News from MSU Media Relations--Sept. 20

The latest sports news from the MSU Media Relations Department...Volleyball, Baseball and MSU Student-Athletes.

STARKVILLE, Miss. - MSU senior middle blocker Hannah Wilkinson ranks first in the latest NCAA women's volleyball charts in attack percentage.

The Elk Point, S.D., product hit .731 (20 kills/1 error/26 attempts) in two matches last weekend to raise her seasonal hitting average to .524 and meet the NCAA's 3.33 attacks-per-set minimum. Samford University's Laura Hutchinson is second with a .471 percentage.

Wilkinson tallied a team-leading eight blocks to pace MSU in its split of SEC matches during last weekend's conference-opening competition against No. 7 Florida and South Carolina at the Newell-Grissom Building. Her .731 hitting average two matches into league competition also tops the SEC charts. The Bulldog senior piled up a career-best 13 kills and hit .706 in helping Mississippi State earn a five-set Sunday win over South Carolina.

Other Bulldogs ranked among the SEC's leaders this week include Caitlin Rance, second in average kills (4.55) and points (5.08), Lainey Wyman, tops in total blocks (48) and third in average blocks (1.14), Paris Perret, fifth in average assists (10.92) and Bentley Witte, sixth in average digs (3.92).

Mississippi State (6-5, 1-1 SEC) travels to Arkansas and LSU this weekend for its first SEC road and SEC Western Division competition of the season.

STARKVILLE, Miss. - Mississippi State's 2010-11 baseball recruiting class has been ranked 20th in the annual recruiting survey compiled by Collegiate Baseball newspaper based in Tucson, Ariz.

It's the third consecutive top 20 recruiting ranking for Mississippi State baseball, marking the first time that Mississippi State has garnered back-to-back-to-back top 20 rankings in baseball recruiting since 2000-02.

The 2011 recruiting class includes 13 players, 10 from the prep ranks and three junior college transfers. Three of Mississippi State's 2010-11 high school signees, pitchers Brandon Woodruff of Wheeler, Miss., and Jacob Lindgren of Bay Saint Louis, Miss., and infielder Nick Flair of Belle Chasse, La., were selected in the 2011 Major League Baseball First-Year Player Draft. They opted to begin their collegiate baseball careers at Mississippi State rather than sign a professional baseball contract.

South Carolina tops this year's Collegiate Baseball recruiting rating, with nine other Southeastern Conference teams included in the publication's top 25.

Mississippi State is scheduled to begin its 2011 fall baseball practices September 23 at Dudy Noble Field.

MSU Student-Athletes
STARKVILLE, Miss. - Mississippi State's annual "Bully's Book Blitz" reading program was started Tuesday with its kickoff pep rally at Ward-Stewart Elementary School in Starkville. Originated in 2000, the program is organized by the MSU Student-Athlete M-Club organization.

The annual reading competition is between all fourth grade classes at Ward-Stewart Elementary, and runs for one month. The winning class will attend MSU's homecoming football game versus Tennessee Martin on Nov. 5 as guests of the Student M-Club, and will be recognized on the 50-yard line during that game.

"Bully", MSU's spirit squads, and nearly 90 student-athletes from 10 Mississippi State varsity sports attended Tuesday's pep rally, as well as head coaches Dan Mullen (football) and Vann Stuedeman (softball), who spoke to the students about the importance of reading.

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