News from MSU Media Relations--September 7

The latest sports news from the MSU Media Relations Department...Soccer, Volleyball and Cross Country.

Soccer
STARKVILLE, Miss. - The Mississippi State soccer team dropped a 3-0 decision to Georgetown Friday afternoon in the road opener for the Bulldogs at the Mason Tournament in Fairfax, Va.

The Hoyas, who are receiving votes in all of the national polls, move to 4-0 with the win. State falls to 2-2 on the year.

"Georgetown is a wonderful team and played very well. We got better as the game went on and had a very good 25-minute spell in the second half where we created a lot. The result is disappointing, but we learned a lot about ourselves today which is great heading into the Southeastern Conference in a couple of weeks."

The Bulldogs, who were out-shot for the first time this season, put some early pressure on GU. State thwarted a corner kick attempt and moved down the field. Bethany Frazier rifled a shot from the left wing, only to have DesJardin knock it away for one of her three saves in the game.

Four minutes later the Hoyas put the first points on the scoreboard as Toni Hudson slipped past the State defense and put a goal, her third of the season, past MState goalkeeper Taryn Holland into the left side of the net.

Despite surrendering the season high in goals, Holland played an outstanding game for the Bulldogs, saving a season-high nine of the Hoyas' 14 shots on goal.

"Tayrn played really well for us today," Macdonald said. "She was focused, and it showed because I thought that she was the best player on the field today."

GU nearly made it 2-0 on the following kickoff, but Holland deflected Kelly D'Ambrisi's header wide of the net.

State's defense anchored down the remainder of the opening half, preserving the 1-0 deficit despite GU taking 12 shots.

Holland made another outstanding save six minutes into the second half, as Samantha Baker, the reigning Big East Rookie of the Week, had a one-on-one opportunity. The junior from Franklin, Tenn., made a diving deflection of the shot, and State cleared the ball to keep the GU lead at 1-0.

The Bulldogs missed another tying attempt at the 54:29 mark as sophomore Leanna Baldner deflected a Bethany Frazier corner kick to rookie Lauren Morgan, whose shot sailed just over the top of the cross bar.

Ten minutes later the Hoyas extended the lead to 2-0 as Caitlin Durkee's corner kick was deflected to Michaela Buonomo who scored from the right side of the box.

State freshman Tarah Henderson created another Bulldog scoring opportunity, but her header was denied by DesJardin. The Hoyas capped the scoring five minutes later as Hudson netted her second goal on the afternoon off a Durkee pass over the top of the MState defense.

In the final two minutes of the match, freshman Taylor Turnipseed worked the ball down the left side of the field and delivered a cross to sophomore Hadley Gable whose header sailed wide right of the goal.

Mississippi State closes out the Mason Tournament Sunday morning, taking on the host Patriots in a match set for a 10 a.m. CST kickoff.


Volleyball
LAKE CHARLES, La. - Three Mississippi State players reached double figures in kills Friday afternoon but it was not enough to lift the Bulldogs past instate rival Southern Miss in the opening match of the 2008 McNeese State Cowgirl Tournament. USM (4-0) remained unbeaten for the season with a 3-1 decision (25-19, 13-25, 25-23, 25-22) over State (2-2). It was the first of two matches on the day for the Bulldogs, scheduled to meet host McNeese State in a 7 p.m. match.

Outside hitters Ioana Demian and Cristina Jucan tallied 13 kills each and freshman Mandy Mellencamp delivered a career-best 10 kills on a .529 hitting performance to pace the Bulldogs, who struggled in the early going of the match.

Bulldog middle blocker Ashley Newsome ripped a kill to open the match, but USM reeled off the next four points and hit at a match-best .538 clip in taking the opening set 25-19.

State bounced back in impressive fashion in the second set. Jucan had the hot hand early, nailing four kills as the Bulldogs raced to an 11-7 advantage. A pair of service aces by Kayla Woodard stretched the lead to 20-11 and State, hitting a match-best .385, evened the match with a 25-13 win.

The Bulldogs' roll continue on into the third set as State twice built up six-point edges, the second at 15-9 on a kill by freshman Faith Steinwedell. Ashley Petrinic and Sarah Jane Bowden powered a USM comeback and the Golden Eagles, after pulling even at 21-21 on a kill by Lauren Sears, out-pointed MSU 4-2 the remainder of the set for a 25-23 win and a 2-1 advantage in the match.

The fourth set was another closely-contested affair and included six lead changes. A Golden Eagle attack error gave the Bulldogs an 11-10 lead nearing the set's midway point, but USM's Petrinic delievered four kills down the stretch to help build out a five-point lead and the Golden Eagles fended off a late MSU run to notch the win.

