News from MSU Media Relations--Oct. 20

The latest sports news from the MSU Media Relations Department...MSU Athletics, Football, Volleyball, Men's Basketball and Soccer.

MSU Athletics
STARKVILLE, Miss. - Mississippi State Director of Athletics Scott Stricklin announced Wednesday the addition of Bo Hemphill to the department's athletic executive staff. Hemphill will assume Stricklin's previous role, now re-titled as Senior Associate AD for Development, a position which has been unoccupied since Stricklin was named AD this past May.

Hemphill makes the short journey to the athletic department from the MSU Foundation, where he has served the previous three years as its executive director of development.

"We are excited to be able to bring someone with Bo's fund-raising experience and institutional knowledge to the athletics program," Stricklin said. "He knows our people, understands our vision, and will make a seamless transition to leading our fund-raising efforts."

A Starkville, Miss., native, Hemphill is a veteran fund-raiser with proven associations within the Mississippi State family. Prior to accepting his leadership role with the Foundation in June 2007, he served the university as the development director for the College of Business and Industry.

In his new position, Hemphill will oversee the department's development efforts and will work closely with Senior Associate AD for Bulldog Club and Ticket Operations Mike Richey, Associate AD for Major Gifts Michelle McBride, and the Bulldog Club staff in raising private support for Mississippi State athletics.

A 1994 graduate of Mississippi State's business administration program, Hemphill joined the Foundation staff in 2000. In a six-year period with the business college, he recorded $50 million in private gifts, surpassing the $34 million college goal set in the university's "State of the Future" campaign.

In addition to Hemphill's appointment and Richey's new title, Stricklin also announced a position title change for Bracky Brett, who is now Senior Associate AD for Compliance. Hemphill, Richey and Brett join current Senior Associates Duncan McKenzie (executive associate), Ann Carr and Mike Nemeth on Stricklin's executive team.

STARKVILLE, Miss. - The Mississippi State University athletic ticket office is making a unique plan available to Bulldog fans who want to see the final two home football conference games and a non-conference men's basketball game during mid-December. Bulldog fans may acquire three tickets, covering two sports for one price.

Bulldog fans may purchase a football-basketball ticket package that provides a ticket to each of the Bulldogs' final two Southeastern Conference home games - Kentucky (Oct. 30) and Arkansas (Nov. 20) - and a ticket to any one of the four-straight non-league basketball games we play from Dec. 11-14 at The Hump (East Tennessee, North Carolina A&T, Nicholls State, and Alabama State). That package is available for just $75, a savings of more than $40 over the individual game ticket price for those three events.

Call the MSU Athletic Ticket Office at 1-888-GO-DAWGS or order via our website,

STARKVILLE, Miss. - Mississippi State scrambled back from a 20-13 deficit and successfully fended off five set-point serves in game four Wednesday night to register a 3-1 win over Western Division rival Alabama in SEC volleyball at the Newell-Grissom Building. State (11-10, 3-7 SEC) claimed its second straight home victory over the Crimson Tide (9-11, 1-9 SEC), winning 25-23, 23-25, 25-18 and 27-25 and snapping a season-longest four-match losing skid.

"These girls just don't give up, and that's a great trait to have," said second-year Bulldog coach Jenny Hazelwood. "We knew we had a battle on our hands with a talented Alabama team, but our girls have been working so hard to become more consistent and take care of things on our side of the court. When we do that, it doesn't matter what the score is, we can come back if we take care of things on our side."

Junior outside hitter Caitlin Rance was the primary "caretaker" for the Bulldogs Wednesday night. State's season leader in kills tallied 17 kills and notched her team-leading seventh double-double of the campaign. "It seemed like every time we needed a point, Caitlin was there to make a big play for us tonight," said Hazelwood.

Rance, who shared match kills honors with Alabama's Kayla Fitterer, led a trio of Bulldogs registering double-digit kills totals. Senior middle blocker Ashley Newsome drilled 12, her final spike knotting the deciding fourth set at 25-all, while freshman Chanelle Baker added 10 on a team-best .360 hitting performance.

Alyssa Meuth had 13 kills and Leigh Moyer added 11 for the Tide as Alabama edged State in kills for the match 58-53. But State won the defensive battle, out-digging Alabama 69-64 and built up a 13-9 edge in total team blocks. Newsome and junior middle Hannah Wilkinson shared match honors at the net with six total blocks each. Three of Wilkinson's blocks were solo knock-downs.

Baker, Newsome and Rance delivered four kills each in State's 25-23 opening set win, but Alabama took advantage of 12 Bulldog attack errors to pull even at the break with a 25-23 win of its own. Rance registered six of State's 14 kills in the set.

State stepped up its play in the third set and never trailed again after giving up a set-opening kill by Meuth. With just one attack error, the Bulldogs hit at a hefty .474 clip and led by as many as eight at 22-14 before taking the set 25-18 on one of the Tide's 13 service errors.

The deciding fourth set included an impressive 9-0 burst by Alabama that helped the Tide overcome a 13-11 State lead and claim a hefty 20-13 advantage. A Shelbi Goode kill gave UA a 24-20 and on the verge of forcing a fifth set. But State reeled off the next four points to pull even at 24-24, tied the Tide against at 25-25 on Newsome's final kill of the night, and capped the comeback with a game and match-winning swing by Chanelle Baker.

The Bulldogs totaled 69 digs, their third-highest total of the season. Freshman setter Paris Perret backed a 43-assist night with 15 digs for her fifth double-double, while State senior libero Kayla Woodard also finished with 15. Bama's Kelsey Anderson took match honors with 20 digs.

