Recently in Softball Category
Mike Smith has won everywhere he has been. The new Ole Miss softball head coach has compiled a career record of 748-224 (.770 winning percentage) in 16 years as a head coach at the NAIA and Division I level. He also has an NAIA Championship to his credit. Despite all that success, his focus remains on the process of building a program.
"The Ole Miss program will be similar to what I was trying to build at McNeese State," Smith said. "I'm going to do the best I can to mold these kids into quality individuals as well as quality softball players, and become ambassadors for the game and for the university and try to win an SEC Championship. We're going to focus on the process. We're not going to focus on the outcome. We're going to focus on creating a great culture and take it one step at time and doing the little things to be successful.
"It's about getting better every day. I try to preach one percent better and give me 100 percent for that day, and let the rest take care of itself. We're going to focus on the little things and focus on the process. When we do those things, we're going to be successful."
Another part of the process is to engage Rebel Nation and grow the program's fan base as other Southeastern Conference programs have done in recent years, which centers on community involvement and outreach.
"We're going to get involved in the community, and we're going to be out and about," Smith said. "We're going to have open practices, and I'm going to invite them to come watch and see what we're about. I want us to be out there supporting our student-athletes on campus.
"We're going to be involved with the entire aspect of The University of Mississippi and Ole Miss athletics. Our softball team will be a part of Rebel Nation. With developing a fan base, wins and losses are part of that, but it's about getting people on board with your direction and what your plans are."
A program that has not advanced to the NCAA Tournament in its 18-year history, Ole Miss is coming off a 22-31 season, including a 3-21 mark in SEC play, but Smith knows the promise and potential of the program. He saw it from the opposing dugout when McNeese State played at Ole Miss during the 2012 season. He also knows it from conversations with his fellow SEC coaches.
"Ole Miss is rich in tradition, just athletics in general and the history of the university, and competes in the SEC," Smith said. "It's considered one of, if not the top conference in America. I have really good friends who are coaches in the SEC, and I'm looking forward to the opportunity to coach against them. I respect them so much, and they have been mentors to me. Now, I'm going to be in the opposing dugout and coaches' box and coach against those people who I respect tremendously."
Among them are Tennessee co-head coach Ralph Weekly, who has followed a similar career path to Smith, from an NAIA Championship at Pacific Lutheran, to continued success at Chattanooga, to six Women's College World Series appearances and two national runner-up finishes at his most recent stop with the Lady Vols.
Smith turned California Baptist into a softball powerhouse, having led the Lancers to eight consecutive NAIA World Series appearances and an NAIA national championship in 2009.
From there, he left his San Diego roots for McNeese State in Lake Charles, Louisiana, to begin building his Division I coaching career, as he guided the Cowgirls to back-to-back Southland Conference regular season championships.
"I took a leap of faith and left a pretty good job in California to come to McNeese State and try to build a program and have success there and see what happens," Smith said. "I wanted to give myself an opportunity to do that.
"Every step of the way, at the different jobs and the different responsibilities I have had, and the different people I have made contact with, and what my players have taught me over 16 years of coaching has prepared me and molded me for the opportunity to coach at Ole Miss and build this program into an SEC and national contender."
Ole Miss Athletics Week in Review
April 28-May 4, 2014
- Ole Miss moved into first place in the Southeastern Conference Western Division with a series win over Arkansas this past weekend.
- The Rebels have now won five SEC series and nine series overall this season, with two weekends left in the regular season.
- Auston Bousfield leads the SEC in hits (77) and average (.368) after the weekend, and is in the top four in runs scored and steals.
- Will Allen is second in the SEC in average (.359) and RBI (51), and is in the top three in home runs (7).
Track & Field
- Ole Miss showed Saturday it belongs among the best track & field teams in the country with a strong performance at the five-team LSU Invitational, its final tune up for the May 15-18 SEC Championships.
- The 16th-ranked Rebel men finished third in the team standings with 110 points behind No. 2 Texas A&M (166) and No. 10 LSU (143). No. 1 Florida was fourth (104), followed by Miami (28). On the women's side, No. 7 LSU took the title at home with 158 points, followed by No. 3 Texas A&M (135), No. 2 Florida (100), Miami (84) and Ole Miss (73).
- The Ole Miss men and women finished the day with numerous personal and seasonal bests, and a total of six event victories.
- Junior Phillip Young had an outstanding day in three different events. He won the triple jump with a big mark of 52-10.25 that ranks him fourth in the NCAA this year and sixth in school history. He also placed third in the long jump (24-6.25) and anchored the Rebels' 4x400-meter relay squad that finished runner-up in a season-best 3:08.38.
- Freshman Robert Domanic was the top collegiate finisher in the 1,500 meters with a personal-best 3:44.78 that ranks him third-best in school history and top 50 in the NCAA this year. Ole Miss finished 1-2-3 in the 800 meters, led by freshman Sean Tobin in 1:48.79. Junior newcomers Dameon Morgan and Holland Sherrer clocked lifetime bests of 1:49.50 and 1:49.54, respectively.
- On the women's side, freshmen Mary Alex England and Saga Barzowski captured event titles in the 5,000 meters and 3,000-meter steeplechase, respectively.
- The Rebels earned their 21st consecutive and 23rd overall NCAA appearance. They will head to South Bend, Ind., May 10-11 for the first and second rounds. The Rebels will face Northwestern in the first round Saturday at 10 a.m. CT. The winner of that match will meet the winner of the match between Notre Dame/Wisconsin-Green Bay, Sunday at 1 p.m. for the right to advance to the sweet 16.
- Ole Miss is 2-0 all-time against Northwestern. In their last meeting (2007), the Rebels defeated the Wildcats 5-2 in Evanston, Ill. This will be the first meeting in the NCAA Championships.
- This marks the second time for the Rebels to begin NCAA play in South Bend. The last time they did so (1995), the Rebels advanced to the championship match in Athens, Ga., site of this year's sweet 16.
- Junior Nik Scholtz earned the SEC's automatic bid to the NCAA Singles Championship, and is seeded Nos. 9-16. It marks the third consecutive year for him to be seeded. The NCAA Singles Championship begins May 21, following the conclusion of the team championships.
- The Rebels earned their sixth consecutive, and 17th overall, NCAA bid. They will head to Los Angeles to take on Texas Tech in the first round, Friday at 12 p.m. CT. The winner of that match will meet the winner of UCLA/Sacramento State in the second round Saturday at 5 p.m. CT.
- The Lady Raiders and Rebels have met three times, with Ole Miss leading the series 2-1. Last season, Texas Tech hosted Ole Miss in the first and second rounds of the NCAA Championships, but the two did not meet.
- Ole Miss is one of 40 teams in Division I tennis to have both its men's and women's tennis teams in the NCAA Championships. This is the sixth consecutive year both Rebel teams have made it in the same year.
- Sophomore Abby Newton was selected to compete as an individual in the 2014 NCAA East Regional in Tallahassee, Fla., May 8-10. Newton was one of 18 individuals selected to compete.
- This marks the seventh consecutive year Ole Miss will be represented at the NCAA Championships.
- Ole Miss concluded its season last weekend in Knoxville, Tenn., against the then-No. 8 Tennessee Lady Vols.
- Ole Miss jumped out to early leads in games one and two against the Lady Vols, but could not close out the Lady Vols in either game. The Rebels dropped the series and season finale Sunday, allowing just two runs and one hit in innings 2-6 after giving up three runs in the bottom of the first.
