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MSU volleyball falls to North Dakota in Bulldog Invitational opener

STARKVILLE, Miss. (WTVA/MSU Athletics) — Despite several impressive performances from a number of Bulldogs, the Mississippi State volleyball squad (4-8) was unable to pull out a win Thursday night, falling to North Dakota, 3-0.

The first set was all in favor of UND, as the visitors rocketed out to a five-point lead early on. MSU would pull as close as three in the set before UND pulled away late to take the opening frame, 25-18.

UND opened the second much like the first, pulling ahead 6-2 to start. However, MSU would pull the score even several times, eventually taking the lead midway through. Hazelwood’s squad took a 19-15 lead to force a North Dakota timeout, but could not keep their foot on the gas. UND would come back to tie it at 22, before eventually taking a 2-0 lead in the match, 25-23.

Even down two sets, the Bulldogs would not go away peacefully against UND. State opened the third up 5-3 behind three kills from Alex Warren and an ace from Payton Harris. The early surge was not enough for State, as UND would fight its way back into the lead, keeping MSU at bay the rest of the set to take it, 25-19, and the match, 3-0.

Warren turned in a career night offensively for the Maroon and White, as her 15 kills tied a career high set earlier this season against Miami (OH). Harris earned 25 digs on the night, giving her at least 20 in 10 of MSU’s 12 matches. Ericka Timberlake also turned in double-digit digs, tallying 14 on the night. Timberlake now has turned in at least 10 in all four of her matches this season.

Rounding out the MSU stat sheet was Chelsea Duhs and Emily Howard, who both tallied nine kills in the match. Katlyn Mataya earned 20 assists, while Shelby Anderton put together 17 on the night.

The Bulldogs return to action tomorrow for two matches, taking on Mississippi Valley State at 3 p.m. CT, and SIU-Edwardsville at 7 p.m.





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