Mississippi State University men’s tennis team earned their second sweep in SEC play this Saturday, as they took down the University of Kentucky 7-0 in a heated match in which they beat out the rain in the forecast as well.
Head coach Matt Roberts said it was the preparation that helped them get the victory.
“We had a great week of practice, and this weekend was a result of our hard work,” Roberts said. “The guys are getting better and they’re very focused on what they need to do to keep developing, and I thought today was a great match to put those things into play.”
With the win, MSU maintained their 20-match home winning streak, 10 of which come just from SEC play. Since 1969, Kentucky has held a 29-23 lead in the the series against MSU, but the Bulldogs have won the last five matches against the Wildcats. Roberts said the fans have been a big part of their success on the court.
“We had a lot of support from our fans this weekend, and the guys love playing in front of them,” Roberts said “We’re showing them a lot of fight, and we’re excited for more home matches the rest of this season.”
Vital players such as Strahinja Rakic gave the Bulldogs an edge, winning his own second-straight singles match in Saturday’s sweep. Other player’s such as Giovanni Oradini with his singles and doubles match wins along with Niclas Braun and Nuno Burges.
Rakic and Burges were among the first to sweep through their first singles match, defeating competitive members of Kentucky’s team. Roberts said with an easy sweep like that, the team still needs to remain focused.
“It is important for my my guys to stay hungry,” Roberts said. “We have to visualize and anticipate the adversity, in that we have seen it happen and we will be ready.”
After Saturday’s win, MSU improved to 2-0 in SEC play for the third year and seventh time in eight seasons. They will go on the road for their upcoming matches against the University of South Carolina on March 8 and the University of Florida March 10.