Volleyball Bulldogs on the Road Again

STARKVILLE, Miss. - Mississippi State continues its SEC season-opening volleyball road run and begins its 12-match October schedule this weekend with matches against SEC Western Division rivals Louisiana State and Arkansas.<P>

The Bulldogs (8-6, 1-1 SEC) test the LSU Tigers (9-3, 1-1 SEC) in a 7 p.m. match Friday at the Maravich Assembly Center in Baton Rouge. State then treks on to Fayetteville, Ark., to complete the two-match weekend set with a 1:30 p.m. battle with the Arkansas Lady Razorbacks (3-8, 1-1 SEC) at Barnhill Arena.

MSU has won four of its last six matches, including a 3-0 victory at South Carolina last Friday night. That win snapped a 12-match series win streak by USC and represented MSU's second win all-time in SEC season-opening competition.

Junior outside hitter Rachel Cooper paces the Bulldogs with 184 kills (3.76 KPG) and with 22 kills last weekend reached the 800-kill milestone in her three-year MSU career. The Roscoe, Ill., product is 54 kills away from attaining career top 10 status at State.

Another MSU junior hitter, Orshi Kriegel, stands second on the club with 115 and paces State's starters with a .263 hitting percentage. The transfer from Hungary led Mississippi State with 27 kills last weekend, including a remarkable 18-kill, .783 hitting performance at No. 24 Tennessee.

Mississippi State continues to lead the Southeastern Conference with 118 services, an SEC-leading 26 by junior setter Andrea Mead of Washington Court House, Ohio. MSU finished eighth in the league a year ago with 137 aces in 26 matches.

Last weekend's win at South Carolina and strong road showing against No. 24 Tennessee helped vault Mississippi State to No. 77 in the latest collegiate volleyball computer ranking compiled by RichKern.com.

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