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The Student Newspaper of Mississippi State University

The Reflector

The Student Newspaper of Mississippi State University

The Reflector

Bulldogs fall to VCU during ITA Kickoff Weekend

Bulldogs+fall+to+VCU+during+ITA+Kickoff+Weekend
Landon Scheel

Mississippi State University men’s tennis started the ITA Kickoff Weekend in a battle against Virginia Commonwealth University Saturday in the Rula Tennis Pavilion.

While MSU was faced with the task of taking on and taking over VCU in order to advance in the tournament, Arizona State and Florida State had to battle it out on the court to finalize the teams for the ITA Weekend championship.

Saturday’s match between MSU and VCU began sharply at 10 a.m. and was a tough battle that lasted three hours. Unfortunately, the Bulldogs fell 4-3 to VCU. However, Mississippi State did not go down without a fight. Throughout the afternoon, there were three lead changes and three ties leaving everything to come down to the last set.

Starting off with doubles, Mississippi State sophomores Peter Jovanovic and Benito Sanchez Martinez went against VCU’s Oscar Pinto Sansano and German Samofalov for the first set. The Bulldogs ended up losing the doubles point when VCU tandem Matisse Bobichon and Mathis Bondaz snuck in the last point against freshman Marshall Landry and senior Nemanja Malesevic.

Although the Rams had a lead in doubles against the Bulldogs, senior Carles Hernandez and junior Dusan Milanovic held onto hope with their 6-1 win over VCU’s Hamaz El Amine and Romaine Gales.

The Bulldogs bounced back in the match in singles. Sanchez Martinez evened things out after beating Gales 6-3, 6-4 after making him work for it. The Bulldogs lost the tie when Bobichon, ranked 90th in singles, beat No. 13 Jovanovic 6-4, 6-4. Jovanovic is the highest ranked player in the Southeastern Conference and is also ranked 24th in half of the nation’s doubles alongside Sanchez Martinez.

Hernadez continued his streak and gained his ninth consecutive singles win against El Amine 6-2, 7-6. Briefly, Mississippi State gained the lead when freshman Radomir Tomic beat Samofalov 6-4, 7-6.

For a third time during this match, VCU and MSU were caught in a stalemate, leaving it up to the singles match against Malesevic and Bondaz to determine the final winner. Malesevic won the first set against Bondaz 6-1, but eventually the set ended in a victory for the VCU Rams.

Unfortunately with the loss against the Rams, the Bulldogs did not make it to the championship match that was set for 1 p.m. Sunday. Arizona State will move onto the ITA National Team Indoor Championships next month in New York City.

After Saturday’s match, the Bulldogs played a consolation match against No. 25 Florida State on Sunday at 10 a.m. The match ended in a 4-1 loss for the Bulldogs.

Mississippi State’s overall record dropped to 4-2 after the matchup, and the team will return to play Friday at 5 p.m. against Middle Tennessee in Murfreesboro, Tennessee.

About the Contributor
Parker Acosta, Staff Writer
Parker Acosta is a sophomore communication major. Parker is currently a staff writer for The Reflector.
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