The Mississippi State Bulldogs will be looking to pick up where they left off in Montgomery Friday when they take on No. 37 VCU at 11 am Friday in the 2014 Blue Gray National Tennis Classic, a tournament won by the Bulldogs in their last appearance in the event in 2012.
Mississippi State, which fell to No. 11, in the latest rankings enters their matchup against the Rams (8-4) at 9-2 after losses to California and Notre Dame and a win against No. 4 Georgia, the first win over a top-five team since 2011, in the ITA National Team Indoor Championships in Houston last weekend.
The Bulldogs share the same half of the draw with No. 28 Auburn and No. 55 Texas Tech in the eight team event, and the winners and losers of the Auburn/Texas Tech matchup will square off against their respective counterparts from the Mississippi State/VCU tilt on Saturday.
The Bulldogs' Sunday opponent will come from the bottom half of the draw which features No. 21 Clemson, No. 36 Alabama, No. 41 Boise State, and No. 60 Princeton.
Freshman Florian Lakat will anchor the No. 1 singles position for Mississippi State, as he has done all season, compiling an 8-3 record while holding the No. 52 ranking in the nation. At the No. 2 spot, the Bulldogs have senior Malte Stropp, who currently stands at No. 49 in the rankings. No. 115 Jordan Angus and Zach White will play in the Nos. 3 and 4 positions.
At the bottom of the singles lineup, Mississippi State will choose from the following group: Rishab Agarwal, Tassilo Schmid, Robin Haden, and Egbert Weverink. Of the four, Agarwal and Schmid have seen the most action in 2014.
In doubles, Angus and Stropp have gotten off to a 9-5 record, and they will play in the No. 1 doubles position. In the No. 3 doubles position will be the undefeated duo of Agarwal and White, and Lakat and Schmid will play in the No. 2 doubles position.
The tournament could offer a preview of the first two SEC match ups for the Bulldogs as Mississippi State hosts Alabama a week from Friday and Auburn on March 2.