BOONE, N.C. - Haley Greenwell continued her impressive sophomore assault Friday, placing 11th overall at the Blue Ridge Open to lead the Mississippi State Lady Bulldogs to a third-place finish.
The Collierville, Tenn., native ran the 5k State Farm Field course at 18:00.80 to top all MSU runners, while the men also turned in a Top 5 finish at No. 5, paced by Adam Lenz' 21st-place finish with an 8K time of 25:22.30.
On the women's side, Duke, ranked No. 6 nationally, won with 23 points. Virginia Tech was second with 63 points. The Lady Bulldogs totaled 127 points, followed by Kentucky and host Appalachian State at 191 and 194, respectively, to round out the Top 5.
Finishing first on the men's side was Appalachian State with 59 points, followed by High Point (63), Virginia Tech (108), Kentucky (143) and the Bulldogs (160).
"Haley Greenwell ran real well again," MSU coach Steve Dudley said. "But again, this sport is entirely about the team, and when she finished, all she was worried about was how everyone else did. And this time, we had more girls step up. This is a group that doesn't care about individual accomplishments, and it's starting to show."
Renee Masterson was the second Lady Bulldog to cross the finish line, posting a time of 18:24.30. Not far behind were Katie Huston (18:35.80), Dominque Lockhart (18:54.40) and Chloe Phillips (19:00.20).
"I really saw a difference in Katie," Dudley said. "Renee was again solid. She's never going to have a bad race, and that's the type of athlete you love to have."
While there's still improvement to be had on the men's side, Dudley felt it was one of the Bulldogs' best runs of the season.
"I know they can run a lot better, and they know they can run a lot better," he said. "Our middle guys ran well, and we improved. We still have some ground to make up, but I'm seeing progress."
Although the Bulldogs placed fifth overall, they actually won the gold division. Overall, coming in behind Lenz were Nick Perkins (25:30.40), Juan Sanches (26:06.40), Cameron Vernier (26:09.00) and Mike Clark (26:28.40).
STARKVILLE, Miss. - Mississippi State was unable to overcome a strong second half by Arkansas as it suffered a 4-0 setback to the Razorbacks Friday night at the MSU Soccer Field.
The loss dropped State to 7-9 overall and 0-7 in league play. Arkansas improved to 5-8-2 and 2-4-1 in the league.
The Dawgs host LSU at 1 p.m. Sunday to close out the weekend's action.
The two squads engaged in a tough, physical battle over the course of the 90 minutes. Neither team was able to come up with a goal in the opening half despite firing 17 shots.
Arkansas opened the match with three shots in the first five minutes of action. The best chance came at the 4:56 mark when Allie Chandler's attempt hit off the crossbar and Kelsey Allison's follow-up attempt went wide of the net.
The Bulldogs answered right back with a ball in the box, but Tarah Henderson's shot sailed just wide of the net.
MSU sophomore Skylar Rosson, who finished the match with seven saves, stymied an Arkansas first-half breakaway when she made a diving stop in a one-on-one situation.
State's best attempt of the opening half came in the 32nd minute. Freshman Elisabeth Sullivan, State's leading scorer with 12 points on the season, beat a pair of Razorback defenders and raced down the left side of goal. Her shot just missed the target as she went to the ground right when she struck the ball.
Kim Pettit worked in front of the goal in the 42nd minute, but Britni Williams managed to make the save to keep the game scoreless going to halftime.
Ally Atkins broke the scoreless tie in the 61st minute as she took the corner kick at the left corner of the 18-yard box and fired a shot that slipped past Rosson.
Three minutes later Camille Flores scored on a header to extend the lead to 2-0, and Chandler hit a strike from 25 yards at the 65:53 mark to put UA ahead 3-0.
The Razorbacks' Yvonne Desjarlais scored the game's final goal in the 76th minute.
KNOXVILLE, Tenn. - Nikki Fowler tallied 13 kills and the Lady Vols hit a sizzling .391 Friday night as No. 24 Tennessee (14-4, 6-3 SEC) turned back Mississippi State (10-9, 2-5 SEC) 3-0 in SEC volleyball competition before 827 fans at UT's Thompson-Boling Arena. It was UT's 11th consecutive home win over the Bulldogs.
Junior Kellye Jordan led the Bulldogs with nine kills and shared team honors on defense with 10 digs. Senior libero Kayla Woodard also registered 10 digs.
Jordan gave the Bulldogs an early 2-1 lead in the opening set, but the Lady Vols, hitting at a sizzling .429 clip and a 6-0 edge in team blocks, pulled away from a 4-4 deadlock with a 4-0 run and raced to a 25-16 win. Jordan tallied four of MSU's 11 kills in the stanza, but with nine attack errors the Bulldogs hit just .072.
UT's hot hitting continued in the early going of the second set when the Lady Vols raced to a 5-1 advantage en route to a 25-17 win. Ashley Newsome tallied a team-high four kills in the set, but that was half of MSU's kills total as UT led from start to finish to claim a 2-0 lead at the break.
State got the first point of the deciding third set on a UT attack error, But Tennessee scored the next three points to take a lead they would not relinquish. Fowler laced eight of her match-high 13 kills in the set.
Tennessee owned a 47-27 edge in kills and a 9-6 advantage in total team blocks but had to overcome 13 service errors in the match.
Mississippi State continues this weekend's SEC Eastern Division road trip Sunday with a 12:30 p.m. (CT) match at Kentucky (10-9, 4-5 SEC). UK downed Alabama 3-1 Frida night at UK's Memorial Coliseum.