State Eyes Season Series Sweep In Friday Match WIth Georgia
State, riding a season-best 26-kill performance by Ashley Newsome, registered a five-set win over the UGA Bulldogs when the two teams met October 1 in a regionally-televised matchup in Athens, Ga. It was State’s first win at Georgia since 2005 and second overall in Athens.
Friday’s match opens the final weekend of home competition of the 2010 campaign for the Volleyball Bulldogs. State lowers the curtains on its 14-match home schedule Sunday with a 1:30 p.m. match against SEC West rival Auburn (17-12, 8-9 SEC). Three players and three student managers making their final home appearances for the Bulldogs this weekend will be honored prior to Sunday’s home finale.
Junior outside hitter Caitlin Rance, second in the SEC with a team-best 357 kills, led Mississippi State with 28 kills and a pair of double-doubles last week in interdivisional road matches against top-ranked Florida and South Carolina. The Bulldogs flirted with history, taking a game from the Gators for just the fourth time in series history in a 3-1 loss in Gainesville. Two nights later the Bulldogs registered a season-high 96 digs but dropped a hard-fought five-set decision to USC’s Gamecocks.
Bulldog seniors Kayla Woodard and Ashley Newsome continue to climb the charts among MSU’s career statistical leaders. Woodard, from Addison, Ala., stands fourth in the SEC with 434 digs and fourth at MSU with 1,360 career digs. Former Bulldog volleyball great Shauna Owens (1988-1991) is third with 1,371 digs. Newsome, who leads the SEC with 123 blocks this season, enters the weekend with 392 blocks, 11 behind Owens, the school career record-holder with 403.
Mississippi State travels to Tuscaloosa, Ala., next Wednesday to wrap up its 2010 volleyball season with a 4 p.m. match at Alabama.