STARKVILLE - The Mississippi State volleyball team protected its home floor and capped an undefeated opening weekend courtesy of a 3-2 victory over Louisiana [21-25, 21-25, 25-14, 25-20, 15-13] during Sunday's action at the StarkVegas Classic.
"We went down 0-2 and came back to win a reverse sweep," head coach Julie Darty Dennis said. "I think it was great for them to feel some pressure. Their backs were against the wall, and for them to make a choice to come back and play with grit and resolve was really fun to watch. Once we turned it on it was really clean. In the third set we had zero hitting errors and a .560 hitting percentage. I was so proud of the team."
Karli Schmidt, an All-Tournament pick, led the Bulldogs (3-0) for a third straight match with 16 kills while also adding three blocks. Sophie Agee turned in a double-double performance with 11 kills and 12 digs.
"I am so excited and proud of Sophie [Agee] for earning a double-double tonight." Dennis said. "Karli [Schmidt] had another big night with 16 kills. Over the weekend, we saw that our outsides are willing to rise to the occasion and score points for us, and that's exactly what we need."
All-Tournament selection Rebecca Walk tallied 11 kills on a .529 attack percentage. She also tacked on six blocks.
Mississippi State's block proved to be a major factor and bottled up Louisiana to a .098 attack mark. Amina Shackelford worked her way to eight kills and a team-leading eight blocks, whereas Zoe Gonzales came away with seven blocks of her own.
Emily Oerther joined Agee on the double-double train with 18 assists and 10 digs, while Lauren Myrick sprawled out for a match-leading 27 digs and added five assists.
Alexa Fortin Goede provided 23 assists and nine digs. Goede and Oether dropped 41 combined assists and added 19 combined digs.
Mississippi State hits the road for the next two weekends. First up, a trip to Orlando, Fla. where the Bulldogs are scheduled to meet UCF (Friday - 6 p.m. CT) and FIU (Saturday - 4 p.m. CT) for the UCF Challenge.