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MS State overwhelms Alabama in SEC home opener sweep

72 days ago
Mississippi State Athletics
Photo: Mississippi State Athletics

STARKVILLE, Miss. - Mississippi State's volleyball team earned a nice and tidy sweep of Alabama [25-16, 25-20, 25-21] in front of a raucous 752 fans on Friday evening at the Newell-Grissom Building.

"Our fans and our family are the best in the country, and I cannot thank them enough for creating this atmosphere," head coach Julie Darty Dennis said. "It is electric as ever and gives us this edge when we play at home. It's such a special place to play, and it means so much when we're at home."

Karli Schmidt and Sophie Agee led the Maroon and White with 10 kills each. Schmidt has pumped home double-digit kills in nine of her last 12 outings. Schmidt also added three blocks on the evening. On top of Agee's 10 kills, she collected 12 digs for her third double-double of the season while adding two aces.

"Our outside had to carry a big load tonight," Dennis said. "I think we knew going in it was going to be a serve and pass battle. Our outsides took a lot of swings, and I thought they did a good job managing risks, being aggressive and smart, and finding ways to score. I am really proud of our outsides for carrying us offensively."

Amina Shackelford was impactful on the front line with seven kills on a .467 hitting mark while adding two blocks. Caylee Sharkey followed Shackelford by also providing seven kills on a .300 hitting clip. Her seven kills were just two shy of her season high.

Rebecca Walk came away with three kills on a .500 hitting percentage and three blocks, whereas Sanaa Williams provided two blocks and an ace.

Alexa Fortin Goede and Emily Oerther distributed a combined 27 assists and 15 digs. Individually, Goede registered 15 assists and five digs, while Oerther earned her second double-double of the year with 12 assists and 10 digs.

Lauren Myrick fueled the back row with 16 digs to go along with seven assists, one ace and one kill. State's libero has secured 10-plus digs in 10 of her 12 appearances on the season. Defensive specialist Mary Neal provided seven digs and an ace.

"I thought the defensive effort was on point," Dennis said. "They played really good, calm, and composed volleyball."

As a team, Mississippi State complied 40 kills on a .243 hitting percentage. The Bulldogs limited Alabama to 32 kills on a .145 attach mark.

Up Next

Mississippi States hosts No. 14 Tennessee on Friday at 5pm ET at the Newell-Grissom Building. The match will be aired on SEC Network+.