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MSU Volleyball Blanked At No. 21 Georgia Tech

ATLANTA, Georgia – Mississippi State’s volleyball team faced its first ranked opponent of 2021 on the road and was blanked by No. 21 Georgia Tech [25-16, 25-22, 25-19] during Thursday evening’s action from O’Keefe Gymnasium at the Georgia Tech Classic.

The Bulldogs (6-2) were limited to 30 kills and a .161 attack percentage, while the Yellow Jackets (5-1) countered with 45 kills and a .286 hitting clip.

A key for Georgia Tech was controlling the first contact battle with seven aces which also held State to a 58.9 sideout percentage.

“Ultimately, not the result we were looking for facing our first ranked opponent in their building,” head coach Julie Darty Dennis said. “Credit to a Georgia Tech. They showed why they’re a top 25 team. They were able to put us on our heels with their serve-pass game, and they were able to get their outside hitters more involved that we were.”

Jessica Kemp provided a team-leading seven kills and tacked on three blocks, while Sania Petties amassed six kills on 12 errorless swings for a team-high .500 hitting mark.

MSU’s setters, Gabby Coulter and Margaret Dean, combined for 22 assists and 13 digs, headed by Dean’s double-double of 13 assists and 11 digs.

Gabby Waden and Lauren Myrick were bottled up for season-lows of five kills apiece. The Bulldogs offense was rounded out by Callie Minshew’s and Deja Robinson’s three kills each.

The Yellow Jackets led wire-to-wire during their 25-16 opening set win and their 25-19 triumph in the third set.

Mississippi State jumped out to a 6-3 lead to begin the middle stanza built by two Myrick kills in addition to kills courtesy of Minshew and Petties. Georgia Tech pieced together five consecutive to turn an 11-9 State advantage into a 14-11 deficit. The Bulldogs were able to draw even on five separate occasions, the latest at 18-18. A Minshew ace trimmed State’s deficit to 23-22. However, Georgia Tech secured the sweep after a MSU service error coupled with an ace of its own.

Mississippi State meets Oklahoma to conclude its stay in Atlanta with a chance for its third consecutive winning weekend to start the season. Friday’s first serve is on-tap for 4 p.m. CT from O’Keefe Gymnasium on the Georgia Tech campus.

“We still have a huge opportunity ahead of us against another quality opponent in Oklahoma from the Big 12 tomorrow,” Dennis said. “Like last weekend, I look forward to seeing how the team learns from our mistakes and the response from the team after we faced some adversity tonight.”

The Bulldogs are in the midst of back-to-back road weekends. State return home to the friendly confines of the Newell-Grissom Building to wrap up their non-conference slate with Syracuse, South Alabama and Jackson State from September 17-19 at the Hail State Invitational.