The Student Newspaper of Mississippi State University

The Reflector

The Student Newspaper of Mississippi State University

The Reflector

The Student Newspaper of Mississippi State University

The Reflector

MSU volleyball sweeps South Bend Invitational

Kathryn Beatty | The Reflector

MSU volleyball middle blocker Sania Petties and setter Gabby Coulter earned SEC volleyball player of the week awards this week.

The Mississippi State University volleyball team opened their season with two straight wins this weekend.

MSU played Milwaukee Friday night, winning three straight sets. The set scores were 25-16, 25-14, 25-14, all in the Bulldogs’ favor. 

Gabby Waden and Lauren Myrick led the ladies in their Friday night win, with 12 kills apiece. Mississippi State had 46 kills overall to Milwaukee’s 18, with a Bulldog hitting percentage of .295.

“I thought we handled the ball well, and we managed the risks well,” head coach Julie Darty Dennis said. “Milwaukee is a good offensive team that runs a lot of crazy patterns. We didn’t let them do that just because of how aggressive we were.” 

Deja Robinson was a key defensive player in Friday night’s games with five blocks and six kills. As of Friday night, Robinson has accumulated 409 blocks in her individual career record. 

“I’m very proud of an overall team win tonight,” Dennis said. “I think there were a lot of people who did a lot of great things, and it’s just a great team win to start off our season.” 

The ladies kept their momentum and swept Notre Dame on Saturday. The set scores were 25-19, 25-16 and 25-18, all in the Bulldogs’ favor, again. 
“I think we came out hot. We were super aggressive from the service line; it was one of our big focus things tonight,” Dennis said. “I’m proud that we put a lot of pressure on Notre Dame. This showed what can really happen when we get balanced and get our middles involved.” 
Waden led the team on Saturday night with 16 kills, Sania Petties had 13 kills and Myrick added another seven to her total for the weekend. Robinson, a middle blocker, added five kills of her own.
“Our middles kind of set that tone for us. That’s the team we want to be,” Dennis said. “We want to be balanced and have everybody in good opportunities to go up and help us carry a load. It was an impressive win for us. I think this is all about us wanting to have pride in who we are and to have the respect that we really want.” 
Mississippi State was active at the net, having 15 blocks. Petties, Waden and Robinson all led with four a piece.
“It was a total team win. Everybody did their best. It was a great overall effort,” Dennis said. “I’m proud of this group. We’re coming home, and we’re going to get back to it. We’ve got a long season, but I think we’re where we need to be. Hail State!” 
The Lady Bulldogs will head to Nashville, Tennessee, to compete in the Lippy Invitational on Sept. 2. MSU will face Lipscomb at 11 a.m. on Friday, then Oklahoma at 11 a.m. on Saturday, followed by Ball State at 3 p.m. that afternoon. 

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The Student Newspaper of Mississippi State University
MSU volleyball sweeps South Bend Invitational