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Both Mississippi State Tennis Teams Bounced in Second Round of NCAA Tournament

The Men's team defeated Denver and lost to North Carolina, and the Women's team defeated Houston and lost to Cal Berkeley.

Mate Cutura picked up the lone win against North Carolina in the second round of the NCAA Tournament
Mate Cutura picked up the lone win against North Carolina in the second round of the NCAA Tournament
Mississippi State Univeristy |

The season ended for both MSU Tennis teams yesterday.  The Men's team advanced to the second round by beating 50th ranked Denver 4-3.  All three doubles matches went to a tiebreaker.  MSU's 6th ranked doubles team of Julian Cash and Florian Lakat defeated Denver's 50th ranked team 12-10 in a tiebreaker.  MSU also won 12-10 in a tiebreaker on the second court.  The third doubles match was tied 7-7, with the score being 3-2 in a tiebreaker when it was suspended.  MSU got the first two singles wins to take a 3-0 lead, but Denver tied the match up at 3-3.  The match came down to court four, and Rishab Agarwal came back down a set to seal a first round win.

The second round match wasn't as tightly contested.  MSU lost to 13th ranked North Carolina.  Mate Cutera had the only win for MSU on court three, defeating the 73rd ranked player in the nation.  UNC was leading both of the singles matches that were suspended.  UNC's Esben Hess-Olesen, who was their best player during his first two years, but, due to back problems, has played sparingly this year, played on court six against MSU.  When UNC has him in the lineup, they are a little better than their number 13 ranking indicates.

The Women's team beat 30th ranked Houston in the first round.  They won two doubles matches easily, but were trailing 5-2 in the doubles match that was suspended.  23rd nationally ranked MSU player Jasmine Lee was upset in singles.  The 105th nationally ranked player went against the 107th ranked player on court two, and it wasn't nearly as close as their rankings indicated it would be.  MSU lost that match 6-2, 6-1.  However, MSU won on courts 3, 5, and 6.  The match that was suspended on court 4 was suspended after the first game in the third set.

MSU wasn't able to come close to upsetting Cal Berkeley, the third ranked team in the nation.  Jasmine Lee did get to a tiebreaker against the 4th ranked player in the nation, but was losing 4-0 in the second before her match was suspended.  Cal won the matches on the second,third, and fourth courts easily.  Both matches on the fifth and sixth court were suspended, and were close matches.

The results this weekend were about what I expected.  The Men's match against Denver was closer than I thought it would be, and I thought MSU would come closer to upsetting North Carolina, but I expected UNC to win the regional.  The Women's match against Houston looked like a toss up, so beating them made it a successful tournament for MSU.  Beating Cal Berkeley would have been the biggest upset in MSU sports this entire year.

The Men's team finished the year with a record of 20-8, and the Women's team finished with a record of 16-12.  Considering this was Matt Robert's first season as the Men's head coach, he had a good season.  Women's coach Daryl Greenan reached his first NCAA tournament with MSU this season.