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MS State ends season on high note, overcomes LSU

91 days ago
Mississippi State Athletics
Photo: Mississippi State Athletics

STARKVILLE - The Mississippi State volleyball team closed out its regular season and celebrated Senior Day in style with a 3-1 victory over LSU on Saturday evening inside the Newell-Grissom Building.

Prior to the match, State took time to honor its 2023 senior class, including recognitions for Alexa Fortin Goede, Zoe Gonzales, Lauren Myrick, Emily Oerther and volleyball manager Zach Stepp.

The Bulldogs took the first set 26-24, but LSU came back with a 25-17 win in the second set. MSU followed with a 25-14 win in the third and closed out the match with a 25-19 victory.

"I think it was important to send our seniors out with a win," head coach Julie Darty Dennis said. "We wanted to show our love and appreciation. I think they did a great job executing and playing hard today. I am excited and proud that we can send Zoe, Alexa, Lauren and Emily out like that. Certainly appreciate all the fans; it was an awesome crowd for a holiday weekend. We felt their energy and felt their presence today and all season. To seal the season with a win like that means a lot to us and leaves us with a better taste in our mouth. I'm just excited to continue to grow in the coming months we have."

Karli Schmidt led the way with a career-high 20 kills on a .444 hitting clip. Schmidt also tacked on five digs and two blocks.

"Karli knows how to be clutch," Dennis said. "She's going to make an error here and there, but she has short-term memory. She doesn't believe that failure is final. Karli is a super positive player that was unreal for us. She was lights out and unstoppable. For a while, it was their outside, Jurnee Robinson, and I'm just super happy Karli is on our side of the net. "

Amina Shackelford followed with 13 kills and three blocks, while Rebecca Walk posted seven kills to the stat sheet and an ace.

Sophie Agee came away with six kills, six digs and two blocks, while Gonzales provided five kills on a .417 hitting percentage and a team-leading eight blocks. Caylee Sharkey collected two kills with a .333 hitting mark.

The Bulldogs offense was anchored by Goede and Oerther, who combined for 40 assists. Oerther issued a team-best 25 assists and an ace, while Goede provided 15 assists.

Myrick fueled the back row with 10 digs and five assists, with Mary Neal collecting five digs of her own.

Myrick closed out her time in the Maroon and White with 1,120 digs, 754 kills, and 142 assists. In Oerther's two seasons with the Bulldogs, she collected 638 assists, 203 digs and 23 aces. Goede and Gonzales wore their MSU jerseys proudly in their lone season with State. Goede tallied 325 assists and 126 digs, while Gonzales issued 61 kills and 57 blocks.

Mississippi State improves to 13-15 on the season and 6-12 in SEC play, while LSU moves to 11-17 overall and 6-12 in league play.