Mississippi State beat Milwaukee to start opening season

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Mississippi State Athletics

Photo: Mississippi State Athletics

South Bend, Ind – The Mississippi State volleyball team began its 2022 campaign in the victory column by defeating Milwaukee (3-0) in the opening match of the Irish Invitational on Friday.

MSU took the first set 25–16 and the Bulldogs kept it rolling in the second set, claiming a 25–15 victory before ending the match 25–14 in the final frame.

“I thought we handled the ball well and we managed the risks well,” said head coach Julie Darty Dennis. “We chased it over the service line, and I’m okay with how aggressive we were there because that’s where we put a lot of pressure on them. Milwaukee is a good offensive team that runs a lot of crazy patterns. We made them do that.” Don’t let it, just because of how aggressive we were.”

The Bulldogs, led by Gabby Wadden and Lauren Myrick, chased 46 kills in the sweep, with both taking 12-12 kills. Sania Petties took seven wickets, while Deja Robinson took six. Gabby Coulter and Sophie Edge each recorded four murders each.

Robinson stepped into the MSU record book by adding five blocks to his record. She now sits alone in the No. 1 spot in the individual career record for total blocks (409). Robinson captained the state crime for the .667 clip in the evening and committed six murders and five blocks.

“I’m so proud of Deja” [Robinson],” said Denise. “I loved how good his hands were tonight. She was reaching the net taking her place. This is always a big focus for us. I’m so excited to go down in Deja’s career record book. Obviously, this is a great way to start the season by breaking such records. I am excited to continue her presence for us on the net. It’s a great way for us to start the year.”

Stat stopped the Panthers at .000 hitting clip in the match. MSU led Robinson to post 14 blocks in the net, while Wadden grabbed three. Petty and Rebecca Walk both had two blocks in the match while Edge had one in the three-set win.

Lily Gunter paced the backcourt defense with a team-high 17 digs, followed by Wadden with 14. Myrick followed suit with nine digs, as did Jeffcott himself with seven digs.

“I am very proud of an overall team win tonight, Dennis said. “We were really balanced, and it was nice to get all our attackers involved early and often. I think it’s good for us aggressively to be so balanced for us. I think there were a lot of guys who did a lot of great things, and it’s a win for a great team to start our season.”

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The Bulldogs are back in action on Saturday as MSU takes on Notre Dame. The match between MSU and Fighting Irish is scheduled for 5PM ET in South Bend.

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