No. 22 Tennessee Tops VBall Bulldogs, 3-0
Five Lady Vols tallied five or more kills and Tennessee hit at a crisp .358 rate as UT (21-5, 12-4 SEC) completed a season series sweep of the Bulldogs (11-15, 3-12 SEC) with a 3-0 (25-17, 25-18, 25-15) decision.
Junior outside hitter Caitlin Rance led State with 10 kills and just missed her second double-double of the weekend when she finished the day with nine digs. Sophomore Mandy Mellencamp notched her second eight-kill performance of the weekend and senior middle blocker finished with seven kills and three total blocks. One of Newsome's rejections was a solo stop, raising her career total to 75, second-most in Mississippi State volleyball history.
The Bulldogs claimed a 3-0 advantage in the opening set, but an MSU attack error gave UT a 4-3 lead and Tennessee would trail only once the remainder of the afternoon. A kill by Newsome put State up 1-0 to open the second stanza before the Lady Vols took command with a 6-0 run. Tennessee hit at a match-best .517 clip and rode a six-kill performance by DeeDee Harrison in the third set to a match-clinching 25-15 win. UT's Kayla Jeter led both clubs with 11 kills.
Senior libero Kayla Woodard finished the afternoon with 12 digs. Match honors went to UT's Kelsey Robinson with 15.
The Bulldogs return to action this week with a pair of SEC Eastern Division road tilts. State treks to Gainesville, Fla., Thursday for a regionally-televised (FOX Sports Florida) 6 p.m. (CST) match against the SEC-leading and top-ranked Gators (22-1, 15-0 SEC). The Bulldogs then venture on to Columbia, S.C., Saturday for a 6 p.m. (CST) match against the South Carolina Gamecocks (5-20, 2-13 SEC).