News from MSU Media Relations--Oct. 27

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

STARKVILLE, Miss. - The Volleyball Bulldogs hit the road this weekend, closing close out their 10-match October schedule with matches against SEC Western Division rivals LSU and Arkansas. State (11-11, 3-8 SEC) takes on defending SEC champion LSU (19-2, 10-2 SEC) Friday at the Pete Maravich Assembly Center before venturing on to Fayetteville, Ark., for a 1:30 p.m. Sunday match in Barnhill Arena against the Razorbacks.

MSU's Friday foe, SEC Western Division co-leader LSU, is ranked 17th in the latest AVCA national coaches poll and bidding to become the SEC's first 20-match winner this fall. The Tigers turned back the Bulldogs in straight sets (25-19, 25-23, 25-14) Sept. 26 at the Newell-Grissom Building.

State registered its third league win of the campaign and set a school single-match attendance mark during last week's homestand in Starkville. MSU bested Alabama 3-1 on Oct. 20, earning back-to-back home wins over the Crimson Tide for the first time in program history. And two nights later Bulldog fans established a Newell-Grissom Building volleyball attendance record when 813 fans watched MSU's Homecoming weekend match against instate rival Ole Miss.

Junior outside hitter Caitlin Rance registered back-to-back 17-kill performances against the Crimson Tide and the Rebels and with a career-best 17 digs against UM notched her team-leading eighth double-double of the season. The Kingwood, Texas, product leads the Bulldogs and ranks third in the SEC with 290 kills.

Senior libero Kayla Woodard, fourth in the SEC in total (349) and per-set average (4.42) digs, tallied 30 digs last week to climb to fourth among MSU's all-time career digs leaders with 1,275, while senior middle blocker Ashley Newsome recorded a pair of six-block matches to raise her career blocks totals to 369, third-most at State. Newsome leads the SEC with 1.27 blocks per set and ranks second in the SEC with 100-total blocks, her third consecutive 100-block season.

State earned its first league win of the season against Arkansas Sept. 24, turning back the Razorbacks in a five-set thriller (23-25, 25-13, 26-24, 17-25, 18-16) at the Newell-Grissom Building. A Sunday win in Fayetteville would give the Bulldogs their third consecutive win over Arkansas and their first SEC series sweep in 2010.

Following Sunday's match at Barnhill Arena, Mississippi State returns to the Newell-Grissom Building to host defending SEC East champion Kentucky (Nov. 5) and No. 22 Tennessee (Nov. 7).

Men's Golf
STARKVILLE, Miss. - Sophomore Robi Calvesbert of the Mississippi State men's golf team has been selected by his native Puerto Rico to represent them along with other native competitors at the World Amateur Team Championships, which is being played in Buenos Aires, Argentina.

"Anytime I have the opportunity to represent my country as well as my school I take it as a great honor and opportunity to excel in this great game of golf," Calvesbert said. "This weekend will give me the opportunity to put MSU's name as well as Puerto Rico at the highest amateur level that golf can be played at."

The World Amateur Team Championships were founded in 1958 and is a competition that takes place every two years. It is organized by the International Golf Federation and was founded to encourage the international development of golf and to use golf as a means to foster friendship and sportsmanship around the world.

Approximately 70 teams from all over the world will gather in Buenos Aires, Argentina, to compete for the Eisenhower Trophy, in honor of former U.S. President Dwight D. Eisenhower, who approved the inaugural tournament that was played at St. Andrews in 1958.

"To have the opportunity to play for your country in the World Amateur is something I know Robi (Calvesbert) is very proud of," MSU head coach Clay Homan said. "I know he will represent Puerto Rico and Mississippi State well in Argentina."

Calvesbert is in his second year with the Bulldogs and has already experienced success as a Bulldog. Last season Calvesbert was MSU's top finisher a team-high four times, one top 20 individual finish and one top 10 individual finish. Calvesbert was State's leader in second round stroke average last season as well (73.8).

This fall, Calvesbert teed off in three tournaments for the Maroon and White, picking up a top 20 individual finish at the Sam Hall Intercollegiate.

World Amateur Team Championship action tees off on Thursday and will conclude on Sunday. Results will be made available on following each round of play.

Men's Basketball
STARKVILLE, Miss. - Mississippi State standout guards Dee Bost and Ravern Johnson were tabbed All-SEC by the league coaches, the conference office announced Wednesday afternoon.

Bost, a 6-foot-3 junior from Concord, N.C., was named to the first team, while Johnson, a 6-7 senior from Lyon, Miss., received second-team honors.

Neither made the writers' All-SEC teams that were announced a week ago.

"I'm glad the coaches know a little bit more about basketball than the writers," 13th-year MSU coach Rick Stansbury said jokingly. "In all seriousness, I'm proud of these guys. Dee's challenge will be getting himself ready in January after missing 14 games. But, I've really liked his attitude and approach with how he's handling everything. He's showing a great deal of maturity. I'm really glad for Ravern. We need for him to step up and have a big year for us. Ravern is capable of helping us in so many ways other than just being a great 3-point shooter."

In his two years at Mississippi State, Bost has totaled 860 points and 344 assists. Last year, he averaged 13.0 points and was second in the SEC with 188 assists after setting the MSU freshman record with 156 in 2008-09.

Johnson enters his final season for the Bulldogs needing just 32 points to become the 32nd player in school history to reach 1,000 for a career. He currently has 177 3-pointers to his credit, which leaves him 103 shy of Barry Stewart's record of 280. Last year, Johnson was 87 of 214 from long range.

The Bulldogs open the season on Nov. 6 at Humphrey Coliseum against Lindsey Wilson in exhibition play. The regular-season opener is slated for Friday, Nov. 12 at home against Tennessee State.

STARKVILLE, Miss. - Mississippi State matched a school record with 10 Bulldog softball players being named 2010 girls got game All-America Scholar-Athlete by the National Fastpitch Coaches Association (NFCA).

Former Bulldog Jessie Bailey earned her fourth All-America Scholar-Athlete selection while helping State match the 2008 squad for the most selections in school history.

"I am very proud that we tied the school record for players named NFCA All-America Scholar-Athlete," Mississippi State ninth-year head coach Jay Miller said. "This award is a testament to the dedication our players show on the field and in the classroom. It's nice to see them be rewarded for the hard work they have put in to becoming outstanding student-athletes."

Former four-time all-American Chelsea Bramlett, the 2010 ESPN The Magazine/CoSIDA All-America of the Year, collected her third honor along with current Bulldog seniors Jessie Spain and Ali Bainbridge.

Senior Courtney Nesbit earned the honor for the second time. Her sister, Erin, and fellow sophomores Kylie Vry, Chrissie Rovtar and Shelby Fisher each collected their first nods along with junior Misty Flesher.

This year's record number of honorees gives Mississippi State 83 All-America Scholar-Athlete selections. Under Miller's guidance, 59 Dawgs have earned the honor.

The NFCA honors caps a stellar 2010 season that saw the Dawgs set a program-best grade-point average in the fall before bettering it in the spring. The team posted the top academic mark among MSU's women's sports both semesters.

The award recognizes student-athletes who achieved a 3.50 GPA during the 2009-10 academic year.

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