As the No. 7 national seed, Mississippi State’s men’s tennis team was a heavy favorite heading into its NCAA Championships first-round matchup against Alabama State on Friday at the A.J. Pitts Tennis Centre.

Still, head coach Matt Roberts went into the match having instilled in his team the mindset that the Bulldogs needed to be sharp and focused every point.

MSU didn’t let its coach down as the Bulldogs responded by breezing to a 4-0 victory over the Hornets.

Mississippi State men's tennis

Mississippi State's men's tennis team pumps itself up prior to Friday's match against Alabama State.

“I thought (Friday) was one of those matches where you have a big crowd and it’s the first round of the NCAA Tournament, so you have to be sharp,” Roberts said. “You have to put on a good show, have good energy and I thought the guys did that. I pushed them to do that. I wanted them to come out and have a sense of urgency and not take any points off and not relax.

“I thought they did a great job in that area.”

MSU (23-3) had very little trouble in eliminating Alabama State (12-10). The Bulldogs were in control from beginning to end.

That puts MSU in Saturday's second round against South Alabama. Match time has been moved up to 10:30 a.m. due to weather concerns.

For more on the Bulldogs, see Saturday's Starkville Daily News.

Recommended for you