STARKVILLE – For the second straight week, No. 18 Mississippi State is set to host a top 20 matchup at home.
Last Thursday, the Bulldogs defeated then 19th-ranked Florida 5-2 and will look to earn another ranked victory against No. 15 Auburn on Thursday at 3 p.m. The match is set to be played at the A.J. Pitts Tennis Centre but could be moved indoors to the Rula Tennis Pavilion in the event of inclement weather.
Matt Roberts‘ MSU squad is off to a scorching 12-2 start to the season and is 1-1 in Southeastern Conference play after stumbling at now 35th-ranked Ole Miss 4-3 this past Saturday.
The Bulldogs own a 32-21 advantage in the overall series against Auburn and are 15-9 at home against the Tigers. State has won eight straight in the series including a 4-3 victory on The Plains last spring.
No. 89 Carles Hernandez has been on a roll for the Bulldogs having won six consecutive singles matches and is 11-1 during dual match play. Hernandez is tied with 125th-ranked Nemanja Malesevic for the team lead with four victories over ranked opponents this year.
Hernandez, Malesevic and Ewen Lumsden have all clinched three matches apiece for Mississippi State.
Hernandez and Malesevic also makeup the nation’s No. 26 doubles tandem and have been victorious in six of their last seven matches. Hernandez and Malesevic have clinched five doubles points and knocked off four ranked opponents this season.
Auburn enters Thursday’s affair at 11-3 and is also 1-1 in SEC play. The Tigers saw their eight-match winning streak snapped at home against then No. 9 Georgia 6-1 this past Saturday.
Auburn’s lineup features 124th-ranked Tyler Stice in singles as well as the ranked doubles teams of No. 33 Raul Dobai and Finn Murgett and No. 65 Jan Galka and Alejandro Moreno.
The Tigers’ last win against MSU came on Feb. 22, 2014 as part of the Blue-Gray National Tennis Classic in Montgomery, Alabama.
For more information on the Bulldog men’s tennis program, visit HailState.com or search for “HailStateMT” on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook.
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