The Official Website of the Southeastern Conference
The Official Website of the Southeastern Conference
Irish Invitational

Mississippi State sweeps Milwaukee to open season

41 days ago
Mississippi State Athletics
Photo: Mississippi State Athletics

SOUTH BEND, Ind. - The Mississippi State volleyball team started the 2022 campaign in the win column after sweeping Milwaukee (3-0) in the opening match of the Irish Invitational on Friday.

MSU took the first set by a score of 25-16 and the Bulldogs kept it rolling in the second set, claiming the 25-15 victory before closing out the match, 25-14, in the final frame.

"I thought we handled the ball well and we managed risks well," said head coach Julie Darty Dennis. "We got after it at the service line, and I'm okay with how aggressive we were back there because that's where we put a lot of pressure on them. 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."

The Bulldogs tailed 46 kills in the sweep, led by Gabby Waden and Lauren Myrick with the duo garnering 12 kills each. Sania Petties posted seven kills, while Deja Robinson grabbed six. Gabby Coulter and Sophie Agee each recorded four kills apiece.

Robinson moved up in the MSU record book by adding five blocks to her record. She now sits alone in the No. 1 spot in individual career records for total blocks (409). Robinson also captained State's offense to a .667 clip on the evening and dished out six kills and five blocks.

"I am so proud of Deja [Robinson]," Dennis said. "I thought her hands were so good tonight. She was reaching over the net, taking up space. That's always a big focus for us. I'm super excited for Deja to go down in the career record books. Obviously, this is a great way to start the season, by breaking a record like that. I'm excited for her to continue to be a presence for us at the net. That's a really cool way for us to start the year."

State held the Panthers to a .000 hitting clip in the match. MSU posted 14 blocks at the net, led by Robinson, while Waden captured three. Both Petties and Rebecca Walk had two blocks in the match while Agee had one in the three-set victory.

Lilly Gunter paced the backcourt defense with a team-high 17 digs, followed by Waden with 14. Myrick followed suit with nine digs, as did Jeffcoat by notching seven of her own.

"I'm very proud of an overall team win tonight, said Dennis. "We were really balanced, and it was good to get all of our attackers involved early and often. I think it's a good look for us offensively for us to be so balanced. 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."

Up Next

The Bulldogs are back in action Saturday as MSU takes on Notre Dame. The match between MSU and the Fighting Irish is set for 5 p.m. ET in South Bend.