Miss. – Riding a three-match winning streak, the No. 11 Mississippi State men’s tennis squad (16-7, 6-5 SEC) will travel to College Station, Texas, Friday as the Bulldogs close out the regular season against the No. 14 Texas A&M Aggies (14-11, 5-5 SEC). The match is scheduled to begin at 6 p.m. CT at the George P. Mitchell Tennis Center.
The two teams met earlier in the season, as they faced off at the 2013 ITA National Team Indoor Championship in Seattle, Wash., where the Bulldogs dominated for a 4-0 victory. Friday’s match marks the fifth time the teams will have met, with the series tied at 2-2, but the first time the two teams will meet in a match counting in the SEC standings.
Freshman Romain Bogaerts and junior Malte Stropp, who have held down the top spots in MSU’s lineup this season, lead State into battle Friday. Bogaerts has collected 15 victories in dual match play, with six of those coming against ranked opponents. Stropp has strung together 13 wins this spring, which is second most for State.
The senior-freshman combo of James Chaudry and Jordan Angus make up the middle of the MSU lineup. Chaudry, whose straight-sets victory Wednesday clinched a 4-1 victory for State against LSU, has put together nine victories this spring. Angus has garnered 15 wins this season, with nine coming at the No. 4 spot.
Junior Zach White has become a force as of late at the No. 5 spot for the Bulldogs. The Ontario, Canada, native has won his last two matches, including a spectacular comeback Sunday to propel MSU to a 4-3 victory against No. 17 Florida. Freshman Pedro Dumont has won his last five matches and has garnered 10 victories at the No. 6 position.
In doubles, State is led by the No. 12 duo of Angus and Stropp, who have nine victories for the season, six against ranked foes. Following suit are a pair of newly formed doubles teams for State. Bogaerts and White have teamed up for a 2-0 record, while Dumont and senior Ethan Wilkinson helped MSU clinch a crucial doubles point against LSU Wednesday.
For the Aggies, three ranked singles players and a pair of ranked doubles squad help form the A&M lineup. No. 40 Jeremy Efferding, No. 78 Shane Vinsant and No. 119 Harrison Adams lead the way in singles for the Aggies, while the No. 9 team of Junior Ore and Jackson Withrow, along with the No. 26 duo of Adams and Vinsant lead the Aggies in doubles action.
After Friday’s regular-season finale, the Bulldogs will prepare for the 2013 SEC Championship, to be held in Oxford, Miss. The tournament will be from April 17-21 at Ole Miss' Palmer/Salloum Tennis Center.
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