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 unable to match Kentucky’s talent, looks ahead to next two games

Mississippi State University’s volleyball team (5-13, 1-4) fell to No 18 University of Kentucky (10-4, 4-0) Friday evening in straight sets (11-25, 10-25, 13-25).

Head coach Julie Darty said her team needs improve at the middle position as well as pass the ball better, something they were unable to do against Kentucky.

“Kentucky is a really good team and I can see why they are ranked 18. I mean physically, they are super talented,” Darty said. “They handle the ball super well and the things that we are supposed to do–pass the ball, serve super tough and win the transition game–I don’t think we really executed those things tonight.”

The powerful Kentucky team is led by AVCA First Team All-American Leah Edmond, junior Lexington, Kentucky, who is in the running to be named SEC Player of the Year (POY). Darty said it is a challenge to prepare for a player of her caliber since MSU lacks that on the team.

“In practice we do a lot of competition…, because we can’t really replicate what an All-American is going to do on the other side of the net,” Darty said. “One thing we talk about is putting out the effort and energy. I think the execution will find a way to take care of itself, but we’re going to keep pushing, we’re going to keep grinding, we’re going to keep finding ways to score points.”

Dirty said the team will have to find a way to score points in ways as teams like Kentucky does. Adding that the points they score will come from hard-played battles.

“We are just going to have to be ok with doing it in really creative ways,” Darty said. “Where they are going to get these really pretty hangin’ bangin’ kills, and we might just have to tool the block and tip and move the ball around.”

As MSU faces strong teams, it becomes harder to beat the block head on. Darty addressed this problem by changing up how the offense attacks the opposition by utilizing Paige Shaw, a freshman from Hoover, Alabama.

“We are trying to go a little bit faster with Paige (Shaw),” Daryt said. “With Paige, we definitely are trying to speed the offense up. We were trying to run a little more of a rip, some two balls inside and just try to vary the offense a little bit with her, and give her more opportunities to score.”

Taking a defeat after 10 days off can be hard on the team, especially when they want to win so badly for the fans who have been so supportive of the team this season.

“It hurts because it has been such a long time since we have had the chance to compete,” Darty said. “It’s been a long time since we have actually been on our court with fans here, and the fans are amazing. The people that are coming out to support us this year, it has been unbelievable.”

Darty said she appreciated the fans showing up to the games and continuing to support the program as she tries to rebuild the team. At the same time she expects the team to rebound from the loss.

“I just want to give a huge shout out to all of them because it has been amazing to see all these people in our gym to support us,” Darty said. ”And they know it is going to be a year where there is growing pains, but I think it is really cool to see that they are sticking with us. At the same time, a loss is a loss and we have to be ready to go again.”

MSU lost 0-3 against the University of Tennessee on Sunday in Knoxville, Tennessee.

SEC network will broadcast the next game as MSU travels to Arkansas at 7 p.m. Oct. 12. MSU will host Missouri at their next home game at 1 p.m. Oct. 14.

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The Student Newspaper of Mississippi State University
MSU unable to match Kentucky’s talent, looks ahead to next two games