Mississippi State Volleyball Falls to No. 24 Missouri in Series Opener
Published 11:00 am Friday, March 26, 2021
STARKVILLE – Mississippi State volleyball fell victim to a strong No. 24 Missouri program in the first contest of a two-match series Wednesday (March 24) at the Newell-Grissom Building.
Late Missouri (14-7, 14-7 SEC) runs in the first two sets gave the Tigers a 2-0 advantage. Mizzou then used its momentum to close out the sweep in the third frame and down MSU (4-13, 4-13 SEC).
“Missouri is a very talented team, and I thought we came in with a ton of intensity and fight in the first set,” MSU volleyball head coach Julie Darty Dennis said. “We were getting scrappy and playing hard with them. We were keeping it close, and that’s what we needed to do to stay in it with them.
“They are a very polished offensive team, and they hit well. Their attackers find the open court. Defensively, we tried to stay in those long rallies, but we just weren’t able to put balls away and score enough points to carry the momentum we had in the first set on to the second and third sets.”
The two clubs will meet again Thursday in the Newell-Grissom Building for the second and final match of the series. Originally scheduled for a 3 p.m. CT first serve, the contest will now begin at 11 a.m. CT.
“I am really proud of our effort,” Darty Dennis said. “I hope that we can get some rest, come back and compete and enjoy another home match.”
Missouri’s Kylie Deberg totaled 18 kills on a .400 hitting percentage to lead a Tiger offense that attacked at a .295 percentage.
- Mississippi State won the blocking battle, 5-4, with six Bulldogs earning at least one block.
- With three blocks on Wednesday, graduate transfer middle blocker Jessica Kemp extended her streak of matches with three or more blocks to 10 contests.
First Set (Missouri 25, Mississippi State 21)
After the two teams went back and forth for the early part of the opening frame, a kill and a service ace by Missouri’s Deberg created a Tiger lead, 13-11, that Missouri built on. Two blocks, a net violation and a kill gave State a 4-0 run and brought the Bulldogs within one, 20-19, but Deberg ended the run with another kill to start a streak of three straight scores for the Tigers. Claudia Dillon finished the frame with her fourth kill of the set while scoring three of the four points in that fashion.
Second Set (Missouri 25, Mississippi State 16)
A service error gave MSU a 12-11 lead, but the Tigers answered with seven straight scores. The Bulldogs couldn’t recover, and Mizzou took a 2-0 match advantage.
Third Set (Missouri 25, Mississippi State 18)
Missouri went to work early in the final frame with a 9-1 run to get out to a 9-3 lead. After four straight points brought up set point for Mizzou, the Dawgs showed fight with three consecutive points before the Tigers clinched the 25-18 third set win.
The Bulldogs and Tigers will close the series at 11 a.m. Thursday (March 25) in The Griss. Fans can watch the match via the SEC Network+ digital platform.
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