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The Reflector

The Student Newspaper of Mississippi State University

The Reflector

The Student Newspaper of Mississippi State University

The Reflector

MSU men’s tennis falls in home match against Tennessee

Ivy Rose Ball | Mississippi State Athletics

Last Friday, the No. 14 Mississippi State University men’s tennis team took on No. 7 Tennessee in a riveting match that resulted in a 4-3 loss to the Volunteers.

This game was especially dear to a few players as it was their last collegiate match. Seniors Carles Hernandez and Johannus Munday had an emotional ceremony before the match to honor their time playing as Bulldogs. With their final home match on the line, both of these players played with intent and passion.

Mississippi State started off strong, taking doubles. The warm, sunny weather yielded a large turnout, and players interacted with the fans to excite the audience.

Heading into singles leading 1-0, the confidence flowing from the doubles victory propelled MSU to give the singles all they could give. Players cheered and celebrated every point as if it were game-winning. Initially, the Bulldogs pushed ahead to become 3-0 in matches, but Tennessee ramped up and came back, tying up the score at 3-3.

Frustration grew and tension rose as more matches neared the end. Volunteer Chris Li from Lima, Peru, threw his racket out of frustration during his match against MSU Carles Hernandez, who won the match 6-2, 6-2. With this being Hernandez’s last home match on senior day, Hernandez received a wave of excited cheering from fans which was a heart-warming moment for this Bulldog.

However, it was not until the final match that both sides of the court had to come together to make this single-player sport a team effort. The final match would determine who took home the victory.

The final match on Court 2 between Petar Jovanovic and Shunsuke Mitsui went for three sets. Mitsui claimed the first set 7-6, but Jovanovic took the next 7-5. The final set went shot-for-shot and had fans invested in who would be the victor.

Both teams gathered next to the court to cheer on their teammates, and Mississippi State players worked hard to get the audience in an uproar of cheering for the Bulldogs.

Jovanovic hit every shot with intent as if it was his last shot ever, but although he gave all he had to the game, he lost the final set 6-2. The Volunteers left the A.J. Pitts Tennis Centre victorious, ending the regular season home matches for the Bulldogs.

Mississippi State will be back again to take on Arkansas Sunday at 1 p.m. to close out the regular season. The Bulldogs are currently 8-3 SEC and 16-6 overall, so this final match is vital to clinch before tournament season begins.

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