STARKVILLE, Miss. - Bulldog freshman Taylor Scott tallied a match-high 12 kills Friday night at the Newell-Grissom Building. But it was sizzling hitting and solid play at the net by Ole Miss that enabled the Rebels (11-15, 5-12 SEC) to prevail in straight sets win over Mississippi State (4-22, 0-17 SEC) in SEC volleyball competition.
UM scored four of the first five points in all three sets and trailed only briefly in the second stanza in winning 25-20, 25-21, 25-14.
Scott reached double figures in kills for the 15th time in her 25 matches, raising her team-leading kills total for the season to 254 on .348 hitting night. The Claremont, Calif., product had five kills on six attempts in the second set and hit .615 through two frames before cooling off in the third set.
Nakeyta Clair and Allegra Wells starred for UM. Clair led the Rebels with 11 kills on an error-free offensive night and backed that with six blocks. Wells followed with 10 kills. Ole Miss hit .411 for the night, marking the fifth .400 or better hitting performance yielded by MSU this fall.
State recovered from a 6-1 deficit in the opening set and pulled even with UM three times in the later stages of the frame. Scott delivered kills that knotted the score at 15-all and 16-all and a UM service error evened the count at 17-all. But Clair and Wells combined for four kills and a block and UM out-pointed State 8-3 down the stretch for a 25-20 win.
The Bulldogs fell behind early in the second set but battled back into contention late. With her eighth kill of the night Chanelle Baker gave the Bulldogs their lone lead in the match at 21-20. It would be the final point of the set for State, however, as UM reeled off the next five points for a 25-21 win and a 2-0 match lead at the break.
UM sprinted to a 5-1 lead in the third set and never looked back in a match and season series sweep-clinching 25-14 decision. Eight State attack errors and a trio of UM service aces enabled the Rebels to maintain a lead that crew to a 11 points on Clair's match-ending 11th kill of the night.
MSU freshman libero Roxanne McVey took match honors on defense with 14 digs. The SEC digs leader raised her rookie season total to 501 scoops, fourth-most in school history and just 10 away from the school-record 511 digs piled up in 2007 by Megan Lukasek.
The Bulldogs play their 13th and final home match of the season Sunday with a 1:30 p.m. match against Missouri (18-10, 9-8 SEC). The Tigers dropped a 3-1 decision (25-20, 18-25, 25-15, 25-15) Friday night at Texas A&M.