Volleyball Bulldogs Make SEC Road Debut Friday In Oxford
STARKVILLE, Miss. - Mississippi State hits the road for its first SEC competition away from home of the 2012 season with a match against instate league rival Ole Miss Friday night in Oxford. First serve at the Gillom Sports Center is set for 7 p.m. It's the lone competition of the weekend for the Volleyball Bulldogs, who have an off day from competition Sunday before entertaining defending SEC West champ LSU and nationally-ranked Florida next weekend at the Newell-Grissom Building.
Both the Bulldogs (4-7, 0-2 SEC) and the Rebels (6-5, 0-2 SEC) are looking for their initial win in conference play. State dropped home matches to Auburn and Georgia while Ole Miss, opening its league slate on the road, bowed last weekend in road matches against SEC newcomers Texas A&M and Missouri.
Freshmen Taylor Scott (Claremont, Calif.) paces the Bulldogs with 125 kills and ranks second with 120 digs, while another rookie, Sarah Nielsen (Cypress, Texas) has 118 kills, hits at a .308 clip and leads the team at the net with 29 blocks. Freshman libero Roxanne McVey (Magnolia, Texas) leads the SEC with 240 digs and ranks fourth in the NCAA with a 5.85 digs per set average.
Sophomore middle blocker Lainey Wyman (Plainfield, Ill.), a 2011 SEC All-Freshman Team selection, has averaged 3.63 kills per set and a team-best .364 attack percentage over the past two weekends. Rightside hitter Chanelle Baker (Carrollton, Texas) reached the 500-kill career milestone last weekend (515 kills) and with 91 kills this fall is the next Bulldog in line to reach triple figures in kills.
The Rebels, 4-0 at home this fall, are paced by junior outside hitter Kara Morgan, currently averaging a team-best 3.22 kills per set. Senior setter and team co-captain Amanda Philpot leads the club with five double-doubles.
State split its two matches with the Rebels last fall, claiming a 3-2 win in Oxford before bowing in straight sets in Starkville. The Bulldogs have returned winners in two of their last three and five of their last eight visits to UM's Gillom Sports Center.