News from MSU Media Relations--September 15

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

Men's Golf
ROCKY FACE, Ga. - The Mississippi State men's golf team concluded play at the Carpet Capital Classic on Sunday. MSU finished the tournament in a tie for 15th place after a three round score of 890 for 26-over-par. After round one, the Bulldogs were in 12th place after a round of 299 and their scores improved in rounds two and three with a 295 and 296.

Junior Carlos Sainz, Jr. finished in a tie for 10th in the tournament as the Elgin, Ill.-native fired an even-over-par 216 at the event. Sainz shot a 1-over-par 73 on day one and improved by one shot each day. Senior Matt Fast notched a 221 through three rounds for a 5-over-par despite an even-par showing in round one. Redshirt freshman Lee Heaton finished his first collegiate tournament with a 12-over-par, 228. Redshirt junior Brian Mason finished one stroke shy of Heaton with a 229 after posting a 2-over-par 74 on the final day of competition. Senior Noah Goldman finished the tournament with a score of 233.

MSU will now get ready for their next action at the Mason Rudolf Collegiate Classic in Franklin, Tenn. on September 26.

Women's Golf
CHARLESTON, S.C. - Mississippi State's sophomore Mallory Batson led the women's golf team Sunday by firing a 73 to finish first-round action at the annual Cougar Classic tied for 16th overall. As a team, MSU posted a score of 304, good for 16th place after one round at the Yeamans Hall Golf Club on Sunday.

Freshman Hannah Weathersby missed Batson's mark by just a stroke at 74, tied for 27th overall, while senior Leigh Phillips and sophomore Erika Thornton each notched scores of 79, tied for 81st. Junior Gina Sharp rounded out MSU lady golfers with a mark of 80 after one round of play.

"Mallory and Hannah both had solid individual performances today," MSU head coach Christi Sanders said. "As a team, we need to minimize three-puts and convert more up-and-downs."

The Southeastern Conference has proven to be competitive in the Cougar Classic's first round, as Georgia stands tied with Virginia for top honors after day one with a team total of 288. South Carolina currently ranks third overall followed by North Carolina State in fourth, while Florida State and North Carolina head toward round two tied for fifth. The first round individual lead honor is held by Mallory Hetzel of Georgia and Whitney Neuhauser of Virginia, who both shot four under par to carry a one-stroke lead into round two.

Mississippi State will begin fixed tee action for the second round on Monday at 6:40 a.m. CT.

STARKVILLE, Miss. - The Memphis Tigers held Mississippi State to a season-low .012 hitting percentage Saturday afternoon in topping the Bulldogs in straight sets and claiming the championship of the 2008 MSU Bulldog Club Invitational. The Tigers (7-3) finished unbeaten in three matches during two days of competition at State's Humphrey Coliseum.

"Memphis got off to great starts in the first two sets today, and we were not able to break their momentum," said coach Tina Seals. "We are working to become more consistent on offense, which is something you've got to have to control momentum. Our middle blockers made some progress this weekend, but we've got to continue to improve as a team as we head into a tough SEC schedule."

 Mississippi State opens its 20-match SEC schedule next weekend with road matches at Tennessee and Kentucky.

Memphis raced to a 6-1 lead and limited State to three kills in a 25-14 win in the opening set when the Bulldogs had eight hitting errors. The Tigers sprinted to a 5-1 advantage to open the second set and hit a match-best .438 for a 25-15 win and a 2-0 lead in the match. In the deciding third set, it was the Bulldogs who took the upper hand in the early going of play, bolting to a 5-1 lead. But the Tigers went on a 9-1 run to regain momentum and then fought off a determined MSU challenge late for a match-clinching 25-22 win.

"I was proud of the way our kids fought back late in the match," said Seals. "They showed a lot of fight and determination, which will need to build on for the challenges ahead."

 Freshman middle hitter Faith Steinwedell, who represented Mississippi State on the seven-player all-tournament team, led the Bulldogs with five kills and tallied a pair of blocks. Mandy Mellencamp followed with four kills and Ashley Newsome finished with three kills and a team-best three blocks.