Mississippi State closes out its Homecoming week slate Friday night, hosting instate rival and Western Division-leading Ole Miss (14-5, 8-2 SEC) in a 7 p.m. match at the Newell-Grissom Building. "Our fans were a huge factor for us tonight, and we need them in the stands Friday night," said Hazelwood.

Men's Basketball
STARKVILLE, Miss. - If there's a theme to Mississippi State's 2010-11 home basketball schedule, it's home sweet home.

The Bulldogs, who won the SEC's Western Division crown a year ago, play 17 home games at the friendly confines of Humphrey Coliseum, starting with the season opener on Friday, Nov. 12 against Tennessee State. It's the first of nine-straight, regular-season homes games for MSU, a stretch that concludes with Alabama State on Dec. 14.

In-between are dates with Appalachian State (Nov. 19), Detroit (Nov. 22), Troy (Nov. 26) and Florida Atlantic (Nov. 30), in addition to four games in four days with East Tennessee State (Dec. 11), North Carolina A&T (Dec. 12), Nicholls State (Dec. 13) and Alabama State (Dec. 14) to round out non-conference action at the Hump.

Mississippi State will also play two exhibition games, the first against Lindsey Wilson on Nov. 6, followed by a Dec. 15 showdown against Belhaven at Mississippi Coliseum in Jackson.

"It will be a very unique non-conference schedule this year," 13th-year Bulldogs coach Rick Stansbury said. "Fans will have the opportunity to see a lot of home games early, and then it gets demanding with trips to the Bahamas and Hawaii."

Following the Belhaven game, MSU will leave immediately for Paradise Island, Bahamas, where it will face ACC foe Virginia Tech on Dec. 18 at the Atlantis Resort.

From there, the Bulldogs will fly to Hawaii for the Diamondhead Classic, where they'll play Washington State on Dec. 22 and either San Diego or Baylor on the Dec. 23. They'll conclude the tournament on Christmas Day against Butler, Florida State, Hawaii or Utah.

Mississippi State is also scheduled to play a neutral site game on Dec. 29, and details regarding that game will be announced at a later date.

The Bulldogs are then off until Jan. 8, when they begin defense of their 2010 SEC Western Division crown at home against rival Alabama in a 3 p.m. game televised by the SEC Network.

The regular season concludes March 5 with a home date against South Carolina that will be broadcast on ESPN or ESPN2.

All 16 league games will be televised, with the SEC Network carrying six of the games. ESPN, CSS, FSN will air two games each as of now, while CBS will show the Bulldogs' Jan. 29 game against Florida at noon.

In addition, the Jan. 13 game at Ole Miss and Jan. 27 outing against Vanderbilt in Starkville will be on either ESPN or ESPN2, putting the total at five between those two networks. Except for Florida, all games can be seen on the internet at

"It's no different than any other year, because once you get to conference play, it's always challenging," said Stansbury, the school's all-time winningest coach with 255 victories. "Like most years, the SEC, from top to bottom, will be one of the most competitive leagues in the country."

The month of January also features games with Auburn (FSN) on the 17th and a trip to Georgia (SEC Network) on the 22nd.

The Bulldogs, who posted a 24-12 ledger a year ago with nine SEC wins, open the month of February at Alabama (SEC Network) and LSU (SEC Network) on the 2nd and 5th, respectively, followed by a home game with Arkansas (SEC Network) on the 9th. State returns to the road at Auburn (FSN) on the 12th, followed by a Super Tuesday matchup at Kentucky (ESPN) on the 15th.

Then it's a home game with arch-rival Ole Miss on the 19th (SEC Network) and LSU (CSS) on the 23rd before heading to Tennessee (ESPN) on the 26th.

MSU welcomes March with a trip to Arkansas (CSS) on the 2nd before the regular-season finale with the Gamecocks at Humphrey Coliseum.

The SEC Tournament is slated for March 10-13 in Atlanta.

STARKVILLE, Miss. - Homecoming week is always full of activities on the Mississippi State campus, and the Bulldog soccer team will be part of the festivities as it closes a five-match homestand by facing Vanderbilt at 7 p.m. Thursday at the MSU Soccer Field.

Mississippi State's 2010 Homecoming Court will be in attendance to compete in a halftime shootout.

The Bulldogs (7-10, 0-8 SEC) welcome the Commodores trying to bounce back from setbacks to Arkansas and LSU last weekend.

Freshman Elisabeth Sullivan scored one of State's two goals, her fifth of the season, against the Tigers. The Memphis, Tenn., native, ranked No. 29 in's Top 100 Freshman, also paces coach Neil Macdonald's squad with four assists for a team-leading 14 points. Sullivan's five goals and 14 points are both tied for the seventh-most by an MSU freshman.

Senior Leanna Baldner netted her first goal of the season in State's Sunday setback to LSU. The Meridian, Miss., native has enjoyed a stellar senior campaign, matching classmate Ashley Hood and sophomore Rachel Wannek with three assists.

In addition to her ability to dish the ball, Wannek has scored four goals this season, tying her with junior Kim Pettit for second-most on the squad.

Sophomore Skylar Rosson has been outstanding in goal this season, stopping 99 shots in 1,243 minutes of action.

Rosson and her Bulldog teammates meet a Vanderbilt squad that has been paced this season by twin sisters Molly and Megan Kinsella. The pair has each scored three goals and four assists for 10 points. Candace West tops the Commodores with four goals.

Defensively, Vanderbilt (7-7-2, 3-3-2 SEC) has surrendered 17 goals this season. Rachel Bachtel has played every minute in goal, stopping 71 shots.

Gene's Page Top Stories