- The 2014 Rebels (22-31, 3-21 SEC) set team program records in hits (396), RBI (217), walks (150), and tied the program record with five saves. It's the third straight year Ole Miss has increased its season hit total.
- Individually, junior Allison Brown and senior RT Cantillo each logged 11-game hitting streaks, which tie the school's third longest streak. Cantillo, who was drafted in the fifth round of the National Pro Fastpitch College Draft by the Chicago Bandits, finished the 2014 season with the second best single-season batting average in program history (.424), the fourth most hits (61), tied the fifth most runs scored (35), tied the fourth most walks (30), tied the 10th best slugging percentage (.556) and logged the third best on-base percentage (.522). Brown's 12 doubles in 2014 are tied for the sixth most in single-season history behind the 17 she hit as a sophomore in 2013. Senior Londen Ladner tied the single season record for the ninth most home runs (seven) and also tied the mark for the seventh most RBIs (34).
- Ole Miss is graduating six seniors in Cantillo, Shelby Jo Fenter, Carly Hummel, Ladner, Natalie Nimmo and Marina Parra.
Ole Miss Athletics Week in Review
April 21-27, 2014
- Ole Miss went on the road and swept No. 17 Kentucky in Lexington, Ky., this past weekend for only the third time in school history, and the first time since 2002.
- The Rebels scored 39 runs on the weekend, the most in a three-game SEC series in school history. Ole Miss also tallied 49 hits and six home runs.
- Junior outfielder Auston Bousfield hit .714 for the series with eight runs scored and seven RBIs to help pace the Rebels' offense in the sweep.
- Ole Miss will host four games this week, including a Wednesday night contest with Southern Miss and a weekend series against Arkansas.
Track & Field
- The No. 11 nationally ranked Ole Miss men's team competed at the Arkansas State Red Wolves Open this past weekend, while the Rebel women split between the Drake Relays and the Red Wolves Open.
- Between the two squads, Ole Miss collected six event victories and posted some of its best results of the season.
- Freshman Jalen Miller once again burned the track in the 100 and 200 meters. He placed runner-up in both events to former Rebel and Olympian Isiah Young (running unattached). Miller equaled his personal best of 10.24 in the 100 and ran 21.02 in the 200 as the top collegiate finisher.
- Sophomore Nathan Loe won the hammer throw with a heave of 209-7 that was just shy of his school record of 210-3. Loe has now placed in the top two at all five outdoor meets this year.
- On Thursday in Des Moines, Iowa, freshman Mary Alex England won the Drake Relays 10,000 meters and set a school record with her time of 34:48.66. Amazingly, it was her first ever competitive race at that distance.
- Other victories for the men went to freshman Will Spiers in the 1,500 (personal-best 4:00.95), junior Robert Semien in the 110 hurdles (14.19) and the 4x400 relay (3:11.84), while Margaret Harkness claimed the women's 1,500 title in Jonesboro (4:45.77).
- Junior Nik Scholtz (Caledon, South Africa) was named the SEC Men's Tennis Player of the Year last week. Scholtz is the highest ranked player, nationally, in the SEC at No. 9. He finished the regular season 15-1 at No. 1 singles, 8-1 in the SEC.
- Scholtz became the fourth Rebel to earn the league's top honor, and the first player in program history to earn freshman of the year and player of the year honors during his career.
- The Rebels are expected to earn their 21st consecutive NCAA appearance when the selections are announced Tuesday at 4 p.m. The announcement of the 64 teams and 16 host sites will be broadcast on NCAA.com.
- Junior Julia Jones earned All-SEC Second Team honors as the league office announced the 2014 postseason awards last week. Jones (St. Petersburg, Fla.) owns a team-leading 26-10 overall record, 15-6 in dual matches and 8-5 in the SEC. She posted a 4-2 record at No. 2 singles, 11-4 at No. 3 singles. Jones also went 15-5 in doubles with freshman Zalina Khairudinova, 7-3 in the SEC.
- This marks the second time for Jones to be recognized by the league office, as she was named to the all-freshman team in 2012.
- The Rebels have had at least one member of the squad named to the all-SEC team every year of head coach Mark Beyers' career (13 years).
- The Rebels are expected to earn their sixth consecutive NCAA appearance when the selections are announced Tuesday at 4:30 p.m. The announcement of the 64 teams and 16 host sites will be broadcast on NCAA.com.
- Ole Miss celebrated Senior Weekend last week against then-No. 24 LSU by recognizing two of its six seniors - RT Cantillo, Shelby Jo Fenter, Carly Hummel, Londen Ladner, Natalie Nimmo and Marina Parra - prior to each game of the three-game series.
- Ole Miss couldn't get its offense going in the series' opening two games though, and couldn't slow down the Tigers in Sunday's series finale.
- Redshirt freshman Alyssa Invergo went 3-6 with an RBI in the series vs. LSU, while Nimmo batted in three runs over the course of the three games.
- Ole Miss will close out its regular season schedule with a three-game series at No. 8 Tennessee beginning Friday at 5 p.m. CT. Game two will begin Saturday at 1 p.m., and game three is scheduled for Sunday at noon and will be televised by Fox Sports Network.
- The Ole Miss men's golf team competed at the 2014 SEC Championships at St. Simmons Island, Ga., at the Sea Island Golf and Country Club.
- Junior Joe Lewis was the Rebels' top competitor, carding a three-day total of 217 and tying for 43rd place.
- As a team, Ole Miss finished in 14th with a tournament total of 875.
Ole Miss Athletics Week in Review
April 14-20, 2014
- Ole Miss went 1-2 last week vs. No. 7 LSU, dropping a 13-inning affair in the series opener before taking game two and falling in the series finale.
- Ole Miss became the first team in the Southeastern Conference to hit the 30-win mark with a 5-1 win over No. 7 LSU on Friday night.
- Junior outfielder Auston Bousfield leads the SEC in hits with 61 on the season and leads the team in hitting at a .347 clip.
- Senior catcher Will Allen is second in the SEC in RBIs (42), while junior first baseman Sikes Orvis is second in home runs (9).
- Ole Miss will play four road games this week, including the Governor's Cup game Tuesday vs. MSU, and a three-game series at Kentucky this weekend.
Track & Field
- The No. 11 Ole Miss men had a successful week at the historic Mt. SAC Relays in Walnut, Calif.
- The biggest highlight came Friday when freshman Sean Tobin shattered a 29-year-old school record in the 1,500 meters with a time of 3:42.07. He moved up to No. 7 in the NCAA this year and is also ranked 11th nationally in the 800.
- Several other Rebel freshmen stood out in California. Robert Domanic ran a personal-best time of 14:08.78 in his first college outdoor 5,000 meters to rank fifth in school history. Jalen Miller (10.30 in the 100, 21.01 in the 200) and Kailo Moore (personal-best 21.07 in the 200) shined in the short sprints. Trevor Gilley achieved a personal best in the 1,500 (3:47.43) and moved into the top 10 in school history
- Senior Ricky Robertson won silver in the high jump with a clearance of 7-3.75. Junior Phillip Young recorded a season-best 51-9.75 in the triple jump and moved up to 10th in the NCAA this year and ninth in school history. Junior Robert Semien won a bronze medal in the 110-meter hurdles with a time of 14.07.
- At the War Eagle Invitational in Auburn, sophomore Nathan Loe won the hammer throw with a heave of 200-9.
- The Ole Miss men and women are in action this week at the A-State Red Wolves Open (men) and the Drake Relays (women).
- The Rebels went 1-1 at the SEC Tournament, knocking off No. 18 Tennessee 4-2 in the second round before falling to No. 11 Kentucky in a close 4-2 match in the quarterfinals.