Veteran outside hitters Ioana Demian and Cristina Jucan managed but three kills apiece, finishing the weekend with 26 kills and 25 kills respectively for the weekend.

Memphis got a match-high 10 kills from Carolyn Baker, 11 digs from Kaitlin Inglish and seven total blocks and nine kills from Emily Underwood. UM setter Laura Cote was named the tournament's MVP.

In Saturday's early match, Central Arkansas bested Centenary in four sets (25-16, 25-22, 25-7, 25-18) to claim runner-up honors in the MSU Bulldog Club Invitational.

MOBILE, Ala. - Senior Kevyn Shelledy, freshman Taylor Turnipseed and junior Katelyn Graben each scored twice as the Mississippi State soccer team captured the South Alabama Soccer Tournament championship Sunday afternoon with an 8-0 win over Nicholls State in Mobile, Ala.

Shelledy also added an assist, while freshman Tarah Henderson and senior Meredith Jacobson each scored in moving State to 4-3 on the year. Nicholls falls to 2-4 overall with the loss.

Sunday's outing capped a stellar weekend for Shelledy in which she tallied the two goals and a pair of assists. In Friday night's tournament-opening win over the host Jaguars, she assisted Danielle Kite's game-winning goal in the Bulldogs' 1-0 victory.

"We played well for long spells of the game," MState head coach Neil Macdonald said. "It feels good to come down here and get a couple of wins under our belt. Kevyn Shelledy was outstanding this weekend. Andrea Harrison played well, and Lauren Morgan showed a great deal of maturity for just her seventh collegiate game."

The eight-goal performance at "The Cage" tied for the second-most goals in a single game in school history, matching the 1996 squad which scored eight times in a win over McNeese State.

After narrowly missing out on a number of early opportunities, the Bulldogs finally broke through with 27:39 left in the opening half as freshman Allison Ouren delivered a perfectly-placed past over the top of the Nicholls defense. Shelledy out-ran her defender and lined the ball into the right side of the net to put MState on top 1-0.

The Tomball, Texas, native added her second goal, and third of the year, with just over 14 minutes left in the half as she lined a corner kick directly into the right side of the net for her second goal of the day and a 2-0 MState edge.

Just a minute later, Turnipseed gave the Bulldogs a 3-0 cushion as she took a Shelledy pass and lined a goal into the net from just outside the 18-yard box.

With 9:48 left, State made it a 4-0 lead as senior Anna Goblirsch sent a pass into the box from the right side that Henderson netted for her second goal of the season and a 4-0 State lead.

The Bulldogs capped the opening-half scoring with 5:19 left as Turnipseed scored her second goal of the game and third of her rookie season off a Bulldog corner kick. Mariclaire Fancher's shot off the corner was deflected by the NSU goalkeeper Molly Mersereau, and Turnipseed put the rebound into the net for a 5-0 lead that State would take to the half.

Macdonald's squad continued the attacking pace in the second half, netting a trio of goals that included Graben's first two goals of the season.

Jacobson opened the second-half scoring as she headed her first goal of the season into the net off a Lauren Host corner kick in the 58th minute.

Graben capped the State scoring with her two goals nearly 10 minutes later. On the first, sophomore Mary Clare Scurria slipped a pass between defenders that Graben lined into the left side of the net. Nearly two minutes later, Goblirsch found Graben cutting to the net. She drew Colonel goalie Sarah Damen out of the net and put a shot past her for the final 8-0 advantage.

The Bulldogs managed 20 shots in the winning effort, and junior goalkeeper Taryn Holland tallied her third shutout of the season, matching last season's career high, as she stopped four of Nicholls' five shots in the game.

The Bulldogs return home next Friday, taking on Memphis in a match set for a 7 p.m. kickoff at the Mississippi State Soccer Field. Admission to all MState home soccer matches is free.

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