PENSACOLA, Fla. – Nuno Borges picked up where he left off Tuesday in his first tournament since taking the ITA National Fall Championships singles crown, posting a marathon three-set triumph to open play in the USTA Pensacola Futures' main draw.
Mississippi State men's tennis' AllAmerican and fourth-seeded Borges emerged victorious in 2-hour and 14-minute battle against Tulane's Constantin Schmitz (ATP 997), taking a 6-1, 6-7(6), 6-2 victory. Schmitz is currently ranked 13th nationally in the Intercollegiate Tennis Association rankings. Borges is No. 2 and now owns a 4-0 record in his career against Schmitz.
With the win, Borges advances to the Round of 16, which begins Thursday, where he will face the winner of today's match between U.S. Open qualifier Patrick Kypson (ATP 895) and Washington standout Jake Douglas (ATP 1498).
Today, State sophomore sensation Giovanno Oradini will open up his play in the main draw against Govind Nanda (ATP 1255) of the United States.
One of the top recruits in the nation will be joining Mississippi State softball next season as coach Vann Stuedeman announced the signing of standout pitcher Grace Fagan.
“Grace will make an immediate impact in the circle,” Stuedeman said. “She is a strong lefty with a huge presence and an even bigger work ethic. She is compelled to be the best she can be and that mentality is going to take her and our team to big places.”
In the midst of her senior season as a team captain at Kingsway Regional High School, the Swedesboro, N.J., native comes to Starkville as the 2017 South Jersey Pitcher of the Year. Fagan was ranked as high as eight by Flo Softball and signs as the 19th-ranked player of the 2018 class.
“I chose Mississippi State because of the atmosphere that I experienced while I was on my first visit,” Fagan said. “It was a great experience to see the amount of pride that the people around Starkville take in Mississippi State. Everyone I met made me feel extremely welcomed like I belonged in Starkville. The facilities are amazing and the coaching staff is awesome.”
Fagan is coming off an impressive junior season as she led the Dragons to a 24-5 record and the Tri-County ConferenceRoyal Division Championship. Fagan and the Dragons reached the quarterfinals of the stacked South Jersey Group 4 state tournament.
The hard-throwing lefty struck out 316 in 166 innings of work, posted a 1.14 ERA and held opponents to just a .140 average over her first season as a full-time varsity starter en route to South Jersey Pitcher of the Year honors. Fagan was a staple in the third spot of the batting order and held a .415 average at the plate with help of 44 hits. Her efforts also earned Fagan first team All-Conference and All-State laurels, and the left-hander was a nominee for New Jersey Gatorade Player of the Year.
As a freshman, Fagan served as the No. 2 pitcher for KRHS as the Dragons finished 21-5. Fagan held a 9-1 record in the circle and struck out 74 in her debut season.
Fagan did not play her sophomore season with Kingsway Regional as she was extensively traveling as a member of Birmingham Thunderbolts Premier along with fellow future Bulldog Kayla Boseman. The Thunderbolts is one of the premier travel teams over the last several years, and Fagan's time was highlighted by carrying the team to a third-place finish at the 2016 PGF National Championship.
Academically, Fagan is part of the National Honor Society and World Language National Honors Society. Fagan also volunteers with Miracle League, helping special-needs children play baseball and softball.
Fagan comes from a highly athletic family. Her parents Tracy and Sean were both four-year letterwinners in basketball at Mt. Saint Mary's College, while her mother was inducted into the Mt. Saint Mary's Hall of Fame. Her brothers Jordan and Bradley both played basketball at Cabrini College.
Add another watch list for Mississippi State seniors Victoria Vivians and Morgan William as the duo was among the top 30 players chosen Tuesday for the prestigious John R. Wooden Award presented by Wendy's.
The senior guards were selected by a panel of national women's college basketball media members, and the top 30 was announced on ESPN's SportsCenter and espnW.
Vivians and William are two of six Southeastern Conference players on the list. Mississippi State is one of eight schools to have multiple players on the list. Tennessee is the only other SEC school with two or more selections.
Vivians, a 2017 third team Associated Press All-American, had quite the debut for Mississippi State in its season-opening win against Virginia, tallying 22 points on 8-of-15 (53.3 percent) shooting from the field. She also grabbed 7 rebounds.
The Carthage native passed Alexis Rack for third place on State's career scoring list. Her 1,776-career points puts her behind only former MSU All-Americans LaToya Thomas and Tan White in program annals.
Prior to the season, Vivians was selected to the Ann Meyers Drysdale Award Watch List for the nation's top shooting guard and was a Preseason All-SEC selection after earning first team accolades the previous two years.
William joined Vivians in garnering Preseason All-SEC honors, and she was selected to the Nancy Lieberman Award Watch List for the country's top point guard after a stellar junior campaign that saw her average 10.9 points per game and dish a school-record 181 assists.
The Birmingham, Ala., native became the Bulldogs' career assists leader last season, and she brought her total to 488 with eight dimes in Friday's season-opening win against Virginia.
William also sits atop the MSU record books at the free-throw line with an 84.3 career percentage that is ninth in SEC annals.
Coach Vic Schaefer's Bulldogs return to action Thursday, hosting Georgia State in a 7 p.m. tip at the Humphrey Coliseum. MSU closes out a season-opening three-game homestand Sunday at 2 p.m. against in-state foe Southern Miss.
Both games will be streamed live online on SEC Network +. Admission to all MSU home games is $5 for adults and $3 for youth age 18 and under. Youth 12 and under can get free admission to all women's basketball games by joining Bully's Kids Club at www. bullyskidsclub.com.
Due to a conflict with men's basketball at home, Mississippi State volleyball has moved its senior day match against Texas A&M to an earlier time.
First serve against the Aggies on Wednesday, Nov. 22 will take place at 3 p.m. on the SEC Network +. Fans can also access the game via the WatchESPN app.
This weekend, MSU hosts Missouri at 7 p.m. on Friday and then travels to Auburn for a Sunday match at 1:30 p.m.