Mississippi State Sports Blog


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Wake-up call - April 20 - Bringing you early morning MSU news



Matt Stevens


STARKVILLE - Without further ado:  




Item No. 1 - Mississippi State men's tennis news - Bulldogs take on Tennessee in SEC Tournament in Starkville 




The Dispatch MSU Sports Blog will be live from the A.J. Pitts Tennis Centre this morning as Mississippi State University faces the six-seeded University of Tennessee squad scheduled at 11 a.m. this afternoon. 


The two schools met this season in Knoville, Tenn., with the Bulldogs taking the match in a close fashion 4-3.  


The Bulldogs are coming off a 9-2 SEC regular season mark, claiming the SEC Western Division title outright for the second straight season and earning their first top 10 ranking since 1999. 


A trio of seniors lead the charge in singles for MSU including 10th-ranked Artem Ilyushin, No. 44 Louis Cant and 55th-ranked George Coupland. Ilyushin, earning his first career top-10 ranking this past week, finished 9-2 in SEC play this season with seven wins against opponents in the top-40. The three seniors combined to earn a 26-7 slate in conference action this spring. 


Also in the rankings for MSU is 68th-ranked sophomore Malte Stropp who has compiled six conference wins this season while competing on court 3. 


In doubles, the 35th-ranked pair of Coupland and Ilyushin lead the charge while No. 44 Cant and Stropp follow closely behind. Both duos have earned a top-15 ranking in their career. 


The Vols are led by 32nd-ranked freshman Mikelis Libietis followed closely by No. 80 Hunter Reese. In doubles, Libietis and Reese have earned a No. 10 national ranking at this point in the season. 


State is hosting the SEC Men's Tennis Championship for the first time since 2000. 




Item No. 2 - Mississippi State softball news - Bulldogs host Kentucky for beginning of three-game set 




The MSU softball team will battle Kentucky (23-23, 10-9) in a critical three-game Southeastern Conference series at the MSU Softball Stadium starting today at 5 p.m. Saturday's contest on ESPNU will take place at noon, with Sunday's series finale beginning at 1 p.m. 


"I want to personally invite each and every Bulldog fan in town for Super Bulldog Weekend over to the MSU Softball Stadium to show the national audience what this university is all about," MSU coach Vann Stuedeman said. "Kentucky is a well-coached, experienced team, so it is going to be a great weekend of softball here in Starkville." 


My colleague Scott Walters, please follow him on Twitter @dispatchscott, will be live covering the Bulldogs softball action today. 


Both clubs are coming off series sweeps of Ole Miss, with MSU (25-19, 8-14) taking three from the Rebels this past weekend and the Wildcats winning two games in Oxford Wednesday. All-time, State owns a 24-16 advantage over UK, including a commanding 13-5 record in Starkville. While MSU leads the all-time series, the visitors this weekend have won eight of the last nine games in the series. Before that stretch, the Bulldogs had won 11 in a row and 16 of the past 17. 




Item No. 3 - Mississippi State football news - Former MSU quarterback Dylan Favre arrested on drug charges 




POPLARVILLE, Miss. (AP) -- Former Mississippi State quarterback and St. Stanislaus star Dylan Favre was arrested Thursday on possession of controlled substance with intent to distribute.  


Donnie Saucier, chief investigator with the Pearl River County Sheriff's Department, says Favre was arrested about 12:43 a.m. Thursday when Deputy David Johnson stopped a Dodge Charger for no tag light. Saucier says Johnson smelled a strong odor of unburnt marijuana. 


Favre, of Pass Christian, was asked to get out of the car, which was subsequently searched. 


Saucier says the deputy found three bags filled with what was suspected to be marijuana, along with a box of sandwich bags and a small set of digital scales. 


WDAM in Hattiesburg, MS is also reporting that Favre has since been kicked off the Pearl River team. 


Favre had enrolled at Pearl River in the spring with hopes of resurrecting his football career after transferring from Mississippi State. 




All of the Dispatch MSU Sports Blog readers: feel free to follow me on Twitter at http://twitter.com/matthewcstevens for up-to-date Mississippi State coverage.



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