News from MSU Media Relations--Sept. 23

The latest sports news from the MSU Media Relations Department...Soccer, Volleyball, Women's Tennis, Women's Basketball, Men's Tennis and Men's Golf.

STARKVILLE, Miss. - Parlaying the momentum of a stellar non-conference season is Mississippi State's goal heading into Friday night's Southeastern Conference opener at Auburn, set to begin at 7 p.m. at the Auburn Soccer Complex.

Coach Neil Macdonald's Bulldogs, winners of 15 of their last 17 non-conference matches, finished the pre-conference slate with a 7-2 record thanks to Sunday's 1-0 win at Oral Roberts.

Senior Kat Walsh lifted MSU to the victory, netting the golden goal, her first score of the season, off an Ashley Hood pass in the 70th minute.

Sophomore Rachel Wannek continues to pace Mississippi State with 11 points on four goals and three assists. Freshman Elisabeth Sullivan hopes the stellar start to her career carries into SEC action. The Memphis native has been outstanding on the attack for MSU, collecting three goals and three assists for nine points on the year.

Fellow rookie Abby Risner has drawn the last three starts in goal for the Dawgs. The Bentonville, Ark., native made a season-high nine saves against Oral Roberts en route to posting her first-career shutout. Risner has stopped 19 shots this season.

Sophomore Skylar Rosson has been in goal for six matches this season, stopping 24 shots while allowing five goals for a 0.83 goals against average. The Edmond, Okla., native has pitched three shutouts in 2010.

Auburn finished the non-conference portion of its schedule 6-2. The Tigers have scored 16 goals this season, with Katy Frierson leading the way with four goals and six assists.

Defensively, Amy Howard has played every minute in goal, making 22 saves while surrendering seven goals for a 0.85 goals against average.

STARKVILLE, Miss. - After playing their last eight matches away from home, Mississippi State's Volleyball Bulldogs return to action at the Newell-Grissom Building this weekend, launching their 10-match SEC home schedule with competition against a pair of SEC Western Division foes.

The Bulldogs (8-4, 0-1 SEC) take on Arkansas (7-6, 1-1 SEC) Friday at 7 p.m. in search of their fourth series home win in their last five Starkville meetings with the Razorbacks. State completes the weekend set Sunday at 1:30 p.m. when MSU meets its first ranked opponent of the year, No. 17 defending SEC champion LSU (11-0, 2-0 SEC).

State swept past its four opponents in the season-opening MSU Maroon Classic Aug. 27-28 in its only previous home competition this fall. Including a season-ending three-match win streak last fall at the Newell-Grissom Building, MSU enters the weekend riding a string of seven straight home wins.

"It's great to be back home on a big football weekend and playing in front of our fans again at the Newell-Grissom Building," said second-year head coach Jenny Hazelwood. "Our fans have been fantastic this year and have helped create a great home-court atmosphere. We'll be facing two outstanding teams this weekend and need to play well as a team to compete successfully against them."

State set Newell-Grissom Building attendance marks twice on opening weekend last month, drawing a facility-best 881 for the opening day's session and topping that mark a day later when 932 attended the second session.

MSU has posted a 1-4 worksheet since opening the campaign with a 7-0 run, the fourth-best season-opening and overall win streak in program history. The Bulldogs scrambled back from an 0-2 start in last Sunday's SEC season-opener at Ole Miss before bowing to the Rebels in a closely-contested four-set battle in Oxford. Junior outside hitter Caitlin Rance (Kingwood, Texas), tied for second in the SEC in total kills (163) to open the week, registered her team-leading fifth double-double with 16 kills and 10 digs against the Rebels. Senior middle blocker Ashley Newsome (Florence, Ala.), second in the SEC with a 1.27 per-set average in total blocks, matched a season best with seven blocks at UM.

Arkansas opened league play last weekend splitting a pair of five-set thrillers in Fayetteville. The Hogs overcame a 2-1 match deficit to rally past Georgia 3-2 before bowing to Auburn 3-2. LSU, the SEC's lone unbeaten team and one of six nationally ranked teams without a loss, registered a 3-1 win over Auburn and a straight-sets decision over Georgia last weekend in Baton Rouge.

There is no charge for admission to the matches. Promotional events scheduled for the weekend include a Military Night "Target Practice" competition Friday for those wearing camouflage clothing and military personnel and a "Sunday Bingo" contest. The first 100 fans at Sunday's MSU-LSU match will also receive a free lunch sandwich as part of the Hardee's Tailgate Rebound event.

Fans are also encouraged to bring canned food items to the weekend matches to donate to the Southeastern Conference's Together We "CAN" community food drive.

Women's Tennis
STARKVILLE, Miss. - For the sixth time in the past seven seasons, the Mississippi State women's tennis team will travel to Tuscaloosa, Ala., this weekend to compete in the 23rd annual Roberta Allison Fall Classic, played at the Alabama Tennis Stadium and Alabama Recreational Courts.

In their last appearance at the Roberta Allison Fall Classic (in 2008), the Lady Bulldogs were able to earn two doubles championships in their respective brackets. This will be the first appearance in the tournament for any of the four Lady Bulldogs travelling to Tuscaloosa this weekend.

In addition to MSU, the 10-team playing field will include host-school Alabama, Baylor, Georgia State, Kentucky, Memphis, Samford, Tulane, UAB, and UT-Martin.

