“Kentucky and Georgia are both very solid teams that have good home-court advantages,” Bulldog head coach Jenny Hazelwood said. “We had a very solid week of practice and have a bit of momentum after last weekend’s wins. Our girls have confidence and are hungry to step up to another level.”
The Bulldogs swept back-to-back conference opponents for the first time in school history last weekend as they defeated South Carolina (11-9, 3-5) and Tennessee (8-13, 0-7). MSU has posted its second-most home wins in school history (8) but is still looking for its first true road win.
Roxanne McVey paces the Bulldog defense as one of the nation’s top liberos. Through six conference matches, the sophomore is averaging 5.72 digs per set, which is tops in the SEC. Her 5.64 digs per set average for the season ranks fourth nationally and is on pace to match her SEC record from a season ago. McVey also has 17 aces and 60 assists on the season.
Freshman Kimmy Gardiner and sophomore Taylor Scott have taken the reigns of the Maroon and White offense. Gardiner ranks third in the SEC in both kills (4.00) and points (4.48) and is also tied for second in the country among freshmen with nine double-doubles. Scott has nine double-doubles as well and ranks third in the SEC among active underclassmen with 483 career kills.
Dani McCree has also stepped up her game lately, registering double-digit kills in two of her last five matches. The senior posted a season-best 12 kills in MSU’s win against South Carolina a week ago.
Hazelwood’s 11 wins are only one shy of the most during her five years in Starkville and two away from the second-most in her 14-year career.
Next week MSU will travel to Alabama (16-5, 4-3) on Nov. 1 followed by a matchup with Auburn (12-7, 3-4) on Nov. 3 that will be televised by CSS. When MSU returns home on Nov. 6, it will face Ole Miss (11-10, 1-7) at 7 p.m. on ESPNU.