MSU men's tennis falls to TCU in NCAA Round of 16

Kelly Donoho/MSU Athletics

The seventh-ranked Bulldogs dropped a close 4-2 decision to No. 9 TCU in the NCAA Round of 16 at the A.J. Pitts Tennis Centre.

Posted: May 11, 2019 10:40 PM

STARKVILLE, Miss. (MSU Athletics/WTVA) - Another storybook season ended for the Mississippi State men’s tennis team on Saturday, as the seventh-ranked Bulldogs dropped a close 4-2 decision to No. 9 TCU in the NCAA Round of 16 at the A.J. Pitts Tennis Centre. MSU was one of only eight national hosts for the new NCAA Super Regional format introduced this season in college tennis.

State (24-4) fought valiantly after dropping the doubles point and came out firing in singles to take a 2-1 lead after a lengthy weather delay, but the Horned Frogs (22-6) held strong and captured a pair of three-set decisions down the stretch to close it out and move on to the NCAA quarterfinals this Thursday in Orlando.

“TCU played a great doubles point and made it tough for us to close out some sets and matches,” head coach Matt Roberts said. “We needed to take those opportunities to put ourselves in a better situation down the stretch. We had a heck of a crowd today, and we want to thank our amazing fan base for coming out and supporting us this season. We hate that the season is over, but we’re excited to keep this program rolling with the culture we have that our four seniors have built.”

The Horned Frogs gained an early advantage in the doubles point when Luc Fomba and Sander Jong downed MSU’s Trevor Foshey and Gregor Ramskogler in a 6-2 decision on court 3. Minutes later, State’s 32nd-ranked Niclas Braun and Giovanni Oradini extended their winning streak to six matches with a 6-3 victory over TCU’s No. 22 Bertus Kruger and Reese Stalder on court 2.

TCU’s No. 15 Alastair Gray and Alex Rybakov then went on to provide the point-clincher with a 6-3 upset of State’s third-ranked team of Nuno Borges and Strahinja Rakic on court 1.

Midway through the first sets in singles, lightning and heavy rains pelted the Starkville area, causing a weather delay of nearly three hours.

When play resumed, an illustrious streak continued for State’s top-ranked Borges, as he finished off a 6-1, 6-4 victory over TCU’s No. 4 Rybakov on court 1 to knot things up at 1-all. That win moved the MSU senior into a tie for the longest singles win streak in program history at 26 matches, matching All-American Thomas Dupre’s streak set in 1996-97. Borges also become the first Bulldog ever to go undefeated during a dual match season, posting an unprecedented 25-0 mark - all at the No. 1 position - in 2019.

Moments later, Rakic gave MSU a 2-1 lead with a convincing 6-3, 6-2 triumph over the Horned Frogs’ Stalder on court 3. The win marked the fourth straight for the Serbian senior and the seventh in his last eight decisions.

The Horned Frogs would put the next point on the board when Fomba downed Foshey 7-5, 6-3 on court 5 to make it 2-all. That decision halted Foshey’s 10-match winning streak entering Saturday.

The remaining three courts would all be decided in tight three-set battles, with both teams needing two of them to secure the victory.

The first to finish would be Kruger who held off State’s Braun at the No. 4 spot. Kruger took a close first set 7-5 before Braun evened things with a 6-4 second set decision. In the third, Kruger jumped to an early lead and never looked back in a 7-5, 4-6, 6-2 decision to put the Horned Frogs up 3-2.

TCU’s 28th-ranked Alastair Gray then outlasted State’s 61st-ranked Oradini at the No. 2 spot, after the Bulldog forced a third set, to clinch the match. In the third, Gray quickly went up a break at 2-0, but Oradini broke right back and held to even it at 2-all. The Horned Frog then held before breaking Oradini’s serve again to go up 4-2. Gray went on to serve it out and clinch the victory for TCU and send his team to the NCAA quarterfinals.

In the remaining match on court, TCU’s Sander Jong was up 2-6, 7-6(7), 5-4 over MSU’s Florian Broska when play was suspended.

Saturday’s match marked an end to an incredible run by MSU’s “Fantastic Four” seniors of Borges, Braun, Foshey and Rakic, who amassed a program-best 85 team wins in their four years. The group led State to the NCAA Round of 16 three times in four seasons, including the quarterfinals in 2018. Additionally, the quartet helped the team reach the semifinals or better in the SEC Championship all four years, including the tourney final in 2017, 2018, and 2019 - the final two resulting in back-to-back SEC Tournament crowns.

Next Up…

Although the 2019 dual match season has concluded for the Maroon and White, four Bulldogs are slated to compete in the 2019 NCAA Singles and Doubles Championships, to be held May 20-25 at the USTA National Campus in Orlando, Florida, following the team championship. Borges is the No. 1 seed in the singles field of 64 and is looking to improve on his back-to-back semifinal finishes the past two seasons. He will also make up half of the third-seeded doubles pair with Rakic. The duo reached the quarterfinals a year ago as the No. 1 seed en route to earning All-American honors.

