STARKVILLE, Miss. (MSU Athletics/WTVA) - Not even two weather delays were enough to keep No. 7 Mississippi State men’s tennis out of the win column on Saturday in their NCAA second round match, as the Bulldogs weathered the storm to capture a 4-0 win against South Alabama at the A.J. Pitts Tennis Centre. It was the Bulldogs’ 14th-consecutive victory.
MSU (24-3) relied on momentum from a strong doubles point to take all six first sets in singles before rain briefly halted play on two occasions midway through the second sets. Mere minutes after play resumed the second time, State closed out three straight wins to oust the Jaguars (19-7) for the second year in a row in the second round.
With the win, the Bulldogs advance to the NCAA Round of 16 for the second year in a row and the third time in four seasons. It also marks the program’s 14th Round of 16 showing all-time. As a top-8 seed, State will be a host in next weekend’s new Super Regional format, taking on the winner of the match between No. 27 Arizona State and ninth-ranked and 10th-seeded TCU, which is being played at 4 p.m. CT Saturday in Fort Worth.
Match time between the Bulldogs, and either the Sun Devils or Horned Frogs, is slated for 1 p.m. CT on Saturday, May 11, at the A.J. Pitts Tennis Centre.
Against USA on Saturday, the Bulldogs got an early advantage in doubles when Trevor Foshey and Gregor Ramskogler ousted USA’s Louis Delcour and Maxime Lapraille 6-2 on court 3. State then held off the Jaguars’ late surge, clinching the doubles point with a 6-4 triumph on court 2 by the Bulldogs’ 32nd-ranked tandem of Niclas Braun and Giovanni Oradini over Sacha Modica and Samuel Serrano. The MSU duo has won 12 of its last 13 and five straight.
At the clinch, MSU’s third-ranked Nuno Borges and Strahinja Rakic were serving in a 4-all tie against USA’s Loic Cloes and Clement Marzol on court 1.
That momentum carried over into singles, as State took all six first sets, capped off by Giovanni Oradini’s 7-4 decision in his first-set tiebreaker.
State would cruise to go up at least a break in second sets on courts 1, 5 and 6 when the first rain delay occurred. At play stoppage, MSU’s top-ranked Borges led Modica 4-2 on court 1, while Foshey led Lapraille 4-1 at No. 5. On court 6, Florian Broska was up 5-1 against Delcour.
Play resumed after about 30 minutes, with Foshey quickly breaking Lapraille to go up 5-2 and was serving for his match up 40-15 when rain ceased play again. That delay lasted about 35 minutes, after which the Maroon and White rattled off three quick finishes to seal the deal.
Foshey served out his match on court 5 to down Lapraille 6-4, 6-1 to put the Bulldogs ahead 2-0 moments before the three-time SEC Player of the Year Borges made it 3-0 with a 6-3, 6-3 decision against Modica at No. 1. Borges broke the Jaguar at 15-40 in the final game to win his 25th straight singles match and remain unbeaten (24-0) in 2019 dual match play. The All-American is just one win shy of matching Thomas Dupre’s school-record, 26-match singles winning streak set during the 1996-97 season.
Seconds later, Broska dealt the clinching blow to the Jaguars, earning a 6-3, 6-2 victory over Delcour on court 6 to propel the Bulldogs back to the Round of 16.
“Overall, I thought today was a great match for us that started off with an awesome doubles point,” head coach Matt Roberts said. “Give credit to South Alabama for playing some tough tennis yesterday and today. They’ve had a great year. Our guys handled the rain well and thought they did a good job staying focused and finishing off their matches after the delays. We’re excited to be moving on and to have one more chance to play in front of our amazing fans in what will be an awesome Super Regional match next Saturday.”
Next Up for MSU…
As a top-8 seed, Mississippi State will host the new NCAA Super Regional (Round of 16) format – a single match - welcoming 10th-seeded TCU at 1 p.m. CT next Saturday, May 11.
Full details, including ticket information, on the Super Regional at Mississippi State will be announced early next week.
For more information on the Mississippi State men’s tennis program, follow “HailStateMT” on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.
No. 7 Mississippi State  4, South Alabama 0
2019 NCAA Championship – Second Round
May 4, 2019
A.J. Pitts Tennis Centre – Starkville, Mississippi
1. #3 Nuno Borges/Strahinja Rakic (MSU) vs. Loic Cloes/Clement Marzol (USA) 4-4 (susp.)
2. #32 Niclas Braun/Giovanni Oradini (MSU) def. Sacha Modica/Samuel Serrano (USA) 6-4
3. Trevor Foshey/Gregor Ramskogler (MSU) def. Louis Delcour/Maxime Lapraille (USA) 6-2
Order of finish: 3,2
1. #1 Nuno Borges (MSU) def. Sacha Modica (USA) 6-3, 6-3
2. #61 Giovanni Oradini (MSU) vs. Loic Cloes (USA) 7-6(4), 2-2 (susp.)
3. Strahinja Rakic (MSU) vs. Clement Marzol (USA) 7-5, 3-2 (susp.)
4. Niclas Braun (MSU) vs. Samuel Serrano (USA) 6-4, 3-2 (susp.)
5. Trevor Foshey (MSU) def. Maxime Lapraille (USA) 6-4, 6-1
6. Florian Broska (MSU) def. Louis Delcour (USA) 6-3, 6-2
Order of finish: 5,1,6
Numbers preceding names are current ITA national rankings