Demian backed her 13-kill performance with 10 digs to notch the team's first double-double of the year and the fourth of her career. Junior setter Dorey Gray finished with 37 assists and a career-high 11 digs for her first career double-double.

The match saw the season debut of a sixth MSU freshman, setter Grace Hoyt. Hoyt recorded four assists and a dig after entering the match in the fourth set.

USM's Ashley Petrinic tallied 13 kills and Angela Hlavaty and Stevi Seymour added 10 each. Maia Ivanoa led USM's 51-37 advantage on defense with a match-high 27 digs.

State closes out play in the McNeese State tournament Saturday, taking on Gramblin State at 11:30 a.m. and Nicholls State at 4:30 p.m.

LAKE CHARLES, La. - Three Mississippi State players reached double figures in kills Friday afternoon but it was not enough to lift the Bulldogs past instate rival Southern Miss in the opening match of the 2008 McNeese State Cowgirl Tournament. USM (4-0) remained unbeaten for the season with a 3-1 decision (25-19, 13-25, 25-23, 25-22) over State (2-2). In the final match of the day, Mississippi State rallied but came up short in a five-game thriller with host McNeese State (1-3), falling 25-27, 18-25, 26-24, 25-13, 8-15.

Outside hitters Ioana Demian and Cristina Jucan tallied 13 kills each and freshman Mandy Mellencamp delivered a career-best 10 kills on a .529 hitting performance to pace the Bulldogs, who struggled in the early going of the match.

Bulldog middle blocker Ashley Newsome ripped a kill to open the match, but USM reeled off the next four points and hit at a match-best .538 clip in taking the opening set 25-19.

State bounced back in impressive fashion in the second set. Jucan had the hot hand early, nailing four kills as the Bulldogs raced to an 11-7 advantage. A pair of service aces by Kayla Woodard stretched the lead to 20-11 and State, hitting a match-best .385, evened the match with a 25-13 win.

The Bulldogs' roll continue on into the third set as State twice built up six-point edges, the second at 15-9 on a kill by freshman Faith Steinwedell. Ashley Petrinic and Sarah Jane Bowden powered a USM comeback and the Golden Eagles, after pulling even at 21-21 on a kill by Lauren Sears, out-pointed MSU 4-2 the remainder of the set for a 25-23 win and a 2-1 advantage in the match.

The fourth set was another closely-contested affair and included six lead changes. A Golden Eagle attack error gave the Bulldogs an 11-10 lead nearing the set's midway point, but USM's Petrinic delievered four kills down the stretch to help build out a five-point lead and the Golden Eagles fended off a late MSU run to notch the win.

Demian backed her 13-kill performance with 10 digs to notch the team's first double-double of the year and the fourth of her career. Junior setter Dorey Gray finished with 37 assists and a career-high 11 digs for her first career double-double.

The match saw the season debut of a sixth MSU freshman, setter Grace Hoyt. Hoyt recorded four assists and a dig after entering the match in the fourth set.

USM's Ashley Petrinic tallied 13 kills and Angela Hlavaty and Stevi Seymour added 10 each. Maia Ivanoa led USM's 51-37 advantage on defense with a match-high 27 digs.

In the nightcap, McNeese State claimed the first two sets 27-25 and 25-18 and led the Bulldogs 20-13 in what would have been a deciding third set. But State, at times with four freshmen on the court, rallied to for a 26-24 win in game three and throttled McNeese State 25-13 in the fourth set to extend the match. The Cowgirls, helped along by seven MSU hitting errors, raced to a 6-0 advantage and nailed down the win with a 15-8 decision.

Demian took match scoring honors with 14 kills, while Jucan tallied 13 and Ashley Newsome chipped in a career-best 12 with a .348 hitting percentage. Newsome paced State with 10 total blocks for her first career double-double.

Faith Steinwedell paced State's freshmen and matched her earlier nine-kill offensive show and tallied a season-best 13 digs. Kayla Woodard followed with 10 State led in virtually every statistical category, owning a 62-39 advantage in kills, a 49-29 dominance in digs, and a 14.4 to 10.0 edge in blocks. But MSU also has a season-high 31 attack errors and 14 service errors while McNeese State out-served State 15 aces to 10.

State closes out play in the McNeese State tournament Saturday, taking on Gramblin State at 11:30 a.m. and Nicholls State at 4:30 p.m.

