News from MSU Media Relations--September 12

The latest sports news from the MSU Media Relations Department...Men's Golf. Volleyball and Soccer.

Men's Golf
STARKVILLE, Miss. - Teeing off in their first tournament of the fall campaign, the 28th ranked Mississippi State men's golf team competes in the Carpet Capital Collegiate Classic Friday through Sunday, Sept. 12-14, at The Farm Golf Club in Rocky Face, Ga. Mississippi State will be making its first appearance at the par-72 course since playing in the same tournament in 1999.

Mississippi State joins 17 other teams in the tournament including SEC foes Alabama, Auburn, Georgia, Florida, Mississippi, South Carolina and Tennessee. Rounding out the tournament field are Clemson, North Carolina, Wake Forest, Texas Tech, Central Florida, UAB, East Tennessee State, Georgia State, Chattanooga and host Georgia Tech. Of the 18 teams competing in the tournament, 14 of them are ranked in the top-30 nationally including four out of the top 10.

"We are going to find out very quickly where with stand with the nation's best," said MSU Head Coach Clay Homan. "This is a very strong field and we look forward to seeing how we will compete."

This marks the fourth time the Bulldogs have competed in the Carpet Capital Classic but the first time since 1999. That year the team finished 14th, however, MSU all-American Alex Rocha fired a three-day total of 208 to finish second overall.

Making the trip along with Coach Homan will be seniors Noah Goldman, Carlos Sainz Jr., and Matt Fast. Redshirt Junior Brian Mason will also make the trip to Georgia and, competing in his first Division I tournament, is redshirt freshman Lee Heaton.

Upon completing play at the Carpet Capital Classic, Mississippi State will prepare for the Mason Rudolph Championship at The Legends Club in Franklin, Tenn.

STARKVILLE, Miss. --- Mississippi State closes out the non-conference portion of its 2008 volleyball schedule this weekend at Humphrey Coliseum when the Volleyball Bulldogs (4-4) play host to the 2008 Bulldog Club Invitational.

State welcomes Centenary (La.) College (2-6), first-time foe Central Arkansas (4-2) and regional rival Memphis (4-3) in the two-day, six-match event. The Memphis Tigers meet the UCA Sugar Bears at 10 a.m. and State tests the Centenary Ladies at 12:30 p.m. to open the tournament. State meets Central Arkansas Friday at 7 p.m. and concludes the weekend with a 1:30 p.m. match against Memphis Saturday. There is no charge for admission to the tournament.

The tournament marks State's first competition at Humphrey Coliseum since the 2002 campaign.

The Bulldogs pulled even on the 2008 campaign Tuesday night in Jackson, extending a series when streak against the Tigers with a straight-sets win at the T.B. Ellis Gym. Ioana Demian led the Bulldogs with 12 kills on a .345 hitting performance and sophomore middle blocker Ashley Newsome tallied a career-high 11 total blocks.

Demian leads the Bulldogs with 85 kills and ranks second on the club with 60 digs heading into this weekend's competition. Senior outside hitter Cristina Jucan with 80 kills is also nearing the century mark. Also nearing the century mark in digs is sophomore libero Kayla Woodard, now with 85.

Seven of MSU's nine freshmen have seen playing time this season, with two rookies, opposite hitter Faith Steinwedell of LaJolla, Calif., and middle hitter Mandy Mellencamp of Prescott, Ariz., having drawn starts in all eight matches this season.

Mississippi State opens its 20-match SEC schedule next weekend when the Bulldogs hit the road for matches at Tennessee (Sept. 19 --- 6 p.m. CDT) and at Kentucky (Sept. 21 --- 12:30 p.m. CDT).

MSU Bulldog Club Invitational (Humphrey Coliseum)

Friday, September 12 --- 10:00 a.m. Central Arkansas vs Memphis
Friday, September 12 --- 12:30 p.m. Mississippi State vs. Centenary
Friday, September 12 --- 4:30 p.m. Memphis vs. Centenary
Friday, September 12 --- 7:00 p.m. Mississippi State vs. Central Arkansas
Saturday, September 13 --- 11:00 a.m. Centenary vs. Central Arkansas
Saturday, September 13 --- 1:30 p.m. Mississippi State vs. Memphis

STARKVILLE, Miss. - The Mississippi State soccer team closes out a four-match road trip this weekend, traveling to Mobile, Ala., to take on Nicholls State and South Alabama in the South Alabama Soccer Tournament.

The Bulldogs will face Nicholls State at 4:30 p.m. on Friday and the host Jaguars in a 2:30 p.m. kickoff on Sunday. The tournament was originally scheduled to be played in Thibodaux, La., but the potential threat of Hurricane Ike to the southern portion of Louisiana forced it to be relocated to Mobile.

A live webcast for State's match with South Alabama will be available for $9.95 through

Head coach Neil Macdonald's squad looks to move back above the .500 mark on the season after dropping to 2-3 on the year behind losses to Georgetown and George Mason in Fairfax, Va., last weekend.

The Bulldogs had senior defender Meredith Jacobson and junior goalkeeper Taryn Holland named to the Mason all-tournament team. Holland stopped 14 shots on the weekend, including a season-best nine against Georgetown. On the year, the Franklin, Tenn., native has stopped 25 shots, giving her 175 for her career which moves her into fifth on the school's all-time career list.

State has notched seven goals this season, with each coming from different players. Seniors Mary Kate Ayers and Kevyn Shelledy have each found the back of the net along with sophomores Leanna Baldner and Hadley Gable. The other three goals have come from freshmen Serena Prendergast, Tarah Henderson and Taylor Turnipseed.

The Maroon and White will be looking for its first victory in Mobile in just its second trip ever to the city. The previous venture to Alabama's gulf coast came in 2001, with USA taking a 2-1 win in overtime. State claimed the win in its last meeting with South Alabama, a 5-0 win on Aug. 31 that evened the series at two wins for each team.

The Jaguars return home with a 1-4 record after a trip through Texas last weekend in which they dropped decisions to Lamar and Sam Houston State. South Alabama has scored five goals this season, with freshman forward Brandi Smith staking claim to all but one of those. Senior Kelsie Langford has seen most of the action in goal, stopping 19 shots and allowing 10.

State will first look to get past a Nicholls State squad that started the season 2-0 before dropping consecutive decisions to South Alabama and Troy. The Colonels' loss to Troy came following a nine-day layoff due to Hurricane Gustav. Alicia Gautreau and Kaity Mattsson have scored half of Nicholls' 12 goals this season, with each scoring three times. Molly Mersereau has seen the bulk of the action in goal for the Colonels, making 23 saves while allowing just four goals.

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