Joining Borges and Rakic in Orlando will be Niclas Braun and Giovanni Oradini, who earned an at-large bid to the doubles tourney. Oradini also will play in the singles championship after earning All-American laurels last season by reaching the Round of 16.

For more information on the Mississippi State men’s tennis program, follow “HailStateMT” on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.

No. 9 TCU [10] 4, No. 7 Mississippi State [7] 2

2019 NCAA Championship – Super Regional (Round of 16)

May 11, 2019

A.J. Pitts Tennis Centre – Starkville, Mississippi

Doubles

1. #15 Alastair Gray/Alex Rybakov (TCU) def. #3 Nuno Borges/Strahinja Rakic (MSU) 6-3

2. #32 Niclas Braun/Giovanni Oradini (MSU) def. #22 Bertus Kruger/Reese Stalder (TCU) 6-3

3. Luc Fomba/Sander Jong (TCU) def. Trevor Foshey/Gregor Ramskogler (MSU) 6-2

Order of finish: 3,2,1

Singles

1. #1 Nuno Borges (MSU) def. #4 Alex Rybakov (TCU ) 6-1, 6-4

2. #28 Alastair Gray (TCU) def. #61 Giovanni Oradini (MSU) 7-6(6), 3-6, 6-3

3. Strahinja Rakic (MSU) def. Reese Stalder (TCU) 6-3, 6-2

4. Bertus Kruger (TCU) def. Niclas Braun (MSU) 7-5, 4-6, 6-2

5. Luc Fomba (TCU) def. Trevor Foshey (MSU) 7-5, 6-3

6. Florian Broska (MSU) vs. Sander Jong (TCU) 6-2, 6-7(7), 4-5 (susp.)

Order of finish: 1,3,5,4,2

Numbers preceding names are current ITA national rankings

Mississippi Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 112123

Reported Deaths: 3223
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Hinds7796173
DeSoto670178
Harrison484483
Jackson435081
Rankin383786
Madison373993
Lee344979
Forrest296377
Jones283782
Washington252197
Lafayette242642
Lauderdale2376131
Lamar217138
Bolivar198377
Oktibbeha195854
Neshoba1814111
Lowndes174962
Panola166337
Leflore160787
Sunflower157649
Warren152755
Monroe145972
Pontotoc143819
Pike137256
Lincoln135555
Copiah135036
Marshall134826
Scott123829
Coahoma123436
Grenada120038
Yazoo119333
Simpson118649
Union115225
Holmes113560
Leake113340
Tate113239
Itawamba110424
Pearl River108958
Adams104343
Prentiss102619
Wayne98721
Alcorn96012
George93917
Marion92942
Covington92525
Tippah85921
Newton84427
Chickasaw82625
Winston82221
Tallahatchie81825
Tishomingo79341
Hancock78127
Attala77626
Clarke72349
Clay67621
Jasper67417
Walthall63327
Calhoun61412
Noxubee59617
Smith58316
Claiborne53216
Montgomery52923
Tunica52217
Lawrence49914
Yalobusha49314
Perry48122
Carroll46312
Greene45518
Stone45014
Amite41713
Quitman4146
Humphreys41216
Jefferson Davis39811
Webster36613
Wilkinson33020
Kemper32015
Benton3154
Sharkey27814
Jefferson27010
Franklin2373
Choctaw2036
Issaquena1063
Unassigned00

Alabama Coronavirus Cases

Confirmed Cases: 153016

Reported Deaths: 2633
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Jefferson22563372
Mobile14335314
Tuscaloosa10023133
Montgomery9759196
Madison904893
Shelby709960
Lee644966
Baldwin640569
Marshall428248
Calhoun412759
Etowah405749
Morgan396833
Houston364632
DeKalb319628
Elmore310752
St. Clair282142
Limestone270828
Walker268892
Talladega258435
Cullman227623
Lauderdale208740
Autauga201029
Jackson200915
Franklin199731
Colbert192228
Russell19053
Dallas185627
Blount184824
Chilton181731
Escambia171328
Coffee16669
Covington166029
Dale163451
Pike130512
Chambers130143
Tallapoosa128686
Clarke127117
Marion104729
Butler99840
Barbour9889
Marengo97221
Winston90413
Geneva8417
Pickens80517
Lawrence80031
Randolph79814
Bibb79114
Hale74529
Cherokee72214
Clay71912
Lowndes70127
Henry6376
Bullock63517
Monroe6319
Washington62212
Crenshaw59330
Perry5806
Wilcox55912
Conecuh55713
Fayette55312
Cleburne5287
Macon52820
Sumter46721
Lamar4565
Choctaw38712
Greene33916
Coosa1973
Out of AL00
Unassigned00
Tupelo
Clear
66° wxIcon
Hi: 86° Lo: 65°
Feels Like: 66°
Columbus
Broken Clouds
69° wxIcon
Hi: 85° Lo: 65°
Feels Like: 69°
Oxford
Clear
64° wxIcon
Hi: 84° Lo: 62°
Feels Like: 64°
Starkville
Clear
63° wxIcon
Hi: 84° Lo: 62°
Feels Like: 63°
WTVA Radar
WTVA Temperatures
WTVA Severe Weather