“It was exciting on many levels,” fifth-year MSU coach Jenny Hazelwood said. “You keep telling them in practice to work hard and trust the techniques and that it will pay off in the game. To be able to come out and pick up two wins early in the season with a young squad like this is just really exciting for them and the program. It shows them that all the work can and will pay off.”
The Bulldogs fell behind 4-0 early in the first set of the afternoon against SEMO and trailed until a kill by freshman Chelsea Duhs ignited a 12-2 run. MSU would go onto win the first set 25-23 and then claim a 25-18 victory in the second. With the Redhawks, closing in on the third set, the Bulldogs rattled off a 4-0 run to finish off the match 25-18.
Freshman Kimmy Gardiner finished the first match with 19 kills, while Taylor Scott and Dani McCree added 10 each. Scott also managed a double-double as she tallied 16 digs, second only to Roxanne McVey’s 25.
In the nightcap, Mississippi State jump up on UALR 5-2 early, only to have the Trojans battle back to tie it at seven. After freshman setter Suzanne Horner tied the match at 15 all with a kill, Gabby Litwin added an ace to give the Bulldogs the lead and the momentum. State never looked back as it claimed the first set 25-22.
MSU controlled the last two sets, winning 25-22 and 25-18. Gardiner again led the Bulldogs with 15 kills, while Scott added eight. Duhs, McCree and AlexWarren each had seven. Between the two matches Horner also tallied 81 assists on the day.
The Bulldogs return to action Saturday, Aug. 31, at 1 p.m. against UALR and 7 p.m. against SEMO again.
Admission to all volleyball matches is free. Schedule posters and cards will also be available at each of this weekend’s matches.
All matches in the Maroon Classic will also be available on HailStateTV free of charge and there is no need to register. Fans should simply visit www.HailState.com/hstvlive and click on the video link that appears at match time for each contest.