No. 25 UT Blanks V-Ball Bulldogs In SEC Tourn

TUSCALOOSA, Ala. - Mississippi State's stay in the 2005 SEC Tournament was a brief one, as the seventh-seeded Bulldogs dropped a 3-0 decision (30-15, 30-21, 30-27) to No. 2 seeded Tennessee Friday night in Tuscaloosa, Ala. The Bulldogs finished the season with a 15-11 record while the 25th-ranked Lady Vols became the SEC's fourth 20-match winner.

"We got off to a slow start and never really got going tonight," said second-year Bulldog head coach Tina Seals. "Tennessee played like the nationally-ranked team that they are and kept us from getting any momentum. I thought we showed a lot of character when we fought back to take a lead in the third game. But Tennessee is an experienced tournament team. And our lack of tournament experience probably contributed to our slow start."

UT raced to a 7-1 advantage in the opening game and never looked back in winning 30-15. The Lady Vols hit at a .577 clip, reeling off 13 kills before registering the first of two hitting errors. The Bulldogs, meanwhile, hit a frosty minus .023.

State scored the first two points of the second game, taking a 2-0 lead on a service ace by Eva Kriegel. But UT answered with a 5-0 run and never trailed in winning game two 30-21.

The Bulldogs turned up the intensity and made a run at the Lady Vols in game three, taking a 24-23 lead on a Tennessee hitting error. But UT fended off the MSU rally and pulled away from a 27-27 for a 30-27 match-clinching win.

Tennessee held MSU to a season-low .040 hitting percentage while hitting .307 for the match. Fautsch total 15 kills and Andrea Kristen added 10 to lead UT.

MSU senior rachel Cooper closed out her career with an eight-kill night. Orshi Kriegel added seven, Erin Seago six and Nicole Palazzo and Jamie Joyner five kills each. Joyner led MSU with four blocks while Eva Kriegel's 10 digs was tops for State.


MSU 15 21 27
UT 30 30 30

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