STARKVILLE – For the third time since 2018, No. 16 Mississippi State is set to host the first and second rounds of the NCAA Championships on its home courts.
The top-seeded Bulldogs are set to take on No. 4 seed Alabama State in the second match of the Starkville Regional on Friday at approximately 2 p.m. No. 2 seed Middle Tennessee State (21-7) will open the tournament against No. 3 seed Tulane (15-12) on Friday at 11 a.m.
“The NCAA Championship is obviously the most important tournament of the year,” said MSU head coach Matt Roberts. “It features the best teams in the country and ultimately determines the national champion. We are extremely proud to be hosting this event. It will give our awesome fans a chance to see two days of outstanding college tennis on our campus.”
Mississippi State is making its 12th consecutive trip to the NCAA Championships and 31st overall. Roberts has led the Bulldogs to the NCAAs every year of his head coaching tenure, including four trips to the Round of 16 and one to the quarterfinals.
Mississippi State is 19-7 on the year and has posted a 15-1 record at home this year. Two of the Bulldogs’ home victories came against teams in the Starkville Regional field. MSU knocked off the Blue Raiders 5-2 as part of a doubleheader on Jan. 22 and also defeated Tulane 4-3 on Feb. 3.
Both of those matches were contested inside the Rula Tennis Pavilion.
The Bulldogs feature four ranked players in their singles lineup led by 78th-ranked Nemanja Malesevic and is joined by fellow second team All-SEC selections Ewen Lumsden (95) and Carles Hernandez (120) and Freshman All-SEC pick Petar Jovanovic (123). Malesevic also makes up one-half of Mississippi State’s two ranked doubles duos with Hernandez at No. 68 and Michal Novansky at No. 81.
Alabama State enters Friday’s affair at 11-11 and riding a seven-match winning streak. The Hornets won the SWAC Championship and have not lost since March 18.
Mississippi State is 4-0 all-time against Alabama with all four matches taking place in Starkville and outscoring the Hornets 19-0. The Bulldogs last defeated ASU 4-0 in the opening round of the 2019 Starkville Regional.
Tickets are now available for the first and second round at the A.J. Pitts Tennis Centre. All-session passes are available for $8 for adults and $5 for…
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