The Student Newspaper of Mississippi State University

The Reflector

The Student Newspaper of Mississippi State University

The Reflector

The Student Newspaper of Mississippi State University

The Reflector

MSU women’s tennis adds third win of the season over Samford

Ivy Rose Ball
Mississippi State’s Maria Rizzolo during a match at the A.J. Pitts Tennis Centre in Starkville, MS.

The Mississippi State University women’s tennis team secured its third victory of the season over Samford Saturday afternoon with a 5-2 win at the Rula Tennis Pavilion.

The Bulldogs were able to start up their win streak last Saturday as they secured two wins during their season opener, with the first one against Middle Tennessee (4-2) and then later in the day over Jacksonville State (4-1). Mississippi State’s dominance over Samford only amplified the Bulldogs’ confidence in their young season.

Head coach Chris Hooshyar talked about what he saw from his team’s performances against Middle Tennessee and Jacksonville State.

“In the second match in doubles, we weren’t sharp,” Hooshyar said. “The singles were the best part of the day. It was awesome. The thing that I have enjoyed the most was being a team together and having a little more confidence in ourselves. [Today] we exposed our weaknesses but have seen what we do well. It’s a perfect day when you can learn a lesson and still get the win.”

The Bulldogs stepped on the court with high hopes and a positive mindset after their successful start to the season, and their performance against Samford did not disappoint.

Sophomore Dharani Niroshan and junior Alessia Tagliente started off with a 6-2 doubles win over Samford’s Alexis Lopez and Samantha Maras. Niroshan has a doubles record of four wins and three losses this season, while Tagliente has three wins and one loss.

After that match, graduate student Alexandra Mikhailuk and junior Maria Rizzolo secured the doubles point for Mississippi State with a win against Samford’s Ally Hayduk and Emily Surcy (6-2). Mikhailuk has a doubles record of seven wins and six losses this season, and Rizzolo has one win and five losses.

For singles, Alexandra Mikhailuk continued her dominating performance from doubles, defeating Ally Hayduk in straight sets 6-0, 6-0. Mikhailuk has a singles record of seven wins and six losses this season. The next singles match resulted in a victory for the Bulldogs with Alessia Tagliente defeating Samantha Maras 6-4, 6-2. Tagliente has one win and one loss recorded for the season.

The Bulldogs were able to clinch the victory over Samford with the help of freshman Athina Pitta. Pitta defeated Samford’s Noelle Mauro 6-1, 6-3. This season, her singles record is three wins and four losses.

Hooshyar spoke about Pitta’s performance and the importance of focusing on each point.

“It was really good; Athina did well. She was eager to get that first win under her belt and it’s teaching her to just play each point as it comes. I had an old coach tell me one time the match is the way, the points are the battle, focus on winning as many battles as you can and that’s what we talked about with Athina today,” Hooshyar said. “That’s where she did a great job.”

Hooshyar also addressed the team’s performance and what is to come.

“I’m proud of the girls today,” Hooshyar said. “We talked about coming out with intensity, and staying intent throughout the match, and continuing to build habits. It’s about building, and there are things we can take away today that are good, and there are things that we can take away and need to work on.”

Up next, Mississippi State will play again on Feb. 3 for a doubleheader against UAB at 12 p.m. and Jackson State at 4 p.m. with hopes of furthering their win streak.

About the Contributor
Chase Brumfield
Chase Brumfield, Staff Writer
Chase Brumfield is a junior communication major. Chase is currently a staff writer for The Reflector.
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