VB Bulldogs Host South Carolina, Arkansas In Humphrey Coliseum
STARKVILLE, Miss. - A year ago, in conjunction with "Maroon Madness" basketball festivities, Mississippi State's Volleyball Bulldogs moved their match against 25th-ranked Kentucky from the Newell-Grissom Building to Humphrey Coliseum.
State responded with a program-first win over a ranked opponent and a school attendance mark that also broke the state's collegiate volleyball record.
MSU (4-14, 0-9 SEC) returns to the scene of that historic win for a pair of matches this weekend, hosting South Carolina (14-7, 2-7 SEC) Friday at 7 p.m. and SEC West rival Arkansas (14-6, 5-4 SEC) Sunday at 1:30 p.m. There is no charge for admission to the weekend matches. Sunday's match has been designated as a "Dig Pink" match at Humphrey Coliseum, part of the Side-Out Foundation's nationwide campaign to raise awareness of cancer and cancer research.
In conjunction with the weekend matches being played at Humphrey Coliseum, a special video streaming offering of the contest will be available online on HailStateTV (www.HailState.com/hstvlive). The stream will include a multi-camera production and a play-by-play call of the matches by Hunter Richardson.
"We have been so fortunate to have great support at our volleyball matches, and we need that support more than ever this weekend," said head coach Jenny Hazelwood. "A big Homecoming Weekend crowd in the coliseum would help create that important home court advantage. Davis Wade Stadium was rocking last Saturday night, an example of the impact a big, enthusiastic crowd can make."
The matches represent MSU's lone home competition in October. State, eager to end a pesky 10-match losing skid, recently completed a four-match, four-state road tour. Next weekend the Bulldogs return to the road to take on SEC-leading Florida and defending SEC West champion LSU.
"Playing in Humphrey Coliseum brings back some really fond memories for me,' continued Hazelwood. "I remember my freshman year as a player, the last year we played in Humphrey Coliseum before moving to Newell-Grissom. I think our freshmen are as excited about playing in the coliseum as I was when I was a freshman. And I know our veteran players remember how exciting it was to get that big win over Kentucky here last fall."
Underclassmen continue to set the pace for the Bulldogs in most statistical categories. Outside hitter Taylor Scott (Claremont, Calif.) leads the team with 192 kills and with 192 digs ranks second behind another rookie, SEC digs leader Roxanne McVey (Magnolia, Texas). McVey, who moved from the libero position last weekend to take over as State's new setter, has 371 digs and sports the nation's eight-best per-set digs average (5.71). Freshman Sarah Nielsen (Cypress, Texas), second on the team with 155 kills, leads MSU with a .250 attack percentage.
At the net sophomore Lainey Wyman (Planfield, Ill.) leads the club with 39 total blocks.
MSU's 2012 Homecoming Queen Caty Steele and the Homecoming Court will be introduced during a first-set timeout Friday while Mr. and Miss. MSU, Morgan McDowell and Sara Vance will serve as guest MSU bench coaches throughout the MSU-USC match.
FRIDAY MATCH PROMOTIONS: Dawg-Eat-Dawg Challenge (MSU Alumni Delegates vs. Roadrunners ... Boutique Relay Challenge ... Facebook Friday giveaway ... registration for MSU vs Arkansas football sideline pass drawing ... Sign-in for Greek Life TV Giveaway ... Bulldog Coalition point registration.