STARKVILLE, Miss. - After dropping its first two conference matches of the season, Mississippi State (4-6-0, 0-2-0) look to get back on track when it opens its home conference schedule this weekend. MSU hosts Alabama on Friday, October 5 at 7 p.m. (CT). The Bulldogs will then face Auburn, Sunday, October 7 at 1 p.m. (CT).
Friday night is Pack the Stands night. Fans are encouraged to wear white to support the Bulldogs. The first 50 students to arrive will receive a free MSU Soccer t-shirt. There will also be a post-game autograph session.
Treena Ferguson leads MSU in almost every offensive category. She is currently fifth in the conference in goals (5), and seventh in points (13). She is also first in the conference in shots (39) and fourth in shots on goal (17). Bethany Frazier is also 24th in the nation in assists (6), and Katelyn Graben is tied for tenth in the SEC in assists (3). Defensively, Taryn Holland is second in the SEC with 55 saves.
Alabama is coming off a 2-1, last second victory over Kentucky. On the season, the Crimson Tide is 8-1-2. Bama is led by midfielder Kailey Corken. The junior is tenth in the conference with 12 points, having scored four goals and assisted on four others. Freshman midfielder Carly Mygrante leads the squad with five goals and freshman midfielder Victoria Frederick has added ten points (4 G, 2 A). Alabama is led defensively by goalkeeper Justine Bernier. The freshman is 7-2-1 with a 0.87 GAA and four shutouts. She also leads the SEC with 77 saves. UA leads the series with a 7-3-2 record all-time. Last year, Bama defeated the Bulldogs, 1-0 in Tuscaloosa.
Auburn began SEC play with two wins, defeating Kentucky, 4-1, before beating Vanderbilt, 2-1. The Tigers are 6-2-1 overall, 2-0-0 in SEC. AU is led by forward Becca Howell. The sophomore has scored three goals and assisted on three others for nine points. Sophomore forward Caitlin King has also added nine points, scoring twice while assisting on five goals. Defensively, the Tigers are led by netminder Allison Whitworth. The junior has played every minute, earning a 6-2-1 record with a 0.86 goals against average. Auburn leads the series with an 8-3-1 record all-time, including five consecutive shutouts.
Mississippi State continues its home stand next week. The Bulldogs host No. 20 South Carolina on Friday, October 12, at 7 p.m. (CT), before facing Florida on Sunday, October 7, at 12 p.m. (CT).
STARKVILLE, Miss. - Mississippi State puts a couple of impressive streaks on the line Friday in Oxford, Miss., when the Volleyball Bulldogs (6-9, 1-5 SEC) take on Ole Miss (13-4, 3-3 SEC) in a 7 p.m. match at UM's Gillom Sports Center.
The Bulldogs have reeled off 10 consecutive wins over instate opponents over the past three seasons and are riding a school-best six-match winning streak against their instate rivals from Oxford. Friday's match is State's first this year against a Magnolia State team and begins a two-match weekend road run against SEC Western Division foes. Mississippi State continues league play Sunday with a 1:30 p.m. match at No. 20 Louisiana State (13-2, 5-1 SEC).
Junior outside hitter Cristina Jucan has paced the Bulldogs in kills in three of their last four matches, and with 24 kills in two matches last weekend has climbed into the team lead in kills with 190. Senior opposite hitter Jamie Joyner, with a pair of 21-kill matches to her credit this season, is on her heals with 189 kills.
Two other Bulldogs, senior setter Eva Kriegel and sophomore outside hitter Ioana Demian have also eclipsed the century mark in kills this season with 117 and 107 point-scoring swings respectively. Kriegel leads the SEC this season with three "triple-doubles" and has reached double figures in three major statistical in a match a school-best 11 times in three seasons.
Following the weekend matches at UM and LSU, the Bulldogs begin a four-match home stand hosting Georgia (Oct. 12), Auburn (Oct. 14), Tennessee (Oct. 19) and Kentucky (Oct. 21). The Kentucky match will be televised live regionally from the Newell-Grissom Building on the SEC's Regional Sports Network.