Two of the Lady Bulldogs travelling this weekend are looking to play off momentum from last weekend as they were able to earn wins at the SEC Fall Coaches Classic. Sophomore Danielle Terpko and junior Jordan Zachary notched victories there.

Joining Zachary and Terpko in competition this weekend will be true freshman Vivian Pietraroia who was limited to only the first day of play in the SEC Coaches' Classic due to a minor hand injury.

Finally, the fourth Lady Bulldog taking the trip this weekend will be junior Mariia Ryzhova. Joining the team last August, Ryzhova did not play in last fall but came through as one of the top competitors for MSU in the spring. She hopes to continue her success as she travels to Tuscaloosa.

The format of the tournament is as follows: two rounds of doubles on Friday with one round of singles following, the final round of doubles on Saturday followed by the second round of singles, and the final round of singles on Sunday. Singles draws will include eight individuals while doubles draws will include eight teams making for three rounds in each.

The Lady Bulldogs are slated to begin play Friday, September 24, at 1 p.m. CT.

Women's Basketball
STARKVILLE, Miss. - The Mississippi State women's basketball coaching staff will host the Lady Bulldog Basketball Coaches Clinic on Saturday, Oct. 16, beginning at 9 a.m. at Humphrey Coliseum. Registration will begin at 8:30 a.m. The event, open to coaches of all divisions, is $35 per participant.

This year's clinic will feature question and answer sessions in video breakdown, zone offense and defense, transition offense and defense, man-to-man offense and defense as well as discussion forums on NCAA compliance, strength and conditioning and athletic training. Other topics to be covered include team practice with shooting drills, man to man offense and defensive situations, screens and special situations.

Lunch will be provided as well as coffee and donuts during registration.

For more information or to register, please contact Joey Burton in the women's basketball office at 662-325-5465.

Men's Tennis
STARKVILLE, Miss. - While the Mississippi State football team will be hosting the Georgia Bulldogs on the gridiron this weekend, the Mississippi State men's tennis team will be making the trip to the Georgia Bulldogs hometown in Athens, to open its fall season and compete in the Southern Intercollegiate Championship.

"We are very excited to get the fall started," said coach Per Nilsson, who is leading MSU in his fourth season. "The Southern Intercollegiate is a very good tournament and it will be a great opportunity for our guys to play some quality matches."

MSU will send four members of its team to the Southern Intercollegiate led by senior Tanner Stump, who tallied four wins in singles and six in doubles last season. Joining Stump is junior Hrehan Hakeem, who earned seven singles victories and three in doubles last season, and a pair of freshmen who will be making their Maroon and White debut. Zach White of Niagara Fall, Canada, and Malte Stropp of Dusseldorf, Germany, will be making their collegiate debut at the fall tournament. Stropp entered the fall as the 10th ranked freshman/newcomer in singles in the country.

The Bulldogs will begin play at the Southern Intercollegiate on Friday, Sept. 24 and results will be made available at

Men's Golf
STARKVILLE, Miss. - For the fourth-straight year and sixth time in its history, the Mississippi State men's golf team will make the trip up north to tee off in the 10th annual Mason Rudolph Championship played in Franklin, Tenn., at the par-71 Vanderbilt Legends Club South Course.

"The field at the Mason Rudolph Championship will be very solid with some SEC schools and several other talented regional teams," said Coach Clay Homan, who is in his eighth season as the Bulldogs lead man. "We will have our work cut out for us, but we are up for the challenge."

MSU has posted three all-time top five finishes at the Mason Rudolph but had a disappointing 15th place showing last season. This year, in their opening tournament for the fall at the Sam Hall Intercollegiate, the Bulldogs tallied a fourth place finish for the eighth best all-time team score of 846 through the three rounds. State's third round total of 280 tied for seventh all-time in the Mississippi State record books.

The 17-team field includes host-school Vanderbilt, Akron, Arkansas State, Belmont, Davidson, Georgia State, Lipscomb, Memphis, Middle Tennessee, Oklahoma, in-state rival Ole Miss, South Alabama, SEC-foe South Carolina, Chattanooga, UT-Martin and Western Carolina.

Sophomore Brad Mason leads the Bulldogs into the Mason Rudolph, hoping to ride the wave of momentum after tying for the team's top finish at the Sam Hall Intercollegiate and earning a career-best fifth place finish among the individual field. In the fall opener, Mason also set career-bests for the first round score with a 68 and three-round total with a 208.

Joining Mason is Bulldog true freshman Chad Ramey, who is making his second career appearance in a collegiate tournament. Ramey tied Mason for the team lead in the Sam Hall Intercollegiate, posting a fifth place finish with rounds of 71-68-69 equaling a 5-under-par 208.

Sophomore Robi Calvesbert earned a 12th place finish at the Sam Hall Intercollegiate and scored a career-best 211 through three rounds of action. Calvesbert is making his 12th straight appearance in the Bulldog lineup and will be making his Mason Rudolph debut after not participating in last season's tournament.

Lee Heaton, a junior from Oxted, England, will be making his debut for the Bulldogs this season. Heaton was MSU's leader in scoring average last season and was active in all 12 tournaments for the Bulldogs. True freshman Axel Boasson rounds out the Bulldog lineup and is making his second-straight appearance for MSU. In his collegiate debut at the Sam Hall Intercollegiate, Boasson posted a three-round total of 221.

Three separate 18-hole rounds will be played beginning Friday, Sept. 24 and ending on Sunday, Sept. 26. The Bulldogs will tee off Friday's action at 8 a.m. CT, with live stats available at

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