MSU Men’s Tennis Set to Host NCAA Tournament

STARKVILLE, Miss. (MSU Athletics) – For the second year in a row, the Mississippi State men’s tennis squad has been selected as a host for the 2019 NCAA First and Second Rounds.

The two-time SEC Tournament Champion Bulldogs (22-3) – who earned the No. 7 national seed in this year’s NCAA Championship – will host the event May 3-4, at the A.J. Pitts Tennis Centre on campus.

Play will begin Friday, May 3, with the first match pitting second-seeded Tulane (14-12) against third-seeded South Alabama (18-6) at 10 a.m. CT. Following the match between the Green Wave and Jaguars, seventh-ranked MSU will face Alabama State (12-9), scheduled to start no earlier than 1 p.m. The winners of the Friday contests will then face each other in the second-round matchup on Saturday, May 4, at 1 p.m. for the right to advance to the newly-formatted NCAA Round of 16, which will take place on eight campus sites May 10-11. Should the Bulldogs advance through the first weekend of play, they would be one of those eight host sites.

“We’re very excited about hosting the NCAA’s again this year,” fifth-year head coach Matt Roberts said. “It’s a great field, and the guys did a great job of getting us into that top-8 spot to where we could possibly host three home matches, so that’s exciting. We’re excited about being back in front of our amazing fans again and can’t wait to see another unbelievable college tennis atmosphere at Pitts this weekend.”

Coming into Starkville as the 17-32 alphabetical seed is Tulane. The 40th-ranked Green Wave is making its 13th NCAA Championship appearance in program history, its fourth in a row, after bowing out of the American Athletic Conference tournament in the quarterfinals. TU will bring to Starkville a pair of ranked singles players, led by Ewan Moore at 65th nationally. Luis Erlenbusch comes in at No. 95 in the singles rankings for the Green Wave. The Bulldogs and Green Wave are no strangers, having met 20 times since 1969, including the last four seasons with MSU taking all four meetings.

The Green Wave will open tourney play against South Alabama, which returns to Starkville for the second year in a row after capturing its second straight Sun Belt Conference crown. The Jaguars are led by veterans Loic Cloes and Clement Marzol, who team up to form the nation’s 75th-ranked doubles tandem. Last season, State and USA met in the second round, with the Bulldogs notching a 4-0 victory in Starkville.

The final competitor in the four-team field at MSU is Alabama State. The Hornets enter the field of 64 as an automatic qualifier after capturing the SWAC title for the third year in a row. Ion Efrim leads ASU with a 13-2 singles mark, including 11 wins at the No. 1 position.

Tickets for the NCAA event at MSU may be purchased in advance or on each day of the tournament. An all-tournament pass is $8 for adults and $5 for senior citizens, college students, and children 17 & under. Single-day tickets for Friday and Saturday are $5 for adults and $3 for senior citizens, college students, and children 17 & under. Children ages 2 & under will be admitted free. Fans interested in purchasing advance all-tournament tickets may do so by contacting the Mississippi State Athletic Ticket Office (662-325-2600 or 1-888-GO-DAWGS) beginning Tuesday. They can also be ordered online at

This is ninth year in a row for MSU to make the NCAA Championship and the program’s 28th appearance overall. As a top-16 national seed for the second year in a row, MSU hopes to earn its way to the round of 16, a feat the program has accomplished 13 times in its impressive history, for the third time in four years and the second in a row after advancing to the quarterfinals a year ago.

Should the Bulldogs advance to the Round of 16, as a top-8 seed, they will be slated to host the winner of the four-team regional at 10th-seeded TCU in the new Super Regional format. The Horned Frogs will host Arizona State, Miami and Harvard in the First and Second Rounds in Fort Worth.

Selections for the NCAA Singles and Doubles Championships will be announced Tuesday. Multiple Bulldogs hope to earn bids to the draws, including senior All-American Nuno Borges (No. 2 nationally) and junior Giovanni Oradini (No. 70 nationally). The 3rd-ranked State doubles tandem of Borges and Strahinja Rakic is expected to receive a bid as well, in addition to State’s 27th-ranked duo of Niclas Braun and Oradini.

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


2019 NCAA Men’s Tennis Championship First and Second Rounds

May 3-4, 2019 – A.J. Pitts Tennis Centre – Starkville, Miss.


5/3/19 – First Round

Match 1 (10 a.m. CT) – No. 2 Tulane (14-12) vs. No. 3 South Alabama (18-6)

Match 2 (not before 1 p.m. CT) – No. 1 Mississippi State [7] (22-3) vs. No. 4 Alabama State (12-9)


5/4/19 – Second Round

Match 3 (1 p.m.) – Match 1 winner vs. Match 2 winner**
**-winner advances to NCAA Round of 16, May 10 or 11 at a campus site to be determined


Schedule subject to change

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