STARKVILLE, Miss. – After posting 28 wins for the 2012-13 season, including 15 dual match victories, Mississippi State freshman Romain Bogaerts has been named the Southeastern Conference Freshman of the Year, the SEC announced Thursday. Junior Bulldog Malte Stropp was awarded All-SEC Second Team honors for his play on the court this season.
Bogaerts, who was also named to the All-SEC First Team and All-SEC Freshman Team, is currently ranked 10th in the nation, the highest he has been ranked all season. Bogaerts is the second Bulldog to receive SEC Freshman of the Year in the past three seasons (Stropp did so in 2011) and the fourth to receive the All-SEC Freshman Team honor in school history.
On the doubles court, Bogaerts has paired up with junior Zach White and fellow freshman Pedro Dumont throughout the spring. He has tallied a total of nine doubles victories, with seven coming with Dumont and two with White.
Stropp picks up his second All-SEC honor of his career after being named All-SEC Freshman in 2011. The Dusseldorf, Germany, native has strung together 13 victories this dual match season, with four wins coming against ranked opponents. The junior’s biggest win came against Ole Miss’ No. 5 Jonas Lutjen, who he defeated in a tough three-set battle to help MSU capture its second-straight River Hills Cup.
Stropp has also teamed up with freshman Jordan Angus this season to form the 12th-ranked doubles team in the nation, picking up nine wins in the spring. The duo took down Auburn’s No. 1 team of Dan Cochrane and Andreas Mies earlier in dual match play, marking the first doubles victory against the nation’s No. 1 team for the Bulldogs since 2001.
Bogaerts, Stropp and the rest of the Maroon and White are awaiting word to see where they will land in the 2013 NCAA Championship, which begins May 10-12 with first and second round action. The Bulldogs expect to earn their 22nd NCAA bid all-time and are in position to be selected as one of the 16 hosts for first and second round play for the second year in a row. The selections will be announced April 30, at 4 p.m. CT on NCAA.com.
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