“Belmont is a talented team that knows how to win,” MSU coach Jenny Hazelwood said. “We knew we would have to play our style of volleyball to win and we simply did not do that tonight. With a week before conference play begins, we need to come out tomorrow, correct our mistakes and get things rolling again.”
Belmont jumped out to an early 2-0 lead in the first set and never looked back. State only had five kills in the frame as it hit -.095. Senior Dani McCree and freshman Kimmy Gardiner each had a pair of kills but the Bruins claimed the opening stanza 25-15.
The second set provided much more excitement but the results proved to be identical. BU again took a 2-0 lead but MSU managed to regain the lead at 6-5 and tie it five other times. The Bruins would go onto take the set 25-23. Sophomore Taylor Scott got going with six of her nine kills in the set, while freshman Suzanne Horner added 10 assists.
Set number three was no different for the Bulldogs as Scott, McCree and Chelsea Duhs all recorded two kills but it was not enough. MSU pulled with in one at 20-19, but the Bruins finished on a 5-2 run to win 25-21.
The Bruins are the second opponent MSU has faced that participated in the 2012 NCAA Tournament with Baylor being the first.
Scott finished with a team-high nine kills, while McCree tacked on seven. Horner tallied 22 assists. Duhs and Alex Warren each tallied three blocks.
The Bulldogs wrap up nonconference action Saturday as they cap off the Bruin Classic with UAB (11-3) at 10 a.m. and Arkansas State (4-8) at 3:30 p.m.
Live stats for both Saturday matches will be available through HailState.com.