May 20, 2019 10:25:38 AM
Five Mississippi State tennis players will continue their individual postseason runs beginning Monday at the NCAA Championships in Orlando.
Freshman Emma Antonaki will represent the women's team in the singles competition after getting in as an alternate. She enters the competition ranked No. 59 in the country after finishing her campaign 25-12 in singles.
Antonaki will take on NC State's Anna Rogers, who sits No. 10 nationally. She finished her season 30-14 in singles and 20-8 at the No. 1 position. Rogers boasts 17 wins over ranked opponents and helped the Wolfpack reach the NCAA round of 16.
"When I realized I was in I was really happy because it's good to know you're in before you go to the tournament that you are in." Antonaki said. "And I was more relaxed and prepared better."
On the men's side, senior Nuno Borges and junior Giovanni Oradini will take part in the singles competition. Borges will be the No. 1 overall seed while Oradini was entered into the draw after being the first alternate.
Borges will face NC State's Alexis Galarneau in the first round. Galarneau was granted an at-large bid after earning first team All-Atlantic Coast Conference honors.
Oradini will play Dartmouth's Charlie Broom. Broom is the No. 69-ranked player and takes the spot of Wake Forest's Borna Gojo -- the 2018 singles runner-up -- who withdrew from the tournament.
Borges will also play in the doubles competition alongside partner, senior Strahinja Rakic beginning Tuesday. The No. 3 seed, Borges and Rakic will play TCU's Alastair Gray and Alex Rybakov for the second time in 10 days. The TCU contingent took the prior meeting 6-3.
Oradini will join senior Niclas Braun in the doubles draw as they take on the No. 9 ranked Bjorn Thomson and Parker Wynn of Texas Tech.
For Braun, Borges and Rakic, this will mark their final week of collegiate competition.
"Postseason play is always exciting," Braun said. "Especially with me graduating and having finished my college career this is the icing on the cake -- one last time competing with my brothers. I won't take it for granted.
Ben Portnoy reports on Mississippi State sports for The Dispatch.