VOLLEYBALL BULLDOGS COME UP SHORT

WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. --- Atlantic Coast Conference power Wake Forest erased early Mississippi State leads in the first two games Friday night to claim a 3-0 win over the Bulldogs in opening round action in the Deacon Invitational Volleyball Tournament at Reynolds Gym. In the seasonal debut for both teams, the Deacons turned back the Bulldogs 30-23, 30-28, 30-20.

State continues play in the two-day tournament Saturday, testing Northwestern University of the Big Ten Conference at 11 a.m. ET and then meeting East Carolina at 5 p.m. ET.

"While I was disappointed that we weren't able to get more offensive production, I did see a lot of potential on the court for us tonight," said fifth-year Bulldog head coach Brenda Bowlin. "Wake Forest was as strong a season-opening opponent as we have faced, and we held our own for most of the first two games. We used a lot of young players and I was impressed with the way they faced that challenge."

The Bulldogs managed but eight kills in the opening frame but led the Deacons until a kill by Ashley Fisher put WFU on top 19-18. MSU held the upper hand even deeper into the second game, taking a 27-26 lead on a kill by sophomore Jennifer Rousey. Rousey finished the night with a team-leading and career-high nine kills on a .364 hitting night.

Junior Misty Hubenthal was credited with seven kills, while setter Jennifer Hadden and defensive specialist Katie Carraro led the Bulldogs on defense with 12 and 10 digs respectively.

Wake Forest out-hit MSU .236 to .099, with Trina Maso De Moya, the 2000 ACC Player of the Year, leading the way. The Deacon standout had a match-leading 10 kills and 18 digs.

Mississippi State's youthful starting lineup featured three first-time starters --- sophomore setter Jennifer Hadden, middle blocker Hilary Chambers and freshman outside hitter Katy Barnette. Barnette registered three kills and nine digs, Hadden carded 22 assists and a career-best 12 digs and Chambers had five kills and a team-leading two blocks. Katie Carraro had a match-high four service aces.

The loss snapped Mississippi State's streak of 12 consecutive wins in inseason tournaments.

WAKE FOREST d. MSU 3-0 (30-23, 30-28, 30-20).


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