STARKVILLE, MISS. - Fifteen players, including an NFCA All-American, will return to Starkville this weekend as the Mississippi State softball team welcomes back its former players for the third annual Alumni Game, Friday evening (7 p.m.) at the MSU Softball Field.
The Alumni squad will be a tough test for this year's edition of the Maroon and White. They are led by two-time NFCA All-American and SEC Athlete of the Year Iyhia McMichael, while righthanders Melissa Massey, Kelli Miller and Stephanie Comeaux are all in the top ten of all-time victories. The personnel of the alumni squad should give the current squad a gauge of its progress thus far.
The Alumni Game closes out a fall schedule that saw MSU go a perfect 8-0, outscoring its opponents 79-10. Seven players hit better than .400 during the fall, led by freshman infielder Ali Bainbridge (.565; 13-23, 8 RBI) and sophomore catcher Chelsea Bramlett (.556; 15-27, 13 R). Kelsey Nurnberg led the Bulldogs on the mound, posting a 3-0 record and 0.00 ERA while striking out 24 batters in 19 innings pitched.
MISSISSIPPI STATE ALUMNNI SQUAD
RHP Stephanie Comeaux (2004-07)
OF Katie Cooley (2004-07)
C Blair Hewett (2004-07)
RHP Sara Hickerson (2004-07)
INF Jennifer Jessup (2001-05)
INF Katie Johnson (2004-07)
RHP Melissa Massey (2002-05)
OF Iyhia McDonald (2001-04)
RHP Kelli Miller (2004-07)
INF Lindsay Nelson (2001-04)
RHP Stephanie Owens (2003)
OF Krystal Tillman (2001-03)
RHP Kasey Whitehead (2000-02)
SS Callye Williams (2004-06)
PACIFIC PALISADES, Calif. - On the second day of the qualifying rounds at the Riviera/ITA Women's All-American Tennis Championships Wednesday, Mississippi State's 29th-ranked Martina Banikova spilt a pair of matches to Melissa Mang of Duke and Melissa Saiontz of Princeton.
In the opening round of the qualifying consolation bracket, Banikova moved on, claiming a 6-1, 6-1 victory over Mang. In the second round, Banikova took on a tough competitor in Saiontz, who claimed a very close first set 7-5. Then in the second set she claimed a 6-2 win to take the match.
Banikova will now return home and join her teammates for their next fall action at the ITA South Region Indoor Championships in Athens, Ga., beginning Saturday, Oct. 20.
TULSA, Okla. - Mississippi State's 40th-ranked Philippe Frayssinoux began his run at the ITA All-American Championships in fine fashion Thursday, defeating two top-40 opponents, including the nation's sixth-ranked player, to move into Friday's Round of 16 at the Michael D. Case Tennis Complex on the University of Tulsa campus.
Frayssinoux, a senior from Plasir, France, opened the day with a convincing 6-2, 6-4 win over 39th-ranked Alex Skrypko of Southern Methodist University in the first round. In his second-round match Thursday afternoon, Frayssinoux continued his impressive play as he upset sixth-ranked Brian Koniecko of Ohio State 7-5, 6-4 to move into the final 16. Frayssinoux advances to face Stanford's 111th-ranked Alex Clayton on Friday.
"I was pleased with the way Philippe battled today," said MSU head coach Per Nilsson. "He was matched up with two tough opponents, but he responded well and played some really good tennis. Now he just has to keep his level of play and intensity up."
With the pair of wins, Frayssinoux moved to 10-1 in singles this season, which includes seven victories over ranked opponents. In those victories, Frayssinoux has not dropped a set. Frayssinoux's appearance in the Round of 16 also marks the first time a Bulldog has reached that round of the All-American Championships since former MSU All-American Romain Ambert advanced to the quarterfinals in 2003.