angus and junior Malte Stropp got off to a fast start and cruised to victory against Rice's Jonathan Chang and Peter Frank, winning 8-2.
At the three spot, the MSU freshmen tandem of Romain Bogaerts and Pedro Dumont fought close against Rice's Philipp Seifert and Leif Berger for a majority of the match, eventually pulling away for the doubles point-clinching win 8-5.
In the remaining doubles match, Bulldogs Zach White and Ethan Wilkinson fought tooth-and-nail against the Owls' Tommy Bennett and Adam Gustafsson, but dropped their match 8-6.
In singles play, the lineup saw a slight change from Sunday, as Angus moved up to the fifth spot and White played at No. 6.
White wasted no time with his match, jumping out early and defeating Berger in straight sets, 6-0, 6-3.
In a similar situation to Sunday's match, the Bulldogs had two matches finish almost simultaneously to clinch the win against the Owls.
MSU's Angus had to battle early in the first set, but found a groove for the remainder of the match and dispatched Seifert in straight sets, 7-5, 6-3.
Shortly after Angus' win, State's 81st-ranked junior Stropp also found victory, defeating Frank 7-5, 6-1 and clinching the 11th-ranked Bulldogs' victory against the No. 55 Owls.
Play continued following the match-clinching win by Stropp, with senior James Chaudry finding victory as well. Chaudry, who won the first set with ease, was forced into a second set tiebreaker, but battled out a straight-set victory 6-3, 7-6(6).
State's top-ranked player, No. 25 Bogaerts, followed Chaudry's win with one of his own, but needed three sets to fight off Chang. Following an easy win in the first, Bogaerts dropped his second set to Chang 6-1, but fired back with a vengeance in the third, defeating Rice's top seed 6-2, 1-6, 6-1.
In the final singles match of the day, freshman Stefan Vinti put together the toughest battle of the match, but fell in three sets to Rice's Bennett 1-6, 6-4, 7-5.
The Bulldogs will open their 2013 home slate Jan. 26-27, hosting the ITA Kickoff Weekend. State will welcome Auburn, LSU and Indiana - all ranked in the top 25 presently - to the A.J. Pitts Tennis Centre, with State's first match against No. 24 LSU set to start at 1 p.m. CT on Saturday, the 26th.
For more information on Mississippi State men's tennis, follow the Bulldogs on Twitter (www.twitter.com/mstatemt) and on Facebook (www.facebook.com/mstatemt).
No. 11 Mississippi State 6, No. 55 Rice 1
January 21, 2013 - Jake Hess Tennis Stadium - Houston, Texas
1) No. 28 Jordan Angus/Malte Stropp (MSU) def. Jonathan Chang/Peter Frank (Rice) 8-2
2) Tommy Bennett/Adam Gustafsson (Rice) def. Zach White/Ethan Wilkinson (MSU) 8-6
3) Romain Bogaerts/Pedro Dumont (MSU) def. Philipp Seifert/Leif Berger (Rice) 8-5
1) No. 25 Bogaerts (MSU) def. Chang (Rice) 6-2, 1-6, 6-1
2) No. 81 Stropp (MSU) def. Frank (Rice) 7-5, 6-0
3) James Chaudry (MSU) def. Gustafsson (Rice) 6-3, 7-6(6)
4) Bennett (Rice) def. Stefan Vinti (MSU) 1-6, 6-4, 7-5
5) Angus (MSU) def. Seifert (Rice) 7-5, 6-2
6) White (MSU) def. Berger (Rice) 6-0, 6-3
Order of finish... Doubles (1,3,2)... Singles (6,5,2,3,1,4