STARKVILLE, Miss. - Mississippi State (6-22, 1-16 SEC) ventures into SEC Eastern Division territory for the third and final time this season this weekend when the Bulldogs take on No. 14 Florida (21-3, 15-2 SEC) and South Carolina (19-8, 10-7 SEC) on the 10th weekend of Southeastern Conference volleyball competition.
MSU meets 17-time defending SEC champion Florida Friday in a 6 p.m. (CST) match at the O'Connell Center in Gainesville. State then travels on to Columbia, S.C., for a 12:30 p.m. (CST) Sunday match against the Gamecocks at USC's Volleyball Competition Center. The Bulldogs close out their 2008 campaign in Tuscaloosa, Ala., next Friday (Nov. 28) against SEC West rival Alabama.
The Bulldogs take on two of the SEC's top three offensive units. Florida and South Carolina rank 2-3 in the SEC with .253 and .252 hitting percentages. Florida's freshman standout Kelly Murphy sports the league's second-best individual hitting percentage (.360) while South Carolina senior Belita Salters leads the league (.387). Both the Gators and the Gamecocks registered straight-sets wins in previous matchups against MSU earlier this season at the Newell-Grissom Building.
Mississippi State is paced by junior outside hitter loana Demian, who is nearing a pair of career statistical milestones. Demian leads the Bulldogs with 293 kills, averaging 2.99 kills per set. She enters the weekend with 590 career kills. She also ranks second on the team this fall with 212 digs and has piled up 367 digs in 255 career sets played.
Friday's MSU-UF match will be a homecoming of sorts for State junior setter Dorey Gray. Gray, who leads MSU with 573 assists, hails from Indian Harbour Beach, Florida. She tallied a career-high 40 assists in State's five-set thriller against Arkansas last weekend in Starkville.
Mississippi State closes out its 2008 volleyball schedule next Friday (Nov. 28) with a 7 p.m. match at Alabama.
STARKVILLE, Miss. - Mississippi State men's golf coach Clay Homan announced Thursday the signing of Barrett Edens from Amory High School in Okolona, Miss. and Mike Genovese out of Pensacola Catholic High School in Pensacola, Fla.
At Amory High School, Edens helped lead his team to back-to-back state championships. Edens was the 2007 3A State Champion and runner-up in 2008. The Okolona native has also won the district championship every year since 2005.
This fall, Edens participated in and won the 2008 Bryan Cup which is held annually at Old Waverly Golf Club in West Point. He also posted a runner-up finish at the 2008 State Junior Amateur and placed 19th in the Mississippi open championship.
"Barrett is a young man with a bright future," said Homan. "He has good solid swing mechanics and he will be a great addition to next year's squad."
Edens, the son of Lee and Sandra Edens, joins his grandfather and two uncles in attending Mississippi State.
Fellow signee Mike Genovese led the way for 2007 Pensacola Catholic High school team in a ninth place finish at the state tournament.
Genovese is currently ranked 37th nationally in the class of 2008 by the American Junior Golf Association and has claimed 10 individual championships in his career including most recently the U.S Amateur Qualifier in August and the Trusted Big I State Championship in June.
Last fall, Genovese put together individual championships in four straight tournaments including the PARS International Tournament in which he fired a 7-under-par at the PGA National in Palm Beach Gardens, Fla.
"Genovese has extensive national experience," said Homan. "He will provide depth to the team and we look for him to have immediate playing time next season."
Genovese is the son of Mike and Geri Genovese. Mike senior played golf collegiately at the University of Louisiana-Lafayette.