- Stefan Lindmark clinched the win over Tennessee for his second consecutive clinch against an SEC opponent. He defeated Jarryd Chaplin 6-0 in the third set at No. 3 singles to clinch the Rebels' fifth straight against the Volunteers. Lindmark also teamed up with William Kallberg to upset the No. 1 ranked doubles team in the nation to clinch the doubles point. The Swedish duo handed the Vol tandem just their second SEC loss since 2012.
- Nik Scholtz won both his singles matches to improve to 15-1 at No. 1 singles, including a win over Kentucky's Tom Jomby, ranked No. 11, for the second time this year. It marked Scholtz' fourth top-12 win of the season. His win over No. 27 ranked Hunter Reese gave the Rebels a 3-2 lead and set up Lindmark's clinching victory against Tennessee.
- Johan Backstrom and Joe Rogers improved to 9-3 overall and 7-3 at No. 3 doubles with a huge win against Tennessee. For the second straight SEC match, the duo faced match points but rallied to win 8-7(7) to set up their teammates' clinching win at No. 1 doubles.
- The Rebels (13-9) dropped their opening match in the SEC Tournament second round to South Carolina, 4-2.
- Junior Julia Jones won her match in straight sets to improve to 26-10 overall, 15-6 in dual matches.
- Junior Erin Stephens earned her 10th straight victory.
- The Ole Miss men's golf team hosted the Reunion Intercollegiate at the Reunion Golf and Country Club in Madison, Miss.
- Junior Blake Morris finished with a two-round score of even-par 144 and claimed second-place. This marked Morris' fourth top-five finish of the season.
- Morris helped lead Ole Miss to a fourth-place finish as a team, which marked the second-straight tournament the Rebels have posted a top-five finish.
- The Rebels will be back in action April 25-27 at the SEC Championships in Sea Island, Ga.
- The Ole Miss women's golf team closed out action at the SEC Championships on Sunday in 14th-place with a three-day score of 925 (313-305-307-925). Abby Newton and Alison Hovatter led the Rebels with scores of 228 and 230, respectively. Ole Miss will now wait to see if it is selected for the NCAA Regionals on May 5.
- Ole Miss went 2-3 last week, cruising in a home doubleheader against Alcorn State before dropping three games at No. 13 Missouri.
- The Rebels were red-hot Tuesday at the Ole Miss Softball Complex as they emphatically beat Alcorn State 18-5 (5) and 13-1 (5), respectively.
- Behind a season-high 18 hits, Ole Miss scored a season-high 18 runs and cruised in game one of the doubleheader. The Rebels' 18 runs scored were their highest total since scoring 22 runs Feb. 13, 2008. The Rebels scored in each of the eight innings it came up to bat in the two games combined, and of the 15 outs they recorded in game two Tuesday, 11 came by way of strikeout.
- After taking a one-run lead in the top of the seventh of the series opener Friday at Missouri, Ole Miss lost 5-3 on a walk-off three-run home run. The Rebels then fell 2-0 in game two of the doubleheader despite allowing just four hits against the Tigers, which entered the series with the second most hits in the SEC. Ole Miss couldn't get its bats going Saturday and dropped the series finale at Missouri 9-1 (6).
- The Rebels open a three-game home series Friday vs. LSU. Ole Miss will recognize its six seniors in the series with two seniors honored prior to the start of each game.
Ole Miss Athletics Week in Review
April 7-13, 2014
- Ole Miss improved to 29-9 on the season and 9-6 in Southeastern Conference play after a pair of nonconference wins over Memphis and Murray State in the midweek and a series win at No. 13 Mississippi State over the weekend.
- It marked the second straight series win over Mississippi State for the Rebels and the eighth under head coach Mike Bianco. The Rebels have won five of the last seven series against the Bulldogs in Starkville dating back to the 2004 season.
- Junior right-handed pitcher Chris Ellis improved to 5-0 on the season with a win over the Bulldogs on Friday night, working 6.2 innings with one run allowed, while junior right-hander Sam Smith turned in his seventh consecutive quality start and improved to 5-2 on the season with the win over Mississippi State on Sunday to clinch the weekend series. Smith worked 6.0 innings and allowed two runs as the Rebels defeated Mississippi State 12-2.
- Ole Miss notched 20 hits in the Sunday win, the first time the Rebels have reached the 20-hit mark since recording 20 hits at Georgia on April 14, 2012, in an 8-3 win behind the arm of Ellis.
- Junior outfielder Braxton Lee led the Rebels on the week, hitting .500 (12-of-24) with four runs scored and five RBI. Junior first baseman Sikes Orvis hit his eighth home run of the season with a two-run shot in the 10th inning against MSU on Saturday.
- The Rebels went 6-0 last week, shutting out Arkansas-Pine Bluff three times, Alcorn State twice and topping No. 10 Texas A&M 4-3. The wins this weekend sent head coach Billy Chadwick and senior Johan Backstrom out on a winning note for their last home matches at the Palmer/Salloum Tennis Center.
- Sophomore Stefan Lindmark came up huge for the Rebels against Texas A&M, teaming with William Kallberg to knock off the No. 6 ranked team in doubles 8-7(5) and then outlasting A&M's Junior Ore at No. 4 singles 6-3 in the third set to clinch the 4-3 victory.
- Nik Scholtz went 5-0 on the week, including a straight set win against the nation's No. 10 ranked player, Harrison Adams of Texas A&M. Scholtz improved to 13-1 at No. 1 singles and finished the SEC regular season 6-1.
- Johan Backstrom and Joe Rogers staved off two match points at No. 3 doubles to clinch the point, which proved to be the difference in the win over No. 10 Texas A&M. The pair are now 8-3 overall and finished 6-3 in the SEC.
- Freshman Ricardo Jorge came up big in the win over Texas A&M as well, posting a straight set win against Aggie senior Jackson Withrow to improve to 11-5 overall, 6-3 at No. 5 and 5-4 in the SEC.
- Head coach Billy Chadwick notched his 660th career last week and is now at 661.
- The Rebels head to Nashville this week for the SEC Tournament. They will face sixth-seeded Tennessee on Thursday at 9 a.m. in the second round.
- The Ole Miss men's golf team competed at the Old Waverly Collegiate Championships hosted by Mississippi State University in West Point, Miss.
- As a team, Ole Miss finished in third-place with a three-round total of 2-under-par, 862.
- Junior Blake Morris, who posted 13 birdies in the tournament, claimed third-place with a three-round score of 8-under, 208, marking his third top-five finish this season.
- The Rebels host the Reunion Intercollegiate at the Reunion Golf and Country Club in Madison, Miss., April 14-15.
- The Ole Miss women's golf team hosted its annual Rebel Intercollegiate last weekend and closed the tournament in 10th-place. Abby Newton and Stani Schiavone led Ole Miss with a three-round score of 222 and finished tied for 20th.
- The Rebels 10th-place finish was their third consecutive top-10 finish, and their final round score of 286 was the best round of golf for Ole Miss this spring. Additionally, Stani Schiavone fired a closing round 4-under-par 68, which tied for the lowest round of the day and was her best round this season.
- The Rebels will take some time off before heading to the 2014 SEC Championships. Ole Miss will compete for the SEC title and a spot in the NCAA Regionals April 18-20 at the Greystone Country Club in Birmingham, Ala.
Track & Field
- Ole Miss athletes won nine events and scored big points for Team Mississippi in the inaugural Alabama-Mississippi Border Clash, hosted by the University of Alabama on Friday at Sam Bailey Stadium.
