Ashley Newsome set the MSU career record for blocks in her final match as a Bulldog Wednesday.
TUSCALOOSA, Ala. - Caitlin Rance
notched her 13th double-double of the
season and senior Ashley Newsome
set a school career record for blocking
Wednesday afternoon but the Bulldogs fell short in a season-ending 3-1 SEC
volleyball match (25-14, 29-27, 21-25, 25-13) at Alabama. It was the season
finale for both teams and the finale coaching appearance for retiring Alabama
head coach Judy Green.
Rance had 14 kills and 12 digs while Newsome recorded four blocks, three of
them solo stops, to raise her career total blocks mark to 406, bettering the
previous record of 403 set by Shauna Owens (1988-91). Newsome also reached
double figures in kills for the 17th time this season, registering 12 kills on a
.258 hitting night. Junior Kellye Jordan
concluded her career with three kills,
10 digs and two blocks.
Kayla Fitterer delivered a match-high 18 kills and teammate Brianne Vande
Griend added 14 as Alabama evened its season series with State.
Alabama held the statistical edge in all categories, leading in kills
(59-49), digs (75-61) and team blocking (9-6).
Senior libero Kayla Woodard
paced State with a match-high 26 digs, becoming
the third MSU player to eclipse the 500-mark in a season. Woodard finished 507
digs, third-most in MSU volleyball history and just four behind Megan Lukasek’s
school mark of 511 set in 2007.
Freshman setter Paris Perret
registered 37 assists, raising her season
total to 1,020 and becoming the third MSU freshman to reach the 1,000
Alabama zipped to a 4-1 lead and used a 6-0 run midway through the opening
stanza to solidify a match-opening 25-14 win. Brianne Vande Griend and Kayla
Fitterer had five kills on six error-free attempts as Alabama opened the match
hitting at a sizzling .609 clip. Caitlin Rance
registered four of MSU’s 11 kills
in the set.
The Crimson Tide bettered their hot start in the second set, jumping out to
a 5-1 lead. The Bulldogs went on a 6-0 spree, and sparked by a kill and three
blocks by Ashley Newsome
, claimed their first lead of the match 14-13. State had
a pair of serves at set point, the last at 27-26 following Newsome’s fourth kill
of the set. But Alabama, with five more kills by Fitterer, reeled off the next
three points, the last two on service aces by Alyssa Meuth, to claim a 29-27
decision and a 2-0 match lead at the intermission.
State got its offense on track in the third, warming up to a match-best
.317 while leading throughout much of the stanza. Hannah Wilkinson
Newsome, Caitlin Rance
and Chanelle Baker
delivered kills during a 7-1 MSU surge
and the Bulldogs successfully fended off a pair of Alabama comeback attempts in
taking the third set 25-21. State twice built up seven-point leads and Rance
tallied five kills in the set to lead MSU.
The Tide wasted little taking control of the fourth set, racing to a 10-2
advantage and cruising on to a match-clinching 25- win. Alabama piled up a 17-8
edge in kills and hit .345 in the final stanza.