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The Student Newspaper of Mississippi State University

The Reflector

The Student Newspaper of Mississippi State University

The Reflector

MSU volleyball takes down rival Ole Miss Rebels

The+Volleydawgs+celebrate+after+a+kill+from+Sophie+Agee+that+sealed+the+deal+for+a+Mississippi+State+win.
Ivy Rose Ball

The Volleydawgs celebrate after a kill from Sophie Agee that sealed the deal for a Mississippi State win.

In a neck-and-neck matchup between the Bulldogs and Rebels, Mississippi State University volleyball fought to the final point to earn a win against Ole Miss Sunday at home.
The score bounced between both teams and the outcome did not reveal itself until the end of the fifth. This was no sweep. This was a battle.
Tye-dye stations set up in front of Newell-Grissom brought about an extra air of school spirit. Music flooded out of the doors as fans flooded in wearing pink breast cancer awareness pins to support an important cause. The bubbly atmosphere prepared the Bulldogs to give all they had on the court.
The energy of the game was unmatched with fans roaring in cheers, ready to see the intense rivalry take place in the center of the arena.
The Bulldogs’ first serve went straight to the net, giving the game a rocky start. However, fans put their faith in the team and cheered as they shook it off and bounced back.
The same mishap occurred when the Bulldogs started the third set. It was another serve into the net and another reason to shake it off and get their heads back into the game.
“Good thing we got that out of the way,” Head Coach Julie Darty Dennis said about the team’s shaky serves.
A good thing it was because after these serves, the Bulldogs continued to get after it and bring the scores back up. Although they dropped the first set 14-25, the Bulldogs secured the second set 25-12. With both teams having secured one set — set three changed the energy for the remainder of the match.
Right when set three marked the first half of the game, the fans’ energy began dying out. Cheering softened, fans started to leave and hope for the team was beginning to fade. Set three seemed to give each team a point after every volley. Unfortunately, the Rebels took this set 25-23.
Sophomore outside hitter Sophie Agee explained the shift of energy in the crowd as the game progressed.
“After the first set we had talked about we had so many fans. We had the band here and the dance team and it was quiet and we trying to get the fans back on our side,” Agee said. “So we’re just doing everything that we could on the court to get everyone back.”
With the energy of the fans fading, the energy of both teams followed. Set four was a lot slower and each side seemed tired. The game made it past the halfway point, and everyone was ready for someone to win.
Mississippi State finally took charge and rallied to get the score up. Shortly after senior libero Lauren Myrick scored an ace, the Bulldogs sent a rocket to Rebel territory winning set four 25-20.
At this point, fans started to come back, energy levels rose and Newell-Grissom was once again filled with excitement about the game. Tension was at its peak as the score went back-and-forth between the teams. The Rebels held onto the upper hand until MSU stole it back with a block.
After a brief pep talk that put the Bulldogs back in the right mindset, Mississippi State hit the court fired up and ready to compete. The Bulldogs scored three consecutive points, tying the scoreboard at 10-10. Fans throughout the stadium paced on their feet. The tension, excitement, anxiousness and intensity spread like wildfire throughout the stadium.
As the game was less than three points away from announcing a winner, Agee sent a speedy kill making the score 13-11.
“I was excited. I was ready for it,” Agee said. “That’s the point that you want and so I knew my teammates were behind me and supportive of me and so I went up there, and it was awesome.”
The hit was direct and quick, exactly what the coaches wanted. After another point, MSU needed one more point for victory. Of course, Agee knew exactly what to do. A block from an attempted kill put the ball on the ground of the Rebel side. The team and fans erupted in cheers, celebrating the victory against Ole Miss.
“She did exactly what we told her to do.” Darty-Dennis said. “I think that’s part of it. They executed a really good game plan. They executed a high level, and they didn’t really go rogue and play messy and sloppy volleyball.”
The team did exactly what they were supposed to, and by listening to their coaches and giving it all they had, they ended the game with a well-deserved victory.
“As long as we’re clean and we’re following our game plan, things are going to go our way,” Darty-Dennis said.
The Bulldogs hope to continue with their winning momentum in Tuscaloosa, Alabama, as they take on the Alabama Crimson Tide Friday at 6 p.m. The game will be broadcast on SEC Network.

About the Contributor
Kensi Brandenburg, Staff Writer
Kensi Brandenburg is a sophomore communication major. Kensi is currently a staff writer for The Reflector.
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MSU volleyball takes down rival Ole Miss Rebels