COACH TINA SEALS
What were some things you were pleased with today?
"I was pleased with the way we started the match. They came out focused and played hard."
Your team dominated the first game 30-16, then lost the second one 30-28. Did they lose their focus during the second game?
"I think we lost our focus in the second game. And we were starting with a different lineup. That group did well, then they lost their focus and we brought in another lineup. It took them a while to get their focus back.
"Troy did an excellent job of finding our weaknesses and exploiting them."
Troy appeared to be a good blocking team.
"They did a nice job of defending us."
You are playing at least three freshmen most of the time. Have you gotten to the point where you feel really comfortable with playing them at crucial times?
"The freshmen have always been a very crucial part of our team. Sometimes we start three and sometimes we have four new players out on the court."
Jamie Joyner made several kills in the game. Talk a little about her performance.
"Jamie and Meagan (Lukasek) come from a good club team and they are used to pressure. They won the nationals this year. And their mentality is very important to our team."
STARKVILLE, Miss. - Mississippi State closed out its non-conference home schedule with a 3-1 win over Troy University Sunday. But the Bulldogs' 11th win of the season didn't come without a fight.
State (11-10), resting its normal lineup of starters, breezed to a 30-16 win in the opening game. But Troy (5-15) charged back, tying the match with a 30-28 win. State's regulars returned to the lineup as MSU nailed down the match with 30-27 and 30-25 wins.
Jami Hester registered a double-double with 12 kills and 11 digs while Julie Hamilton finished with 10 kills to lead Mississippi State. Rachel Cooper totaled nine kills in a reserve role, while freshman Megan Lukasek, making her debut as an MSU starter had six kills and a match-high 17 digs.
State out-hit the spunky Trojans .203 to .122 and held a 56 to 47 edge in kills, but Troy was tough on defense, out-digging State 67 to 58 and amassing a solid 14-6 advantage in total team blocks. Holly Martin had 16 kills and Claire Murphy 12, while Eliza Zwettler piled up a match best seven blocks.
The Bulldogs hit at a blistering .571 clip and Megan Lukasek totaled four of her six kills in the opening game. MSU managed to pull away from a tight battle to take a 2-1 match lead, and Jami Hester scored State's final four points of the deciding fourth game with three kills and a block.
Mississippi State travels to Hattiesburg, Miss., Tuesday, closing out its non-conference schedule for the year with a 7 p.m. battle at Southern Miss. MSU then resumes SEC competition at home next weekend, hosting SEC West foes Alabama (Oct. 22) and Auburn (Oct. 24).
MISSISSIPPI STATE 3, TROY 1
MSU (11-10) 30 28 30 30
TROY (5-15) 16 30 27 25
Source: MSU Media Relations