LAKE CHARLES, La. - Mississippi State (3-4) got a match-high 11 kills from Cristina Jucan Saturday as the Bulldogs topped Grambling State in straight sets in the McNeese State Cowgirl Invitational. MSU then fell in a tough 3-2 decision to Nicholls State in their closer in the tournament.

State rallied to claim a win in a closely-contested second set against Grambling and went on to win for the first time in the two-day tournament, 25-21, 26-24, 25-17.

Middle blocker Ashley Newsome had six kills and both Ioana Demian and Faith Steinwedell added five kills each for State. Mandy Mellencamp delivered three kills and a match-leading four blocks.

State out-hit Grambling .173 to .062. The Tigers (0-5) had 25 hitting errors and nine service errors.

In the tourney finale Saturday afternoon, the Bulldogs built a 2-1 lead only to see the Colonels rally for the fourth and fifth sets to gain the victory 22-25, 25-18, 25-27, 25-22, 15-13.

Demian led the MSU cause with 17 kills and 13 digs, followed by 13 kills from Newsome.


Cross Country
STARKVILLE, Miss. - The Mississippi State men's and women's cross country teams open their respective 2008 campaigns on Saturday in an event they've enjoyed great success with the last two years, the Sewanee Invitational.

Both squads have captured impressive back-to-back crowns and enter this weekend's event as the favorites to once again leave with medals in hand.

The Lady Bulldogs, under the direction of coach Al Schmidt, begin their 5K race at 10 a.m. at the pristine Sewanee Golf Course, while the Bulldogs, guided by coach Steve Dudley, follow with their 8K run at 11 a.m.

"This will be your typical first meet," Schmidt said. "Obviously anytime you race, you try to win, but this will also give us a chance to see where we are fitness wise."

Last year, the Lady Bulldogs placed four runners in the Top 10, with Sarah Hammes finishing second with a time of 19 minutes, 5.51 seconds, while Simone Domingue was third at 19:06.10. Both sophomores will be competing again this weekend.

In the men's race a year ago, the top three finishers all donned the Maroon and White, paced by Jonathan Rono, who claimed his first-career victory with a time of 26:10.82. Ben Blankenship was second at 26:30.52, while Robert Scribner rounded at the dominance at 26:45.90.

"Everyone is very excited about getting the season started this weekend," Dudley said. "The guys are tired of running against one another and look forward to racing other teams."

Other schools participating in the Sewanee Invitational are Birmingham Southern, Bryan, Centre, Covenant, Emory, Evansville, Gadsden State, Lee, Lincoln Memorial, Maryville, Oglethorpe, Piedmont, Reinhardt, Rhodes, Tennessee Tech, Tennessee Wesleyan, North Alabama and host, Sewanee.

After this weekend, MState hosts the MSU Invitational on Sept. 20.

SEWANEE, Tenn. - Under overcast skies at the high-altitude Sewanee Golf Course on Saturday, the Mississippi State men's and women's cross country teams once again shined brightly over the competition at the 28th Annual Sewanee Invitational en route to sweeping the day's events for the third year in a row.

The men, paced by first-place finisher Robert Scribner (Tupelo, Miss.) with a time of 25 minutes, 40.20 seconds, posted 27 points in their 8K run and had five runners place in the Top 10. The women, led by Rennee Masterson's third-place finish at 18:17.12, totaled 30 points and had four Top 10 finishers in their 5K event.

"It was a very good day," an elated men's coach Steve Dudley said. "It was a team effort. We don't have any big-time individuals, and the only way for us to be any good and finish in the top half of the SEC is to compete as a team. This was a tough course and the ideal way to start the season, because we know from here on out it's only going to get tougher."

Finishing second behind Scribner was MSU teammate Adam Lenz at 25:47.38, while Daniel Simpkins finished sixth at 26:17.46. Matthew Cameron and Cameron Vincent rounded out the Top 10 dominance at 26:27.59 and 26:35.14, respectively.

Dudley was also pleased with Rob Ellis (Tupelo, Miss.), who set an MSU freshman record at the course with a time of 27:03.71 to finish 18th.

Also in the Top 10 for the Lady Bulldogs were Simone Dominque at 18:45.75 (4th), Dominique Lockhart at 19:02.03 (5th) and Lydia Chebii at 19:14.11 (7th). Just missing out was Sarah Hammes, who placed 11th with a time of 19:28.60.

"It was a good start to the season, and we did what I expected," women's coach Al Schmidt said. "These were our fastest times on this course, and I thought everyone did very well. It was a good day and a good start for us."

MState returns to action on Sept. 20 when it hosts the MSU Invitational in Starkville.


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