News from MSU Media Relations--Oct. 15

The latest sports news from the MSU Media Relations Department...Volleyball, Soccer and Women's Tennis.

STARKVILLE, Miss. - Bouyed by Friday's straight-sets win over No. 25 Kentucky, Mississippi State (10-8/5-4 SEC) closes out the first half of its 20-match SEC slate Sunday with a 1:30 p.m. match against the league-leading and 18th-ranked Tennessee Lady Vols (15-3/8-1 SEC). First serve at the Newell-Grissom Building is 1:30 p.m. Tailgate Rebound-Free Hardee's Pre-Game Lunch and "Sunday Bingo" are promotional events scheduled for Sunday's matinee match.

Senior outside hitter fashioned another team-leading performance Friday against UK as the Bulldogs logged the program's first win against a ranked foe and topped Kentucky for the first time since 1994 and the second time in 42 meetings. Rance totaled 14 kills and 13 digs for her team-leading ninth double-double and raised her career kills total to 990. She is poised to become the 10th Mississippi State player all-time to reach the 1,000-kill milestone. The Kingwood, Texas, product also registered her 600th career dig in the sweep of the Wildcats.

Friday's match drew a Mississippi State and state collegiate record 4,535 fans to Humphrey Coliseum. It marked the second such attendance record-shattering date for the Volleyball Bulldogs this year. MSU opened the campaign August 26 in the Newell-Grissom Building with 3,024 on hand for its 2011 season-opener against Southern Illinois.

The Bulldogs have won four of their last five matches and trail division-leading LSU (12-6/5-3 SEC) by a half-game. With a Sunday win the Bulldogs would match their 2010 seasonal win total (11).

STARKVILLE, Miss. - Two weeks ago, Mississippi State upset No. 20 Auburn at the MSU Soccer Field. The Bulldogs hope for a repeat performance Sunday as 11th-ranked Florida comes to campus for a 1 p.m. kickoff.

Prior to the match, the Bulldogs will honor seniors Tarah Henderson, Kim Pettit, Serena Prendergast and Taylor Turnipseed along with former MSU defender Allison Ouren. Sunday's contest will also be State's annual Kick For The Cure, and fans are encouraged to wear pink in support of the fight against breast cancer.

Fans can register to win one of two $50 gift cards to Wal-Mart, and the Bulldogs will host a free youth soccer skills clinic following the match.

Bulldog fans can follow Mississippi State soccer on Twitter at and Facebook at A free, live video stream of Sunday's match will be available at

Neil Macdonald's squad looks to bounce back from a tough 1-0 setback to South Carolina as part of Maroon Madness on Friday. The two teams played to a 0-0 tie in the opening half, but Kayla Grimsley's second-half goal provided the difference as MSU (4-8-3, 1-5-1 SEC) saw its six-match home unbeaten streak halted.

Mississippi State will be seeking to upset its second-straight ranked foe at the MSU Soccer Field after blanking No. 20 Auburn 2-0 on Oct. 2.

Freshman Amy Hoover, a Brookhaven, Miss., native, provided the winning goal in the Dawgs' upset of Auburn, and sophomore Elisabeth Sullivan added the insurance goal. Sullivan, a Memphis native, has scored three goals and assisted on three more to tie junior Jasmine Simmons for the points lead with nine.

Simmons, a native of Oklahoma City, has converted a team-high four goals and assisted on one.

Junior goalkeeper Skylar Rosson stopped four shots against South Carolina to move her season total to 90.

Rosson and her MSU teammates look to post a second-straight positive result against Florida at home after the two teams played to a 1-1 tie in 2009. Kat Walsh put the Bulldogs ahead in the 19th minute, and State made that lead hold until UF's Lindsay Thompson converted a penalty kick with six minutes left in the match.

The 2011 Gators improved to 13-3 overall with a 2-0 win against Ole Miss in Oxford on Friday. Havana Solaun scored both goals as the Gators improved their league-leading record to 6-1.

Solaun, the UF leader in assists with six, moved into third on the team with her fourth and fifth goals of the year. Erika Tymrak leads the Gators with 11 strikes.

Taylor Burke did not face any shots on Friday. In 11 matches this season, she has saved 19 shots while allowing nine goals.

Women's Tennis
TUSCALOOSA, Ala. - Mississippi State women's tennis newcomer Khrystyna Pavlyuk will leave Tuscaloosa with her head held high after claiming the championship in the M&M bracket of the Roberta Alison Fall Classic.

Pavlyuk took down the bracket's #2, #3 and #4 seeds on her path to the championship title. She began her winning streak with a victory over Troy's Candela Munoz 6-2, 6-4 on Friday. In the semifinals, she ousted Gabby Rangel from the University of Mississippi 6-2, ret. The final opponent standing between her and the title was Emily Zabor of host Alabama, who she defeated 6-4, 6-3 on Saturday.

Lady Bulldogs Roseline Dion and Petra Ferancova also both battled their ways to the final round of their respective brackets, but neither could clinch the title Saturday, both falling in fierce battles. Dion fell to Middle Tennessee's Flavia Nagayama 7-6(4), 6-4 in the Jolly Rancher draw , and Ferancova fell to Georgia State's top-seeded Mesa Grgan 4-6, 6-3, 6-4 in the Twizzler bracket.

In other action, MSU's Olesya Tsigvintseva won a third-place match in the Skittles draw by defeating Northwestern State's Tatiana Larina in a solid 6-1, 2-6, 1-0(4) contest. Rookie Ekaterina Iakovela fell to Samford's Madelie Van Rensburg in a fifth-place match in her draw.

As doubles matches continued, Tsigvintseva and Ferancova won the consolation crown of the Jelly Bean draw with victories over Kentucky's Marni Venter and CeCe Witten (8-4) and top-seeded Ashley Miller and Chloe Smith of North Carolina State in a hard-fought 9-8(5) victory.

Iakoveleva and Pavlyuk were defeated in the main draw semifinals in their draw, but came out victorious in the third-place consolation match with an 8-4 win over Samford's Kristin Lewis and Lindsey Mallory.

Today's contests concluded the Lady Bulldogs' appearance at the Roberta Alison Fall Classic. Mississippi State will be back in action on October 21-24 in Birmingham, Ala., for the ITA Southern Region Indoor Championships.

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