Volleyball Bulldogs Head To LSU, Arkansas
MSU’s Friday foe, SEC Western Division co-leader LSU, is ranked 17th in the latest AVCA national coaches poll and bidding to become the SEC’s first 20-match winner this fall. The Tigers turned back the Bulldogs in straight sets (25-19, 25-23, 25-14) Sept. 26 at the Newell-Grissom Building.
State registered its third league win of the campaign and set a school single-match attendance mark during last week’s homestand in Starkville. MSU bested Alabama 3-1 on Oct. 20, earning back-to-back home wins over the Crimson Tide for the first time in program history. And two nights later Bulldog fans established a Newell-Grissom Building volleyball attendance record when 813 fans watched MSU’s Homecoming weekend match against instate rival Ole Miss.
Junior outside hitter Caitlin Rance registered back-to-back 17-kill performances against the Crimson Tide and the Rebels and with a career-best 17 digs against UM notched her team-leading eighth double-double of the season. The Kingwood, Texas, product leads the Bulldogs and ranks third in the SEC with 290 kills.
Senior libero Kayla Woodard, fourth in the SEC in total (349) and per-set average (4.42) digs, tallied 30 digs last week to climb to fourth among MSU’s all-time career digs leaders with 1,275, while senior middle blocker Ashley Newsome recorded a pair of six-block matches to raise her career blocks totals to 369, third-most at State. Newsome leads the SEC with 1.27 blocks per set and ranks second in the SEC with 100-total blocks, her third consecutive 100-block season.
State earned its first league win of the season against Arkansas Sept. 24, turning back the Razorbacks in a five-set thriller (23-25, 25-13, 26-24, 17-25, 18-16) at the Newell-Grissom Building. A Sunday win in Fayetteville would give the Bulldogs their third consecutive win over Arkansas and their first SEC series sweep in 2010.
Following Sunday’s match at Barnhill Arena, Mississippi State returns to the Newell-Grissom Building to host defending SEC East champion Kentucky (Nov. 5) and No. 22 Tennessee (Nov. 7).