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State Volleyball Ends Season With Loss At UT; McVey Adds SEC Record

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Bulldog freshman Roxanne McVey finished the season by leading the SEC in digs with a school-record 558 this season..
Photo Courtesy of Bill Simmonds

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. - Tennessee turned back a strong Mississippi State challenge in the third set Friday night to register a straight-sets win (25-10, 25-15, 25-22) in the regular-season SEC volleyball finale for both teams. The defending SEC champion Lady Vols improved to 22-7 overall and 15-5 in league play while the Bulldogs concluded their 38th season of volleyball with a 4-25 overall mark and a 0-20 conference record.

Kelsey Robinson and DeeDee Harrison combined for 29 of UT's 46 kills and nine blocks to pace Tennessee. Sophomore middle Lainey Wyman led the way for State with 10 kills. The Lady Vols were dominant at the net, amassing a 13-5 edge in total team blocking.

Bulldog freshman libero Roxanne McVey, who with 15 digs shared match honors in digs with UT's Ellen Mullins, finished the year with an SEC-leading and school-record 558 digs and bested the SEC's per/set record with 5.64 average. It's the second conference record for the rookie from Magnolia, Texas, who piled up an SEC-record and NCAA season-best 50 digs against LSU in September.

State claimed the early lead in the match and led 3-1 in the opening set on a Taylor Scott kill. But UT quickly warmed up on offense, pulling away from a 4-4 tie and taking control at 14-8 with a 7-2 run. DeeDee Harrison registered six kills in the set and the Lady Vols closed with a 13-1 spree to take the opening set 25-10.

The Bulldogs stayed close to the defending SEC champions in the early going of the second stanza and trailed by a point at 12-11 on back-to-back Tennessee attack errors. But UT took command at the net, matching its 5-0 edge in team blocking from the first set to out-point the Bulldogs 13-4 down the stretch in a 25-15 win.

Dani McCree delivered State's first two blocks of the night to open the third set and sophomore middle Lainey Wyman drilled four of her team-best 10 kills as State extended its lead to 9-7. The Bulldogs went toe-to-toe with the Lady Vols the remainder of the set, taking a 22-21 lead on McCree's fourth kill of the night. But Tennessee reeled off the next four points, clinching the match 25-22 on consecutive kills by Robinson.

Chanelle Baker, the Bulldogs' only senior, recorded four kills and three digs, concluding her four-year MSU career with 613 kills, 418 digs and 170 total blocks.

 


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