STARKVILLE, Miss. - Morgan Johns and Kelly Fidero combined for 25 kills Sunday afternoon as Auburn (19-12, 10-9 SEC) spoiled Mississippi State's home season finale with a 3-1 win over the Bulldogs (11-19, 3-16 SEC) at the Newell-Grissom Building. State concluded its home schedule with a 6-8 record.
Eleven different Tiger players registered kills as Auburn, after spotting the Bulldogs a 25-23 opening set win, rebounded to claim the next three sets 25-17, 25-22, 25-22. The win completed a two-match series sweep by AU and extended MSU's late-season losing skid to nine matches.
During pre-match ceremonies, State paid tribute to seniors Ashley Newsome and Kayla Woodard and junior outside hitter Kellye Jordan. The three players will conclude their collegiate careers with MSU's season finale next Wednesday at 4 p.m. at Alabama (10-19, 2-17 SEC). MSU President Mark Keenum and Director of Athletics Scott Stricklin were on hand to take part in Sunday's salute to MSU's departing players and student managers.
Junior Caitlin Rance notched her team-leading 12th double-double, pacing State with 14 kills and contributing on defense with 11 digs. Freshman Dani McCree followed with eight kills while both Mandy Mellencamp and Newsome finished with seven kills apiece.
Auburn, a straight-sets winner over State earlier this season at Auburn, posted a 57-43 advantage in kills and, led by a match-best 25-dig effort by libero Liz Crouch, claimed a 73-60 edge in digs. State did finish with a 7-6 advantage in team blocking, with Newsome leading the way with two solo blocks and three assists. The SEC's blocks leader raised her four-year MSU career total to 402 blocks, one shy of the school career mark of 403 blocks set by Shauna Owens (1988-1991).
With 22 digs, Woodard raised her season total 481, fifth-most in a single-season at Mississippi State.
Mandy Mellencamp had four kills and both Ashley Newsome and Kellye Jordan tallied four kills each in the opening set as Mississippi State battled back from a 20-17 deficit to claim a 25-23 win in set one. AU had nine attack errors, four down the stretch of the opening set.
But the Tigers warmed up offensively, piling up 49 kills in the next three stanzas. Auburn used a 6-0 run to pull away from a 12-12 deadlock in the second set to even the match at a game apiece at the break. AU then rode an impressive seven-kill showing by Morgan Johns in the third frame, and hit at a match-best .378 in taking the match-clinching fourth set. The Bulldogs trailed 21-17 after Johns' seventh kill in the set but rallied back to knot the score at 22-22 on a combined block by Mandy Mellencamp and Hannah Wilkinson. But after a timeout the Tigers registered the next three points to close out the match. Johns finished with 13 kills and Kelly Fidero added 12.
STARKVILLE, Miss. - There's little time to celebrate Mississippi State's impressive come-from-behind victory Friday night as the Bulldogs are back in action on Monday at Humphrey Coliseum against Detroit.
Tip is slated for 7 p.m., and $5 tickets are available for purchase at the coliseum ticket office. It's just the second meeting between the two, as the Titans claimed an 86-62 win in December of 1968 at the Motor City Classic.
"It's time to move on to the next game," 13th-year MSU coach Rick Stansbury said. "We've got to put this one behind us and get ready for a very good Detroit team. This is a team that was up on Syracuse in the second half. They'll come here expecting to win."
The Bulldogs enter the contest sporting a 2-0 ledger after rallying from a 9-point deficit with two minutes to play against Appalachian State to post a 76-74 victory. Kodi Augustus led the charge with a career-high 26 points to go along with his 10 rebounds as the senior forward recorded his second-straight double-double.
He also came up big on the defensive end, blocking a potential game-tying 3-point attempt in the closing seconds by ASU's Donald Sims, who finished with 40 points on the night, two shy of tying the Humphrey Coliseum mark of 42 set by Ole Miss' John Stroud in 1977.
"I was wide open making my shots," said Augustus, whose 12.0 rebounds a game is tops in the SEC.
The Bulldogs also got a 19-point performance from senior guard Ravern Johnson, who leads the SEC with a 25.5 scoring clip. But as big as his offensive performance was, so too was his defensive effort.
Johnson drew the task of guarding Omar Carter, who entered the game averaging nearly 28 points. However, he finished with only five points against MSU and made just 2 of his 10 shots from the floor.
Now, though, the focus is a Titans team that comes to Starkville with a 1-2 ledger. They collected their first win of the season on Friday, throttling Indiana Tech, 93-62. The win comes after Detroit dropped a 65-55 decision at Syracuse earlier in the week, a game the Titans led by three at intermission.
They are led in scoring by junior forward Eli Holman's 17.7 clip. He's also tops in rebounding at 10.0.
After Monday, the Bulldogs return to action on Friday, Nov. 26 in a 6 p.m. showdown against Troy.
STARKVILLE, Miss. - Five instruction-filled sessions are featured in the lineup for the 2011 Mississippi State University Baseball Winter Camp to be held the weekends of January 8-9, January 15-16 and February 5-6 on the MSU campus.
This year's camp offering opens with a pair of youth sessions (grades 1-8) --- an all-skills camp (Jan. 8) and a hitting camp (Jan. 9). Training, instruction and evaluation for high school athletes (grades 9-12) follows with a session for pitchers, catchers and infielders (Jan. 15) and a hitting camp (Jan. 16).
This year's winter camp concludes Feb. 5-6 with the popular father-son session, an overnight camp designed for dads and baseball players in grades 1-6. Participants in the father-son campers bring their own bedding to "camp-in" at the Palmeiro Center.
Head baseball coach John Cohen, the Mississippi State baseball coaching staff and members of the 2011 MSU baseball team will serve as instructors for the camps. The sessions will be conducted on campus at Dudy Noble Field, the home of the Baseball Bulldogs, the spacious climate-controlled Palmeiro Center and the Diamond Dogs' new Easton practice infield.
Registration for the camps is currently under way through the MSU Baseball Office (662-325-3597) and online (www.MStateAthletics.com/camps). One and two-day camp rates are offered for both the youth and high school camps along with a special Father/Son Camp rate is also available for dads accompanied by more than one son. Immediate family members of MSU faculty and staff are eligible for a 10% discount.
An official camp T-shirt, a lunch meal and a copy of an instructional DVD are included in the camp fees.
For additional camp details, contact the MSU Baseball Office (662-325-3597) or visit the camp department link online at www.MStateAthletics.com/camps.
2011 MSU WINTER BASEBALL CAMP
Session 1 - Youth-All Skills Camp (Jan. 8)
Session 2 - Youth-Hitting Camp (Jan. 9)
Session 3 - HS-Pitcher/Catcher/Infield Camp (Jan. 15)
Session 4 - HS-Hitting Camp (Jan. 16)
Session 5 - Youth-Father/Son Overnight Camp (Feb. 5)