- The No. 13 nationally ranked Rebel men helped Mississippi prevail over Alabama 107-92 by winning seven events and finishing in the top three in several more.
- Senior Ricky Robertson took a week off of his primary event, the high jump, and found much success while focusing on the long and triple jumps. He tied his personal best in the long jump to win the event with a leap of 25-0.75 and finished runner-up to teammate Phillip Young in the triple jump with a season-best 51-2.25.
- Robertson is now the only athlete to rank in the top 20 in the NCAA in the high jump (1st, 7-6), long jump (14th, 25-0.75) and triple jump (16th, 51-2.25). Only three other athletes even rank in the top 20 in two of those.
- Other wins in Tuscaloosa went to junior Sam Kendricks in the pole vault (18-0.5), freshman Sean Tobin in the 800 meters (PR 1:47.99), freshman Robert Domanic in the 1500 (PR 3:47.01), junior Robert Semien in the 110 hurdles (PR 13.91), and Young in the triple jump (season-best 51-3.75) and the 4x100 relay team (season-best 40.06).
- Women's victories included junior Kierra White in the long jump (PR 20-6.25) and sophomore Mary Alex England in the 5000 (PR 16:51.77).
- The Rebels split a pair of matches on the road, losing a heartbreaker to No. 10 Texas A&M 4-3 Friday and shutting out Missouri 4-0 Sunday.
- Mai El Kamash won both her matches this weekend to finish the SEC regular season at 9-4. She is 26-12 overall, 14-4 in dual matches.
- Erin Stephens won her match on Friday for her 9th in a row. She finished 7-4 in the SEC.
- Julia Jones clinched the win on Sunday, to conclude the SEC at 8-5. She also teamed with freshman Zalina Khairudinova to finish 7-3 in the SEC at No. 3 doubles.
- Senior Caroline Rohde-Moe received a Taylor Medal in the School of Business for her outstanding achievements in the classroom. She boasts a 3.94 GPA in Managerial Finance.
- The Rebels remain in Columbia, Mo., this week for the SEC Tournament. They will face the 9th seed South Carolina in the first round Thursday at 2 p.m.
- Ole Miss went 1-4 last week, splitting a road doubleheader at Southeastern Louisiana before dropping three tight, hard fought games against No. 11 Kentucky at the Ole Miss Softball Complex.
- Ole Miss cruised in game one against Southeastern Louisiana on Monday to the tune of a 9-0 (6) victory. Game two proved to be a heartbreaker, however, as the Rebels lost 3-2 on a walk-off home run. Returning home to play for the first time since March 23, Ole Miss lost 3-1 in games one and two vs. Kentucky, and lost 11-4 in 10 innings in the series finale Sunday.
- Senior pitcher Carly Hummel threw 17.2 innings for the week, striking out a team-high 17 batters and allowed just six runs.
- Ole Miss plays again Tuesday with a home doubleheader against Alcorn State. The Rebels will then hit the road for a three-game series against Missouri on Friday and Saturday.
Ole Miss Athletics Week in Review
March 24-30, 2014
Track & Field
- The No. 12 Ole Miss men claimed three event titles at the prestigious Clyde Littlefield Texas Relays, highlighted by junior Sam Kendricks' world-leading pole vault.
- Kendricks easily won against an elite field of pole vaulters with his mark of 18-8.25 that ranks No. 1 in the world. He attempted to break his own school and meet record when the bar was raised to 19-1, but he was unable to clear that enormous height.
- Senior Ricky Robertson won the high jump with a season-best leap of 7-6 that ranks him No. 1 in the NCAA and No. 2 in the world this year.
- The distance medley relay team of freshman Robert Domanic, senior Montez Griffin, freshman Will Spiers and freshman Sean Tobin won with a time of 9:39.51 that ranks them No. 2 in school history. They also won that race to claim an SEC title during the indoor season.
- Another strong performance came from junior Phillip Young, who placed fifth in the triple jump with a mark of 51-2.75 that ranks him No. 7 in the NCAA. He also ranks eighth nationally in the long jump.
- The Rebels return home this week to host the Ole Miss Invitational on Saturday. Former Rebs and current pros Brittney Reese and Isiah Young are expected to compete alongside the collegians.
- The Ole Miss women's golf team picked up its second consecutive top-5 finish by taking fifth-place at the Aunenue Spring Break Classic in Hawaii. Junior Stani Schiavone led the Ole Miss contingent with an 11th-place finish for her second consecutive top-15 finish.
- Kaitlin Voll, competing as an individual, recorded her first career top-20 finish, closing the weekend in 16th. She fired three straight rounds of 75, which ties her career low for 18, and her three-day total of 222 is a new career low for 54 holes.
- The Rebels will host their lone home event this weekend as they host the 2014 Rebel Intercollegiate. Ole Miss welcomes 17 teams to the Ole Miss Golf course this weekend for the sixth annual event.
- The Rebels are knocking on the door of the top 25, as they moved up to No. 26 in last week's ITA Rankings.
- The Rebels defeated Mississippi State 4-2 to win their 25th in a row against the Bulldogs. After dropping a close doubles point, the Rebels picked up straight set singles wins at 3-6.
- With the win, the Rebels improved to 11-5 overall and 5-4 in the SEC. It marked the team's fourth straight SEC victory and fifth win overall in their last six matches.
- Erin Stephens got the party started by winning her sixth in a row to put the Rebels on the board against State.
- Mai El Kamash has won seven straight and is 11-3 on the season at No. 4 singles.
- Iris Verboven clinched the MSU win and improved to 8-0 at No. 6 singles. She has now clinched two of the last three SEC wins for the Rebels.
- The Rebels host South Carolina on Friday at 3 p.m., followed by a doubleheader with Florida and Arkansas-Pine Bluff on Sunday beginning at 11 a.m., to close out the regular season home schedule.
- Ole Miss is 21-8 on the season and returns home for four games this week, including a weekend series against the Auburn Tigers.
- Senior infielder Austin Anderson leads the Rebels at the plate, hitting at a .368 clip with a team-leading 25 runs scored.
- Junior outfielder Braxton Lee leads the Rebels in swiping bases, stealing successfully on 11-of-14 attempts this year.
- Ole Miss has 20 home runs this season, three shy of the total mark set through 62 games in the 2013 season.
- Ole Miss wrapped up its third week of spring practice with a competitive scrimmage Saturday.
- The defense edged out the offense in the scrimmage, thanks mostly to a series of big turnovers forced by the "Landshark" D. Among them were a pick six by Cody Prewitt and fumble recoveries for touchdowns by Serderius Bryant and Bryon Bennett.
- The Rebels went 3-1 last week, sweeping Jackson State three times and then losing a tight match to No. 17 Mississippi State, 4-2 on Sunday.
- The Rebels won the doubles point for just the fourth time all season and the second time in SEC play.
- Nik Scholtz has won 10 in a row since mid-January and is 9-0 at No. 1 singles, 4-0 in the SEC. Seven of his matches have not finished, including Sunday's match where he was serving for the win in the third set.
- The Rebels are on the road this weekend at South Carolina and Florida.
- Ole Miss moved to 19-18 on the season and 3-9 in SEC play after falling on the road at UT Martin and in a three-game set at South Carolina.
- Junior pitcher Lauren Lindsey, starting her second game of the season, pitched a career-high 6.2 innings in a 3-2 loss at UT Martin. She allowed just one earned run and struck out three.
