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

Mississippi State bests Notre Dame in straight sets

40 days ago
Mississippi State Athletics
Photo: Mississippi State Athletics

SOUTH BEND, Ind. - The Mississippi State volleyball team grabbed its second sweep in as many matches after topping Notre Dame in straight sets on Saturday afternoon. MSU took an early lead in the first set, taking the frame 25-19, then followed with a statement 25-16 victory in the second. The Bulldogs closed out the match in a tight battle with a 25-18 win in the final set. "I think we came out hot," head coach Julie Darty Dennis said. "We were super aggressive from the service line. That was one of the big things we were focused on tonight. We managed a lot more from the service line. I think our ace-to-error ratio was right where we wanted it to be. I'm proud that we put a lot of pressure on Notre Dame. Overall, we stuck with the 5-1 for a while. [Gabby] Coulter did a great job of keeping her balance and getting everybody involved. It was an unbelievable night for Sania [Petties]. She was lights out. She had 13 kills on 17 swings, and no errors whatsoever. It really shows what can happen when we get balanced and get our middles involved." Gabby Waden led the offensive for the Bulldogs, posting 16 kills, seven digs and four blocks. Petties 13 kills were second on the team and she added 4 blocks. Lauren Myrick posted seven kills, and Shania Cromartie added six and 15 digs. Middle blocker Deja Robinson added five kills and four blocks of her own in the three-setter. "We needed to get Deja [Robinson] in some better opportunities, but overall, our middles kind of set that tone for us," Dennis said. "That's the team we want to be. We want to be balanced and have everybody in good opportunities to go up and help us carry a load. It was an impressive win for us. Notre Dame is a great program. They're on the up and up. This is a great ACC team for us to beat. I think this is all about us wanting to have pride in who we are, and to have the respect that we really want across the country." Petties led the Bulldogs with a .765 hitting clip and earned State 15.5 points. State was dominate at the net, posting 15 blocks. Petties, Waden and Robinson each posted four apiece. Cromartie added two blocks, while Coulter posed one. "It was a total team win," said Dennis. "Everybody did their best. It was a great overall effort. Opening weekend is tough. You don't know a lot about your opponent, but I think we learned a lot about ourselves tonight. I'm proud of this group. We're coming home, and we're going to get back to it. We've got a long season, but I think we're where we need to be. Hail State!"