News from MSU Media Relations--October 1

The lastest sports news from the MSU Media Relations Department...Soccer, Volleyball and Women's Tennis.

FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. - The Mississippi State (4-6-0, 0-2-0) soccer team fought hard throughout the match, but in the end, Arkansas (8-3-0, 1-1-0) was too much, as MSU fell to the Lady Razorbacks, 2-0, at Lady'Back Field.

MSU had the first scoring chance of the game in the 30th minute. After an Arkansas foul, Meredith Jacobson, sent a pass between two Lady'Back defenders for Danielle Kite. However, UA goalkeeper Britni Williams beat Kite to the ball, keeping the game tied.

Arkansas came right back three minutes later. Kelly O'Connor dribbled the ball down the left side. MSU netminder Taryn Holland came out to defend her, but O'Connor slipped the ball to Lindsay Patterson, who put the ball into the open net from six yards out, giving the Lady Razorbacks the 1-0 lead midway through the first half.

Holland prevented another Arkansas goal with ten minutes left. Whitney Allison beat her defender up the middle, and had Holland one-on-one. But, the Holland came out and made the sliding stop, preserving the 1-0 deficit heading into the half.

For the half, Arkansas outshot the Bulldogs, 6-3.

In the second half, UA was awarded a free kick after a State foul. Sophie Wentz's free kick went off the crossbar, and MSU got the ball out of the zone.

The Lady Razorbacks went up 2-0 in the 66th minute. After a Mississippi State foul, Rachel Smith's free kick was saved by Holland. However, she couldn't hold onto it, and O'Connor put back the rebound.

Mississippi State begins a four-match home stand next weekend, facing Alabama on Friday, October 5 at 7 p.m. (CT), followed by Auburn on Sunday, October 7 at 1 p.m. (CT).

STARKVILLE, Miss. - Junior outside hitter Cristina Jucan registered a match-high 15 kills and her sixth "double-double" of the season Sunday afternoon, but it was not enough to carry Mississippi State past South Carolina in SEC volleyball competition at the Newell-Grissom Building.

State, with 36 hitting errors and a season-low .054 hitting percentage, fell short in its bid for a school-best third straight win over USC, dropping a 3-1 decision (30-19, 26-30, 30-28, 30-27) to the Gamecocks (8-7, 1-5 SEC). State recorded its second two-match series sweep of South Carolina last year. The win was the first of the season in league play for USC.

Jucan delivered her first kill of the match and an ensuing USC hitting error gave State an early 6-5 lead in the opening set. But the Gamecocks reeled off six straight points to take control of game one and, with the aid of nine Bulldog hitting errors and four State misfires at the service line, breezed to an easy 30-19 win in the first stanza.

State staged a rally of its own to pull even in the match in game two. After trailing 12-6, State surged back into contention. Jucan led the charge with five kills in the set. Eva Kriegel and Erin Seago combined on a block that gave MSU its first lead of the match at 19-18, and the Bulldogs, who hit at a match-best .208 clip, fended off the Gamecocks for a match-tying 30-26 win in game two.

MSU threatened to overtake USC in the third game, getting four kills from Jucan and leading throughout much of the set. A kill by Ioana Demian tied the score at 28-28 before USC put the set away with a point-scoring swing by Ivana Kujundzic and a Bulldog hitting error, 30-28.

The Bulldogs fell behind early in the deciding fourth game, trailing by as many as seven at 20-13. After USC standout Belita Salters left the match with an ankle injury, the Bulldogs rallied to close the gap to a single point at 27-26 on a USC attack error and again at 27-26 on Erin Seago's seventh and final kill of the match. State's rally was snuffed out on a kill by Meredith Moorhead that moved USC to match point and a Bulldog hitting error that ended the match and State's bid for a win in its final match of September.

Reserve sophomore outside hitter Ioana Demian tallied eight kills and both Eva Kriegel and Seago added seven kills each for State. The Bulldogs held their own on defense, matching USC in digs with 75. In addition to Jucan's 18, double figure totals were also registered by Megan Lukasek (16), Eva Kriegel (15) and Jamie Joyner (14).

But the Gamecocks placed four players in double figures in kills en route to a 61-53 edge in the category. Salters and Megan Laughlin delivered 13 each while Kujundzic had 12 and Moorhead 11. Kujundzic finished with 17 digs and Laughlin paced USC at the net with five total blocks, including two solos.

A pair of senior Bulldogs moved up the ladder in two of MSU's career statistical categories. With her 16 digs, Lukasek, the Bulldogs' libero, climbed past Jennifer Shupe into third place in career digs with 1,278. And senior setter Eva Kriegel served up two of MSU's six aces Sunday, pushing her past former MSU standout Rachel Cooper into ninth place in career aces with 130.

Mississippi State returns to SEC Western Division competition in the coming weekend, traveling to oxford, Miss., Friday for a 7 p.m. match with instate SEC rival Ole Miss before venturing on to Baton Rouge, La., for a 1:30 p.m. match at 22nd-ranked Louisisna State.

Women's Tennis
TUSCALOOSA, Ala. - Mississippi State claimed four singles wins Sunday on the final day of competition at the Roberta Alison Fall Classic in Tuscaloosa, Ala.

Senior Renée Joseph was in the finals of the Gold consolation bracket on Sunday, taking on Bianca Svensson of Alabama. Joseph brought home the victory by winning in straight sets, 6-4, 6-0. Also impressive was Elna de Villiers competing in the third place match of the Bronze bracket. She took on Dominika Zuzulova of Auburn-Montgomery, defeating her by the score of 6-2, 6-1.

In other MSU singles action, Tatiana Feit claimed victory in her third place contest in the Blue consolation bracket, besting Lynne Poggensee-Wei of Iowa 6-3, 6-1. Also claiming a victory was Valeriya Makarycheva, who held off Dunja Djuranovic of Auburn in the third place match in the Green consolation bracket, 6-1, 4-6, 6-2.

In yet another third place match, this one in the White consolation bracket, Lady Bulldogs Radka Ferancova lost to Florida State's Jessica Wente 6-2, 6-2. In the third place match of the Silver bracket, State's Daniela Juskova fell to Anna Jackson of Samford 6-4, 6-5.

TUSCALOOSA, Ala. - On the second day of competition at the Roberta Alison Fall Classic Saturday, Mississippi State's doubles team of Renée Joseph and Daniela Juskova claimed the title of the Gold bracket to highlight State's day of action.

In the finals of the Gold draw, Joseph and Juskova took on a good Auburn-Montgomery team of Kamila Dadakhodjaeva and Nadia Lysak. MSU's duo was up for the challenge, claiming an 8-4 victory for the crown in that draw.

In the finals of the White doubles bracket, MSU's team of Elna de Villiers and Valeriya Makarycheva fell to Anna Spivakovsky and Yudeshnee Pillay of UNC-Charlotte 9-7. Elsewhere, Lady Bulldogs Martina Banikova and Radka Ferancova fell in a Crimson bracket third-place match to Alejandra Guerra and Arielle Von Strolley of UNC-Greensboro 8-5.

In singles action Saturday, State's 29th-ranked Martina Banikova and senior Renée Joseph advanced to the consolation finals of the Crimson and Gold brackets, respectively. Banikova defeated Carolina Walter of Florida State 6-3, 6-2 and Joseph won a hard fought-three set match 6-7(6), 7-6(8), 6-1 over Iowa's Merel Beeler.

MSU's remaining singles players all fell Saturday and will play in third-place contests in their respective brackets on Sunday.

Play resumes Sunday at 8 a.m. CT at the University of Alabama Varsity Courts.

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