- Ole Miss got a lead early and plated five runs in each game of Saturday's doubleheader at South Carolina, but could not cool off the Gamecocks' bats and dropped a pair of games. Ole Miss lost game one 9-5 and fell in game two 13-5 (6).
- Sophomore designated player Madi Osias led the Rebels offensively in game one with her first career grand slam, while freshman catcher Courtney Syrett led the Rebels offensively in game two, going 2-3 with a season-high two RBIs and a season-high tying two runs scored. She also hit the first home run of her career.
- Senior first baseman Londen Ladner led the Rebels in their series finale Sunday at South Carolina by going 2-4 with four RBIs, one run scored and one home run. It was the fourth game this season in which Ladner has driven in four or more runs. Ole Miss lost the finale 7-6.
Ole Miss Athletics Week in Review
March 17-23, 2014
Track & Field
- The Rebels began the 2014 outdoor season inside the friendly confines of the Ole Miss Track & Field Complex on Saturday, and produced a few record-breaking performances to kick off the season in strong fashion.
- Junior All-American Sam Kendricks broke his own facility record in the pole vault yet again with a mark of 18-2 to crush the field of competitors.
- Senior All-American Ricky Robertson was back in action for the first time since 2012 and returned in good form by tying his own facility record in the high jump at 7-5, easily winning the meet. He also placed fifth in the long jump with a mark of 23-6.75.
- Sophomore Nathan Loe, a transfer from Illinois, made his Rebel outdoor debut a memorable one by setting a school record in the hammer throw with a mark of 202-1. He bested the previous record of 201-7 by Stacy Andrews in 2003.
- Freshman indoor All-American Jalen Miller also had a memorable outdoor debut, winning the 100 and 200 meters, and anchoring the victorious 4x100-meter relay team. His time of 10.29 (that beat such competitors as Olympian Isiah Young and All-American Mike Granger) ranks him No. 6 on the Rebels' all-time outdoor chart.
- Ole Miss is back in action this week at the Texas Relays in Austin, Wednesday-Saturday.
- Ole Miss improved to 21-4 on the season with a perfect 4-0 week that included a series sweep of Missouri - the only sweep in SEC play this week.
- The Rebels posted two come-from-behind wins to bring the season total to nine come-from-behind wins to date.
- Ole Miss also improved to 8-1 in one-run games this year with a pair of 4-3 wins this past week.
- Sikes Orvis hit three home runs on the weekend to bring his season total to a team-leading six home runs.
- Ole Miss has 19 home runs through 25 games this season. The Rebels only hit 23 total home runs all of last season.
- Ole Miss went 3-1 for the week and improved to 19-14, 3-6 SEC. The Rebels won a mid-week home game against Louisiana Tech before then winning an SEC home series over Arkansas.
- The Rebels opened the week Wednesday with a 3-0 victory over Louisiana Tech in which pitchers Carly Hummel, Shelby Jo Fenter and Madi Osias combined to throw a no-hitter. It was the sixth no-hitter in program history, and the first combined no hitter in Ole Miss history. In all, Ole Miss retired the first 19 batters of the game in order.
- The Ole Miss bats started hot and stayed hot throughout the Rebels' series-opening 11-4 victory over Arkansas on Friday evening. Each of the Rebels' first four batters in the lineup hit home runs, and 10 of the Rebels' 11 runs in the game came with two outs away.
- Trailing 5-0 in game two against Arkansas, Ole Miss rallied to score 13 runs in four innings to win 13-6 Saturday afternoon. Ole Miss entered the bottom of the third inning trailing Arkansas 5-0, but rallied to plate four runs in the third inning, two runs in the fourth and fifth innings, and then another five runs in the sixth inning.
- Ole Miss faces UT Martin on the road Tuesday before traveling to South Carolina for an SEC road series against the Gamecocks.
- The Rebels went 2-0 last weekend, beating Arkansas 4-2 and LSU 4-1. The Rebels improved to 10-5 overall and 4-4 in the SEC.
- The Rebels have now won three in a row in the SEC and four of their last five matches overall. They have also won three straight against LSU.
- Julia Jones earned her 20th win of the year in the win over LSU. She also teamed up with Zalina Khairudinova for their 13th win in doubles.
- Iris Verboven improved to 7-1 in dual matches and 7-0 at No. 6 singles.
- Mai El Kamash won twice to improve to 10-3 at No. 4 singles. She has won six matches in a row.
- The Rebels continue on the road at arch-rival Mississippi State Sunday at 1 p.m. CT.
- An energetic scrimmage witnessed by fans at Vaught-Hemingway Stadium capped the Rebels' second week of spring practice on Saturday.
- Trae Elston broke up a pass on the last play of the organized scrimmage, helping the defense defeat the offense, 15-14.
- Ole Miss is scheduled to practice four more times this coming week, highlighted by another Saturday morning session open to the public.
- The Rebels went 1-2 last week, losing to No. 4 Southern California 5-2 before defeating Arkansas 4-2 and falling to LSU 4-1.
- The Rebels have now won 27 straight matches against Arkansas.
- Nik Scholtz has won eight in a row and improved to 7-0 at No. 1 singles, 4-0 in the SEC. He continued his winning ways last week, knocking off the No. 11 ranked player against USC and then winning twice over the weekend.
- The Rebels face Jackson State on Tuesday before hosting arch-rival Mississippi State on Sunday at 1 p.m. CT.
Ole Miss Athletics Week in Review
March 10-16, 2014
Track & Field
- Ole Miss finished tied for 24th in the final men's team standings at the 2014 NCAA Indoor Track & Field Championships in Albuquerque, N.M.
- It was the second straight top-25 NCAA indoor finish and third straight top-25 NCAA finish overall for head coach Brian O'Neal's men. The Rebels placed 23rd at last year's indoor meet and a program-best eighth at last year's outdoor championships.
- Junior Sam Kendricks finished runner-up in the pole vault at the conclusion of a world-class duel between the top American and top Canadian vaulter, Akron's Shawn Barber.
- Kendricks matched his own school record and the best mark by an American this year at 18-8.25, but Barber was one bar better at 18-10.25 (a new Canadian national record).
- Freshman Jalen Miller advanced to the final of the 60-meter dash, where he placed eighth to score one team point for the Rebels. He's the first Ole Miss men's freshman to score points in the 60 at the NCAA indoor meet since teammate Mike Granger in 2010.
- The Rebels begin outdoor season this week when they host the Ole Miss Open on Saturday at the Ole Miss Track & Field Complex. Admission is free.
- The Rebels went 3-2 in week-five action, taking both games at Southeastern Louisiana before dropping the series at top-ranked South Carolina.
- Auston Bousfield hit the first grand slam of his career to push the Rebels to a 6-4 win at No. 1 South Carolina in the series opener Friday.
- Ole Miss returns home from a five-game road trip to host Arkansas State and Missouri this week at Swayze Field.
- Ole Miss knocked off Mississippi State 78-66 in the second round of the SEC Tournament Thursday before falling to Georgia 75-73 in the quarterfinals on Friday.
- Senior Marshall Henderson and junior Jarvis Summers each scored 21 points as the Rebels rallied from a 13-point second-half deficit to beat Mississippi State. Henderson hit seven 3-pointers on an SEC Tournament record 19 attempts in the game.
- Henderson and Summers combined for 45 points, but the Rebels fell to Georgia 75-73 in the SEC Tournament quarterfinals.
- Henderson finished his Ole Miss career with a 3-pointer in an SEC record 66-straight games and ranks third on the Rebel career list with 267 3-pointers.
