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Volleyball Downs Tennessee With Second-Consecutive Conference Sweep

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Sophomore Taylor Scott notched her second-consecutive double-double with 13 kills and 13 digs as the Bulldogs swept Tennessee.
Photo Courtesy of hailstate.com

STARKVILLE, Miss. – For the first time in school history, the Mississippi State volleyball team (11-9, 2-4) notched consecutive sweeps over Southeastern Conference opponents as it downed the Tennessee Volunteers (8-13, 0-7) in straight sets Sunday afternoon in the Newell-Grissom Building.

The Bulldogs swept South Carolina (11-9, 3-5) Friday night to begin the weekend home stand.

“I thought we played well this weekend,” Bulldog head coach Jenny Hazelwood said. “Taylor (Scott) and Kimmy (Gardiner) had a pair of great games and Roxanne (McVey) played one of her best matches of the season today. It’s refreshing to see the hard work these girls put in finally pay off on the court. We’ll take these two wins and build on them as we get ready to play a very good Kentucky team on the road next Friday.”

Picking up right where she left off Friday night, sophomore Taylor Scott posted yet another double-double with 13 kills, 13 digs and a .419 hitting percentage.

Much like Friday night’s opening-set thriller, the Volunteers fended off MSU’s first set point before an ace from Katlyn Mataya sealed the deal. State and UT traded points early in the match but a 5-1 run gave the Bulldogs a short-lived lead at 12-8 before the Vols stormed back to take a 14-13 advantage. Tennessee gained as much as a three-point cushion before the MSU closed it out at 26-24.

State controlled much of the second set after jumping out to an early lead and UT could never regain momentum as it fell 25-17. Sophomore Alex Warren stole the show in the second frame after hitting .571 with five kills and MSU’s only hitting error of the set.

The final set was all Mississippi State as the Bulldogs claimed a 25-16 victory.

McVey finished the match with 23 digs, an ace and six assists. The sophomore libero currently leads the SEC in digs per set during conference matches with 5.72. She is also averaging 5.64 digs per set on the season, which matches her average from the 2012 season when she set the conference record.

Kimmy Gardiner also recorded her second-consecutive double-double and eighth of the season, which leads all SEC freshmen. She posted 12 kills and 13 digs to go along with a block.

Setters Suzanne Horner (22) and Mataya (15) combined for 38 of State’s 44 assists on the day.

Next up, the Bulldogs will venture on a two-week road trip with stops at Kentucky and Georgia on Oct. 25 and 27. The following weekend, MSU will travel to Alabama and Auburn, which will mark State’s first televised match of the season on Nov. 3.

Fans can follow the Mississippi State volleyball program on Twitter @HailStateVB, Instagram @HailStateVB and Facebook at facebook.com/HailStateVB.


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