"This was another exciting win on the road for us," said first-year head coach Tina Seals. "LSU has a talented team, and that talent combined with our not playing well early in the match helped put us in a big hole. But I was proud of the way our players made adjustments, dug deep and battled all the way to the end for the win. Rachel had another strong overall performance, and Jami Hester came off the bench to give us a spark when we needed it in the third game."
LSU took command of the match early, hitting at a sizzling .417 mark in the opening game and forcing 11 State hitting errors in game two.
State roared back to life after the break. The Bulldogs raced to a 7-0 lead to open game three, scoring three points on service aces by Orshi Kriegel. An ace by Cooper gave MSU a 10-point lead at 13-3 and the Bulldogs, hitting .333 in the frame, kept the match alive with a 30-25 win.
State led throughout game four and out-pointed LSU 7-2 down the stretch to tie the match with a 30-21 win. And in the deciding fifth a kill by Cooper gave Bulldogs a 3-2 lead that State would maintain through the end of the 15-10 game. Jami Hester did the honors with a kill for the match-clinching 15th point.
Orshi Kriegel had 14 kills and three service aces while freshman Christa Fulenwider had 10 kills and paced MSU at the net with five blocks. Defensively, Megan Lukasek had a match-high 18 digs while Andrea Mead and Ashley Sledge registered 10 each.
LSU was led by Jelena Mijatovic and Kassi Mikulic, who had 16 kills and 16 digs each.
The Tigers out-hit the Bulldogs .171 to .152 and commanded a lop-sided 21-8 lead in total blocks. But State held a 60-57 edge in kills and trailed by one in digs, 66-65.
The Bulldogs continue their SEC weekend road trip Sunday in Fayetteville, Ark., meeting Arkansas in a 1:30 p.m. match at Barnhill Arena.
MISSISSIPPI STATE 3, LSU 2
MSU (9-6, 2-1 SEC) 22 22 30 30 15
LSU (9-3, 1-2 SEC) 30 30 25 24 10