- The Rebels split their weekend matches, downing No. 23 Vanderbilt 4-1 and then falling in a close match to No. 15 Kentucky 4-1, to conclude their four-match SEC road trip 2-2.
- Nik Scholtz rallied to knock off the nation's No. 10 ranked player, Tom Jomby, of Kentucky, handing the Wildcat just his second loss of the season. It marked the first ever meeting between the two players. Scholtz was also leading 16th-ranked Gonzales Austin of Vanderbilt when play was stopped after the Rebels clinched the match. Scholtz is 4-0 at No. 1 singles with six unfinished matches on the season.
- Freshman Ricardo Jorge won his match against Vanderbilt at No. 5 singles in straight sets to set up his teammate's match-clinching win. Jorge improved to 4-1 at No. 5 singles.
- The Rebels begin a five-match home stand Wednesday, hosting No. 5 Southern California at 2 p.m. at the Palmer/Salloum Tennis Center.
- The Rebels went 2-1 last week, downing VCU 6-1, falling in a very close match to No. 11 Vanderbilt 4-3 and then defeating No. 24 Kentucky 4-2 to end the week. The Rebels (8-5, 2-4 SEC) have now won six-straight against Kentucky.
- Freshman Zalina Khairudinova picked up two ranked wins last week, beating 73rd-ranked Cindy Chala of VCU and 63rd-ranked Georgina Sellyn of Vanderbilt. Khairudinova also won in straight sets Sunday to clinch the win against Kentucky. She improved to 5-3 at No. 1 singles.
- Khairudinova and junior Julia Jones improved to 12-3 overall in doubles, 9-3 at No. 3.
- Sophomore Mai El Kamash became the first 20-match winner of the season, with her comeback win at No. 4 singles against Kentucky.
- Freshman Alison Weisz shot a 587 to finish 16th in air rifle in her first ever NCAA Championships.
- She ended the year with a team-leading 586.5 average in air rifle, including a career-best 594 at Memphis, one off the school record. She averaged 589.7 in her last eight matches.
- Weisz became the first freshman in the history of the program to qualify for the NCAA Championships as well as earn all-conference honors.
- Ole Miss opened with a midweek, road doubleheader at ULM and closed it out with a tough three-game series at home against No. 9 Alabama, finishing 1-4 for the week.
- Redshirt-freshman second baseman Alyssa Invergo led Ole Miss at the plate throughout the week with a team-high seven hits, highlighted by a double, a pair of home runs, a team-high six runs and a team-high tying four RBI.
- After dropping the first game of Wednesday's doubleheader at ULM, Ole Miss rebounded in a big way to dispatch the Warhawks 11-1 in five innings, including 10 runs in the final three innings of the game.
- Ole Miss will remain in Oxford this week when it hosts Louisiana Tech on Wednesday, followed by a three-game series against Arkansas beginning Friday. The Rebels and Razorbacks' game Sunday will be featured on Fox Sports at 3 p.m. CT.
- The Ole Miss women's golf team picked up its first top-five finish of the spring, taking fourth at the 2014 Clover Cup in Mesa, Ariz. Sophomore Abby Newton led Ole Miss carding a three-day score of 221 (76-72-72--221). The Rebels' top-five finish was their first since taking runner-up honors at the Tar Heel Invitational last fall.
- The Rebels had two eagles on the weekend. Juniors Stani Schiavone and Taelor Rubin both carded eagles on the weekend. The pair both nailed eagles on No. 15 at the Longbow Golf Course in Mesa, Ariz.
- Ole Miss hits the links in Maui, Hawaii, next week. The Rebels will play Kapalua Bay at the Anuenue Spring Break Classic hosted by Hawaii. Ole Miss will then return home to host the 2014 Rebel Intercollegiate at the Ole Miss Golf Course April 4-6.
- The Ole Miss men's golf team competed at the Chris Schenkel Invitational hosted by Georgia Southern University at the Forrest Heights Country Club in Statesboro, Ga.
- Junior Blake Morris led the team with a three-round score of even-par 216. Morris finished in a tie for 15th place, marking his sixth top-20 finish of the season.
- As a team, Ole Miss placed eighth, finishing ahead of SEC-foes No. 28 Kentucky and Florida.
- The Rebels will return to action April 7 at the Old Waverly Collegiate Championship in West Point, Miss.
Ole Miss Athletics Week in Review
March 3-10, 2014
- Ole Miss improved to 14-2 on the season with a series sweep of UALR this past weekend that included the team's fifth walk-off win of the season.
- The Rebels moved up to No. 12 (USA Today/Coaches) in the national rankings with the release of the latest national polls Monday.
- Freshman infielder Brantley Bell paced the Rebels with a .533 performance at the plate, including the game-tying run and game-winning hit vs. UALR on Friday night.
- Junior right-handed pitcher Sam Smith improved to 3-0 on the season with his quality start against UALR on Sunday to clinch the series sweep.
- Ole Miss completed a long, arduous week of softball last week. The Rebels opened the week by splitting a doubleheader in Salt Lake City on Monday, followed by a doubleheader sweep at home Tuesday before opening SEC play Friday at Gainesville, Fla., where the Rebels took one of three against the No. 1 ranked Florida Gators.
- Senior pitcher Carly Hummel had a fantastic week. Hummel threw the first perfect game in program history Monday in a 5-0 win over Utah State, and followed that performance with a three-hit, complete game shutout victory at No. 1 Florida. For her work, Hummel became the first Rebel to be named SEC Pitcher of the Week since 2009.
- Hummel finished the week with a team-high 20.0 innings of action, throwing a complete game in each of her three appearances. She posted a team-best ERA of 0.70, struck out a team-high 27 batters and walked just two. Her perfect game Monday is the only such performance in the SEC this season, and was just the fifth no-hit performance in Ole Miss history.
- Ole Miss' 2-0 victory at No. 1 Florida on Friday was its first win over a No. 1 ranked opponent since 2007, and was just the program's second ever such victory.
- Ole Miss has now won its SEC opener each of the past three seasons, including back-to-back seasons with SEC-opening wins over top-15 ranked opponents. The Rebels opened the 2013 season with a 3-1 win at No. 15 Kentucky.
- Ole Miss knocked off Vanderbilt 65-62 on Senior Day on Saturday. Senior guard Marshall Henderson, who was honored before the game, scored 11 second-half points as the Rebels erased a 12-point second half deficit to knock off the Commodores.
- Head coach Andy Kennedy picked up his 170th career win at Ole Miss and moved past Florida's Billy Donovan and Alabama's Wimp Sanderson for the third-most wins in SEC history by a coach in his first eight years in the league at one school.
- Henderson extended his own SEC record with a 3-pointer in his 64th-straight game
- The Rebels earned the No. 6 seed in the upcoming SEC Tournament. Ole Miss will be looking to defend last year's title as it opens play Thursday vs. the winner of the Mississippi State-Vanderbilt matchup.
- The Ole Miss women's basketball team advanced to the second round of the 2014 SEC Women's Basketball Tournament with a thrilling 63-62 win over Arkansas in opening round action Wednesday. The win was Ole Miss' first win in the SEC Tournament since the 2010 Tournament.
- Ole Miss concluded the 2013-14 season Thursday with a 70-54 loss to Auburn. Ole Miss concluded the season with a 12-20, 2-14 SEC record and advanced to the second round of the SEC Tournament. The loss marked the end of the collegiate careers for Valencia McFarland, Kenyotta Jenkins and Diara Moore.
