Tennessee was looking for its third straight win, but fell short 3-0 (25-21, 25-18, 25-23) to Mississippi State on Sunday. The loss brings Tennessee’s record to 13-8 (3-5 SEC) and gives Mississippi State a slight lead in the conference standings (12-11, 4-5 SEC).
After suffering a disappointing 3-0 loss earlier in the season to the Bulldogs—a match in which Tennessee led in most statistical categories—the VolleyVols were looking for revenge.
Neither team could find momentum early on in the first set. It was a late push by the Bulldogs that proved to be enough to win the set 25-21. Although Tennessee led the first set in total assists, it was Mississippi State’s ability to spread the wealth that proved to be the winning edge, as two players recorded at least six assists for the Bulldogs.
Mississippi State came out with energy to begin the second set and led 15-9 early. The Bullldogs maintained a comfortable lead throughout and only allowed the Vols to cut the lead to three after that point en route to a 25-18 victory. Unfortunately for Tennessee, service errors became the motto of the set, giving up six points via bad serves.
Back and forth went the Vols and the Bulldogs to begin the third set. After a 23-23 tie, Mississippi State took the final two points to claim the set and the match 25-23. Service errors continued to be a factor in the match—this time plaguing the Bulldogs—who finished with six in the set. Good passing, however, kept Mississippi State in the match.
One bright spot for Tennessee was the performance from Sedona Hansen, who recorded a game-high 27 assists. Unfortunately for the Vols, the only other player to tally an assist was Bridgette Villano, who finished with just one assist.
Tennessee finishes its road trip with a match against Alabama on Friday at 7 p.m. ET. on the SEC Network.
Edited by David Bradford
Featured image by Hayley Pennesi, courtesy of Tennessee Athletics