Through two sets, it looked as if Mississippi State might cruise to a straight-sets victory over Tennessee after jumping out to a 25-18, 29-27 lead, but after rally by the Lady Volunteers, the Bulldogs corrected their course and picked up a 25-18, 29-27, 18-25, 19-25, 15-13 victory Friday night in the Pink Out game at Newell-Grissom to earn their first win in SEC play in the 2014 season.
Chelsea Duhs and Alex Warren led the way for Mississippi State (6-16, 1-6) with 12 kills each, and Duhs's last block gave the Bulldogs an opportunity to put away the match up 14-13 in the fifth set. The Bulldogs converted that opportunity with an attack error from Tennessee (7-14, 0-7).
The Bulldogs jumped out to a 11-7 lead in the first set, and then after a Tennessee timeout, the Bulldogs went on a 4-1 run to away with the set. The second set proved to be much closer as it featured eight ties and five lead changes with both teams holding set points.
In the third and fourth sets, Tennessee got out to early runs to hold Mississippi State at bay.
The Bulldogs tallied 16 blocks in the contest, the first time the squad had picked up more than 15 since last season. Most of those blocks came courtesy of sophomore Bali Leffall-Young, who earned her first double-double with eleven kills and a career-high 12 blocks.
The Bulldogs host Missouri (12-9, 3-3) at 1pm on a game that will be nationally televised on the SEC Network. Free ice cream, while it lasts will be available to fans as part of the "Sunday Sundaes" promotion, and the first 150 fans will receive a free Hail State koozie.
The Bulldogs dropped a 3-0 decision to Missouri earlier this year and stand at 0-5 all time against the Tigers