- McFarland concludes her collegiate career as Ole Miss' No. 6 scorer with 1,655 career points. She also landed a spot on Ole Miss' single-season assists list. Her 201 assists in 2013-14 are the third most in a season at Ole Miss.
- The Rebels split the weekend, downing No. 13 Tennessee 4-1 and then falling to No. 16 Georgia 4-0 on the road.
- The Rebels have now won four straight against Tennessee. It also marked the first time this year for the Rebels to come back and win after losing the doubles point.
- William Kallberg knocked off No. 21 ranked Hunter Reese of Tennessee to clinch the win. It marked Kallberg's best win of the year and his best since a win over the nation's No. 3 ranked player his freshman year.
- The Rebels continue their road swing this weekend at No. 18 Vanderbilt and No. 22 Kentucky.
- The Rebels split a pair of matches this past weekend, defeating Tennessee 5-2 and then losing to No. 11 Georgia 5-2. The victory over Tennessee marked the Rebels third straight win against the Lady Vols in Oxford.
- In the win over Tennessee, freshman Zalina Khairudinova earned her best win of the season, upsetting No. 55 ranked Eve Repic at No. 1 singles.
- Khairudinova and Julia Jones are 10-2 on the year overall, 7-2 at No. 3 doubles.
- The Rebels continue their five match homestand with a midweek match against VCU Wednesday at Noon. On Friday, the Rebels will host No. 7 Vanderbilt at 3 p.m. followed by No. 22 Kentucky on Sunday at noon.
- The Ole Miss men's golf team competed at the Querencia Cabo Intercollegiate hosted by Southern Methodist University at the Los Cabos Querencia Golf Club in Cabo San Lucas, Mexico.
- Freshman Ben Wolcott led the team with a three-round score of 220. Wolcott finished in a tie for 18th place, marking his second top-20 finish of the season.
- As a team, Ole Miss finished the tournament tied for 10th place with Lamar University. The Rebels posted a three-round total of 898.
- The Rebels will be back in action March 14 at the Chris Schenkel Invitational in Statesboro, Ga.
- The Ole Miss football team began spring practice on Tuesday and totaled three workouts in the first week before spring break.
- Among the new faces to the team this spring are high school early enrollees C.J. Hampton (DB), Kendrick Doss (QB) and Marquis Haynes (DE) and junior college transfers Jeremy Liggins (QB/TE) and Christian Russell (LB).
- Also enjoying the spring are Anthony Alford (DB) and Fadol Brown (DE), who are preparing to play this fall after sitting out last season due to NCAA transfer rules.
- Ten players, assistant coach Tom Allen and team chaplain John Powell are doing mission work in Haiti during spring break. Among the players on the trip are Justin Bell, Serderius Bryant, Ryan Buchanan, Deterrian Shackelford and John Youngblood.
- The Rebels will return to the practice fields after spring break on Monday, March 17.
- Practices that will be held at Vaught-Hemingway Stadium and open to the public are slated for March 22, March 29, April 4 and April 5 (Grove Bowl).
Ole Miss Athletics Week in Review
Feb. 24-March 2, 2014
- Ole Miss posted four straight walk-off wins this past week on the way to two wins over ULM and a sweep of UCF.
- Junior right-handed pitcher Chris Ellis has not allowed an earned run through three starts, and only one run total in 22.0 innings.
- Sophomore left-handed pitcher Christian Trent has not allowed a walk through three starts and 20.1 innings of work.
- The Rebels continue to play at home with a midweek game against Memphis and a weekend series against UALR.
- Ole Miss split a pair of games last week, knocking off Alabama 79-67 at home Wednesday before falling to Texas A&M 71-60 on the road Sunday.
- Sophomore Martavious Newby posted his first career double-double with 15 points and 10 rebounds, as Ole Miss rolled Alabama. Jarvis Summers scored 20 points and sparked a decisive first-half surge to help lift the Rebels to the win.
- Senior Marshall Henderson broke Pat Bradley's Southeastern Conference record with his 61st consecutive game with a 3-point shot, breaking the mark on his first attempt from the field vs. Alabama. Henderson now has hit a 3-pointer in 62 straight games and has at least two 3-pointers in 61 of his 62 career games with the Rebels.
- The win over Alabama was Andy Kennedy's 169th career win at Ole Miss, which moved him into a tie with Billy Donovan and Wimp Sanderson for the third-most wins by a coach in their first eight seasons in the league at one school.
- Summers had a team-high 18 points and Henderson added 16 points in the Rebels' road loss at Texas A&M on Saturday. Ole Miss travels to Arkansas Wednesday before hosting Vanderbilt on Saturday.
- The Ole Miss women's basketball team closed out the regular season with a 73-71 overtime win over Auburn on Senior Day.
- The Rebels' win snapped a nine-game losing streak and gave the Rebels a 9-7 record at the Tad Smith Coliseum this season.
- Ole Miss is the No. 14 seed for this week's SEC Tournament held in Duluth, Ga. Ole Miss will face the No. 11 seed Arkansas on Wednesday at 7:30 p.m. CT. Ole Miss is making its first appearance in the SEC Tournament since 2011-12.
Track & Field
- The Ole Miss men claimed SEC titles in the pole vault and distance medley relay to highlight a seventh-place team performance at the SEC Indoor Track & Field Championships, hosted by Texas A&M.
- Sam Kendricks, a junior from Oxford, Miss., won his first SEC title in the pole vault with a clearance of 18-2 to score 10 team points. It was the second SEC indoor pole vault title in school history (Baker Vinci, 1985), and Kendricks added one more accolade to his list that already included an NCAA outdoor title and three All-America honors.
- Ole Miss also won an SEC crown in the distance medley relay, with a squad composed of three freshmen (Robert Domanic, Will Spiers, Sean Tobin) and a senior (Montez Griffin). Tobin ran an amazing anchor leg for the victory in 9:39.54, which nearly broke the SEC meet record of 9:39.06 set by Alabama in 2011. It was the Rebels' first ever SEC title in the distance medley relay.
- Other top performances at the SEC meet included Tobin's runner-up finish in the mile and freshman Jalen Miller's third-place effort in the 60 meters.
- Ole Miss now awaits for the final declaration of athletes for the NCAA Championships (March 14-15 in Albuquerque, N.M.). Those expected to receive invites include Kendricks (pole vault) and Miller (60 meters).
- Ole Miss traveled west to compete in San Diego for the San Diego Classic I, but rain intervened while the Rebels were in the Golden State and washed out all five scheduled games.
- Thanks to a flight cancelation while in Salt Lake City, Ole Miss will play a doubleheader against Utah State and Utah on Monday.
- The Rebels also have a home doubleheader against Arkansas-Pine Bluff on Tuesday, followed by their first SEC series of the year at Florida on Friday-Sunday.
- The Rebels dropped both opening SEC matches this past weekend falling to No. 23 Auburn and No. 10 Alabama on the road.
- Julia Jones went 3-1 in singles and doubles, including an 8-0 win over the 35th-ranked team from Alabama at No. 3 doubles.
- Jones and freshman Zalina Khairudinova improved to 9-1 overall, 7-1 in dual matches with both wins at No. 3 doubles this past weekend. They are 2-0 in the SEC.
- The Rebels begin a five-match home stand this weekend with Tennessee on Friday at 3 p.m. and No. 12 Georgia Sunday at 1 p.m. CT.
- The Rebels lost both of their SEC matches last weekend to fall to 2-5 overall and 0-2 in league play.
- Ricardo Jorge made his home debut last weekend and went 2-2 in singles and doubles.
