STARKVILLE, Miss. – What began just under four months ago on Aug. 8 will all come to an end Saturday afternoon when the Mississippi State volleyball team (11-20, 2-15) travels to Knoxville to take on the Tennessee Volunteers (9-22, 1-16) in Thompson-Bowling Arena at 12:30 p.m. CST.
Earlier this season on Oct. 20, the Bulldogs swept UT in the second of back-to-back sweeps, the first consecutive sweeps against conference opponents in school history.
“I feel like we match up well with Tennessee,” Bulldog head coach Jenny Hazelwood said. “This match is a great opportunity for us to finish our season on a positive note if we execute the way we are capable. Tennessee is a different team than we played earlier this season but we are different as well. In the end, it will be who steps up and makes the plays that will win the match.”
The finale will cap Dani McCree’s four-year career in the Maroon and White. Senior Night festivities were held Wednesday night when the Bulldogs hosted Alabama and McCree recorded her 400th kill against the Crimson Tide in her 35th-career start.
Two of the Southeastern Conference’s top liberos will be featured in the match in State’s Roxanne McVey and Tennessee’s Ellen Mullins. McVey owns a slight edge with 5.38 digs per set during conference matches. The sophomore from Magnolia, Texas, set the conference record a season ago at 5.64 digs per set.
Fellow sophomore Taylor Scott has come on strong toward the end of the season with double-digit kills in three of her last five matches, including 14 put-aways with a .324 hitting clip at No. 4 Missouri just two weeks ago.
The Bulldogs posted one of their best home seasons in program history with eight home wins, which are second-most in program history. State also drew 7,199 fans to the Newell-Grissom Building on the year, a new single-season record for the facility. MSU also claimed a trio of neutral site victories earlier in the year but is still looking for its first true road win.