Bulldogs Bow To Rebels In Straight Sets
The Rebels (10-17/6-13 SEC) hit at a crisp .315 clip while holding the Bulldog offense to a coolish .101 attack percentage.
Kara Morgan and Allegra Wells combined for 22 of UM's 48 kills, with Morgan taking match honors with 12 point-producing swings.
Caitlin Rance registered a team-leading eight kills, raising her team-leading season kills total to 420, the third-most in a single season at State. Rance also climbed into a tie with Misty Hubenthal (1999-2002) with 1,115 career kills.
Rance, Hannah Wilkinson and Faith Steinwedell delivered kills as State jumped out to a 6-3 lead in the opening set. But UM put together four 4-0 runs to take control of the set and out-pointed State 7-2 down the stretch to claim the opening frame.
The Bulldogs, held to -.032 hitting in the first stanza, warmed up a bit on offense in the second set, with freshman Lainey Wyman leading the MSU charge with five kills and a pair of blocks. Wyman served up an ace to give MSU a 2-1 lead, but it would be the only lead of the set for the Bulldogs, who saw the second stanza slip away when the Rebels strung together a 7-0 scoring spree. Morgan carded five kills as UM took the second set 25-18 and added six in the third stanza when the Rebels clinched the match with a 25-22 win. A kill by Kristin Byers and an Ole Miss attack error staked State to a 7-4 lead in that third stanza. But UM caught the Bulldogs at 9-9, took an 11-10 lead on a kill by Allegra Wells and successfully fended off the Bulldogs down the stretch for the win.
Lainey Wyman followed Rance with seven kills while Wilkinson and Steinwedell finished with six each. Wyman and Paris Perret led MSU at the net with two blocks each while junior libero Hillary Parker took match honors with 19 digs.
UM led State 48-32 in kills, 50-46 in digs and 7-4 in total team blocking.
The Bulldogs conclude their season at the Newell-Grissom Building Sunday with a 1:30 p.m. match against SEC West rival Alabama (11-18/4-14 SEC). Senior co-captains Caitlin Rance and Hannah Wilkinson and departing juniors Hillary Parker and Faith Steinwedell will be honored during ceremonies prior to the MSU-Alabama match.