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The Reflector

The Student Newspaper of Mississippi State University

The Reflector

The Student Newspaper of Mississippi State University

The Reflector

Bulldogs dominate No. 14 Florida in a home matchup

Volleyball
Ivy Rose Ball | The Reflector
Volleyball

The Mississippi State University volleyball team secured a desperately needed SEC win at home Friday, relieving them of their losing streak. 
The Bulldogs upset the No. 14 ranked Florida Gators at home this past weekend, beating them in four sets. This marked the Bulldogs’ first win at home over the Gators in program history.
After trailing in the first set, the Bulldogs came back and won the first set 25-18 thanks to seven errors from the Gators. Florida, however, would take the second set, 25-20, to tie the match.
From then on, it was a back and forth battle between the Bulldogs and the Gators in the third and fourth sets, with each team going on their own scoring runs. Mississippi State senior Karli Schmidt and redshirt junior Amina Shackleford helped lead the charge on Friday with Shackleford leading the team with a season-high 18 kills, including the winning kill in set four.
Bulldogs head coach Julie Darty Dennis said she gave Shackleford and the rest of the team a bit of a pep talk before the game, and the girls certainly exceeded her hopes and expectations on the court.
“I talked to Amina before the match about a couple things that she had to do if we were going to be in it,” Dennis said. “The serves she had at the end and the numbers she had tonight was an absolutely incredible performance for her. I am really excited for our team.”
Behind Shackleford, sophomore Sophie Agee tacked on 16 kills while Schmidt recorded 13. Defensively, the Bulldogs got 12 blocks on the court, with senior Rebecca Walk leading the way with her own season-high of seven blocks. As a team, Mississippi State is tied for the third-most blocks in a match this season and tied for most against an SEC opponent.
“This is a great win for our program, for our fans and for our future,” Dennis said. “All week we’ve been talking about playing with intensity and focus. When you play a team like Florida, you’re going to have to play hard because they’re going to want to go hard as well. I am proud of the way we raised our level.”
With the upset, the Bulldogs now sit at an overall record of 9-8, including 2-5 in SEC play.
Up next, the Bulldogs will hit the road to Lexington, Kentucky, to play the No. 23 Kentucky Wildcats on Friday at 6 p.m. The game will be aired on SEC Network.

About the Contributor
Colin James, Staff Writer
Colin James is a senior communication major. Colin is currently a staff writer for The Reflector.
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The Student Newspaper of Mississippi State University
Bulldogs dominate No. 14 Florida in a home matchup