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

Record breaking afternoon, positives found in defeat to 10th ranked Kentucky

Noah Siano | The Reflector

Senior libero Payton Harris, of Houston, Texas, has 1712 career digs after her 15 dig performance against Kentucky. The 1712 digs is now the highest eveer in school history. 

Coming into the game against No. 10 University of Kentucky (12-2, 3-0 SEC), Mississippi State University (9-10, 0-4 SEC) volleyball’s senior libero Payton Harris was seven digs shy of the school career record for digs. Halfway through the second set, she broke the record as she finished the game with 15 digs.

“I didn’t really pay attention honestly, I think some of my teammates told me, and I tell everyone this that I don’t go out there to break records,” Harris said.  “I go out there to help my team win, keeping the balls off of the ground breaks a couple of records and that’s what I can do, but I don’t really think about it,”

Head coach David McFatrich said he was extremely proud of Harris, whose role as a senior is vital to a young team. Her experience is important in the conference season as they have 14 more games left including a long road stretch.

“I’m so proud of her, she stepped up and is leading the team, she’s doing a good job and I’m really, really proud of her,” McFatrich said.

Harris almost did not come to MSU and visited Central Arkansas where McFatrich previously coached. McFatrich said he was thankful they both ended up at MSU.

“I was really hoping to coach her, and I thought she was going to commit there and she committed to Mississippi State,” McFatrich said. “I got the job here, so I’m grateful to get to coach her for three years. It’s been a blast.”

Other than Harris breaking the record, this game was a rough for MSU. Kentucky swept the Bulldogs by a score of 21-25, 20-25, 16-25 across the three sets, but McFatrich was able to find some positives in how the team played.

“I’m proud of our girls, I feel like we took a couple steps back against Ole Miss the way we played the first two games, but to come out here, even though we lost to the No. 10 team in the nation I feel like we took a couple steps forward,” McFatrich said.

McFatrich said he felt the team played well enough to win the first set and that they fought hard in the second set. However, we said there are some things that need to be improved.

“I feel like we are getting better. It hasn’t resulted in any wins in the conference yet but I do feel like we are getting better and I’m proud of the way they fought today,”  McFatrich said. “We’ve got to steady out on our passing. When it’s good we get good swings. We are getting better on our swings, and we are doing better on our setter-hitter connections.”

Finishing strong, playing consistently and closing out the sets are all things Harris said the team can better and are things they will work on in practice this week as they play LSU on Oct. 8.

“Just coming in every day and working the best we can, and we know what we need to do we just got to get out there and execute the things we need to do,” Harris said. “Get back in the gym this week and work on the little things and we will be good. I’m excited to see how we will do against LSU and A&M.”

The game is in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, and starts at 6 p.m. The SEC Network will broadcast the game.

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The Student Newspaper of Mississippi State University
Record breaking afternoon, positives found in defeat to 10th ranked Kentucky