MSU will play UT-Arlington (4-0) Friday at 4:30 p.m. in the Ferrell Center followed by a double header Saturday against Tulsa (3-1) at 12:30 p.m. and host-Baylor (1-3) at 7 p.m.
“This tournament will be a nice test for our young team,” fifth-year MSU coach Jenny Hazelwood said. “All three teams are very competitive and Tulsa is even a tournament team from last season. We’ve worked hard in practice this week and I’m excited to see the progression our girls have made.”
The Bulldogs have faced the trio of teams a combined 12 times and are 3-0 against them since 2007. The Lone Star road trip will also be a homecoming for six Bulldogs as Kimmy Gardiner, Gabby Litwin, Roxanne McVey, Brooke Sassin, Ellen Stuart and Alex Warren all hail from the state of Texas.MSU opened the 2013 campaign a weekend ago with the Maroon Classic when it hosted Southeast Missouri State and UALR. The Bulldogs posted a 2-2 clip behind standout performances from sophomores McVey and Taylor Scott as well as freshman Gardiner.
For her 64-kill, 52-dig weekend, Gardiner was named SEC Freshman of the Week. She also tallied five blocks, six assists and a .269 hitting percentage. During the tournament finale against SEMO, the opposite from Grapevine, Texas, also recorded her first-career double-double with 15 kills and 21 digs.
“I was really honored and excited to receive this recognition and to be able to share it with this program, my teammates and the coaches,” Gardiner said. “We had a strong first week of the season and I know we can only go up from here.”
Following the Baylor Classic, the Bulldogs will return home for the Bulldog Invitational where they will host Niagara and Wofford on Sept. 13 and 14. MSU will then wrap up its nonconference slate with a trip to Nashville, Tenn., for the Belmont Bruin Classic.