Oct. 31, 2012
- Marking the first meeting of the season between the two sides, Tennessee and Mississippi State will meet for the 49th time on Friday night. The Big Orange currently leads the all-time series, 41-7.
- The Lady Vols enter the matchup having won 23 of the last 24 meetings against the Bulldogs, including eight-straight. Of the eight consecutive wins, seven have been in straight sets.
- This match marks the 19th meeting in Starkville, with the Big Orange leading the series 16-2 on the road. Last season, Tennessee blanked the Bulldogs in straight sets, 25-19, 25-18, 28-26. UT's last loss in Starkville came in five sets on Oct. 19, 2007.
- Tennessee won the first 15 meetings in the all-time series, but lost six of the next 10. Since head coach Rob Patrick took over in 1997, the Lady Vols are an impressive 23-1 against Mississippi State, including an unbeaten mark (12-0) at home.
- Winners of six of their last seven matches, the Lady Vols enter the weekend with a 15-6 overall record and an 8-4 mark in SEC play. UT, which is currently receiving votes in the AVCA Coaches' Poll, is ranked 19th in the NCAA's most recent RPI rankings.
- The Big Orange will conclude its regular season slate against Mississippi State in Knoxville on Nov. 23.
SCOUTING THE BULLDOGS
- After posting a 4-5 record through non-conference action, the Bulldogs have lost 13 consecutive SEC matches to bring their overall record to 4-18 and league mark to 0-13. MSU's last win came at Tulane on Sept. 7.
- Last week, Mississippi State lost in straight sets to Florida and LSU. The Bulldogs have lost nine consecutive in three frames.
- The strength of the Mississippi State squad all season has been its defensive play in the back row. The Bulldogs currently rank fourth in the SEC in digs per set with an average of 16.36, just one slot ahead of the Lady Vols.
- Leading the Bulldog defense is freshman libero Roxanne McVey. The Magnolia, Texas, native is by far and away the SEC's leader in digs per set with an average of 5.45 digs per frame. She has a league-leading 420 scoops entering the match.
- McVey's digs per set average also ranks 21st in the country. She has the Bulldogs ranked 66th in the nation in the category. She has the two highest single-match dig performances in the conference this season. McVey posted 50 against LSU and 42 vs. Kennesaw State.
- Leading Mississippi State on the offensive end, freshman outside hitter Taylor Scott has 209 kills for an average of 2.09 per set. She ranks 20th in the SEC in the category. Sophomore middle blocker Lainey Wyman leads the team in blocks with 47 on the season for a 0.85 blocks per set average.
- Jenny Hazelwood - a former volleyball standout at Mississippi State - is in her fourth year at the helm of the Bulldogs. The former setter owns a 36-77 record at Mississippi State and a career head coaching mark of 124-300.