- William Kallberg rallied to knock off 75th-ranked Becker O'Shaughnessey of Alabama 2-6, 6-2, 6-3.
- The Rebels travel to No. 11 Tennessee and Georgia this weekend.
- Ole Miss hosted the Great American Rifle Conference Championships this past weekend. Senior Melissa Quartarone shot a 591 in air rifle to make the finals, and then her 182.3 total landed her in third place.
- Freshman Alison Weisz qualified for the NCAA Championships in air rifle. She became the first freshman in program history to qualify for the NCAAs. She finished the regular season leading the team in air rifle with an average of 586.5. In her last seven matches, she averaged 590.1. Weisz also earned All-Conference Honorable Mention honors in air rifle. She became the first freshman in program history to earn all-conference honors.
-The Rebels kicked off the 2014 spring season at the AllState Sugar Bowl Classic last week.
- Ole Miss closed the two-day tournament in 17th place with a three-round score of 894 (294-302-298--894).
- Abby Newton was Ole Miss' top individual finishing in 49th place with a three-day score of 222.
- Ole Miss will next be in action at the Notre Dame Clover Cup at Longbow Country Club March 14-16. The Rebels host the Rebel Intercollegiate April 4-6 at the Ole Miss Golf Course.
Ole Miss Athletics Week in Review
Feb. 17-23, 2014
- Ole Miss went 7-0 last week. The Rebels opened the week with a doubleheader sweep on the road at Southern Miss, and closed it out by going 5-0 at the Red and Blue Classic at the Ole Miss Softball Complex.
- Senior center fielder RT Cantillo hit .556 for the week to raise her season batting average to .525, which is second best in the SEC.
- Junior right fielder Jamie Morgan hit a team-best .556 at the Red and Blue Classic with a team-high five RBI. Morgan is now batting .452 on the year.
- Prior to allowing a run in the fourth inning vs. Saint Louis on Sunday, Ole Miss had gone 25 consecutive innings without allowing a run.
- Led by seniors Shelby Jo Fenter and Carly Hummel, the Ole Miss pitching staff combined for a 1.03 ERA at the Red and Blue Classic.
- Ole Miss went 3-1 on the week with a 6-0 home-opening win over Tennessee Martin prior to winning the first two games of a three-game home series against Georgia State.
- Junior right-handed pitcher Chris Ellis threw the first complete game of his career with a shutout of Georgia State last weekend.
- Ole Miss has posted three shutouts through seven games this season.
- Ellis has turned in two shutouts to start the season, while Saturday left-handed starter Christian Trent has allowed only two runs and walked none in two starts and 13.0 innings.
- Junior catcher Will Allen continues to lead the Rebels at the plate, hitting .429 with two home runs and 13 RBI through seven games.
- The Rebels went 2-0 last weekend, shutting out Lipscomb 7-0 and defeating No. 32 Memphis 4-3 to improve to 5-1. They have now won four matches in a row.
- Head coach Mark Beyers picked up his 200th career coaching victory with Sunday's win over Memphis. That total includes a 50-8 record as the head women's coach at his alma mater, Armstrong Atlantic State.
- Senior Caroline Rohde-Moe and Mai El Kamash both remained undefeated in dual matches at 4-0.
- The Rebels have won the doubles point in five of their six matches, and are a combined 13-3 at all three spots.
- The Rebels begin SEC play this weekend at Auburn and Alabama.
- The Rebels went 1-1 last week on the road, downing SMU 4-0 before falling to No. 7 Baylor 4-0. The Baylor match was much closer than the final score indicated, with the doubles point coming down to a tiebreaker at No. 1, and five of the six singles matches going three sets.
- Freshman Ricardo Jorge made his debut and went 2-0 in singles and doubles. He clinched the win over SMU at No. 5 singles, and then teamed with Nik Scholtz for an 8-6 win at No. 2 doubles against Baylor.
- The Rebels return home this weekend to open SEC play. They will host Auburn on Friday at 2 p.m., followed by Alabama on Sunday at 1 p.m. Fans coming to Friday's match will receive free bucket hats, and on Sunday they will get a Spring Break tank top.
- Senior Marshall Henderson tied Pat Bradley's Southeastern Conference record with his 60th consecutive game with a 3-pointer on Saturday.
- Ole Miss dropped a pair of home games to top-20 teams last week as the Rebels fell to No. 16 Kentucky on Tuesday and No. 2 Florida on Saturday. It was the first time since 1998-99 that Ole Miss had hosted two top-20 teams at home in the same week.
- Jarvis Summers scored 20 points, including 14 in the second half, and Marshall Henderson added 22 first-half points, but it was not enough against the Gators.
- Summers scored 22 points and Anthony Perez scored 21, but the Rebels' second-half comeback fell short as the Wildcats defeated Ole Miss 84-70 in Oxford on Tuesday night.
- Junior Tia Faleru averaged 20 points and 12 rebounds last week, and posted back-to-back double-doubles against No. 13/16 Texas A&M and Mississippi State. She now has 15 double-doubles on the year, which leads the SEC and is ranked 18th nationally.
- Faleru is approaching the 1,000-point mark, as she is just 66 points away from the milestone. She will need to average 22 points in each of Ole Miss' next three games to reach the feat this season. She will become Ole Miss' 26th 1,000-point scorer.
- Valencia McFarland set a new career-high with 29 points in Ole Miss' overtime loss at Mississippi State. McFarland has topped the 20-point mark on 11 occasions this season. She also posted a season-best five triples against the Bulldogs.
- Ole Miss will close out the 2013-14 regular season this week. The Rebels will travel to Missouri on Thursday for a televised contest on Fox Sports Midwest/Sport South. Tipoff will be at 7 p.m. CT. Ole Miss will close the season at home against Auburn on Sunday at 2 p.m. Seniors Kenyotta Jenkins, McFarland and Diara Moore will be honored.
- The Rebels competed in the NCAA Qualifier last weekend in Lexington, Ky. They posted a 4612 aggregate score. Senior MaryAnn Banks led the squad in smallbore with a 574 as the Rebels totaled a 2277. Freshman Alison Weisz continues to lead the Rebels in air rifle, posting a 588 on the day as the Rebels finished with a total of 2335.
- The Rebels will find out Thursday when the NCAA team and individual selections are made, if anyone will qualify for the NCAA Championships. Senior Abbey Stanec has made it the past two years.
- This weekend, the Rebels will host the GARC Championships for the 10th consecutive year at the Patricia C. Lamar National Guard Readiness Center. Action begins Friday at noon with individual smallbore. Competition continues all day Saturday and concludes Sunday with the finals of air rifle.
The Ole Miss softball team won all five games and outscored its opponents 20-5 this weekend at the Red and Blue Classic at the Ole Miss Softball Complex. The Rebels shut out Bowling Green, Buffalo and Northern Colorado in the first three games of the tournament and then closed the tournament with wins over Saint Louis and Tennessee Martin.
"All in all, the pitching staff did a really good job this weekend, pitching into the defense and getting a lot of strikeouts," head coach Windy Thees said. "RT (Cantillo) continues to hit over .500, and Haley Culley made some outstanding defensive plays all weekend."
Ole Miss hit .325 and scored 20 runs on 40 hits for the weekend. The Rebels' two leading hitters, senior outfielder RT Cantillo and junior third baseman Allison Brown, continued to swing the bat well.
Cantillo had a hit in each of the five games, which included a 3-for-4 game against Northern Colorado. Brown went 5-for-16 for the weekend, highlighted by a two-RBI single in a 2-0 win over Northern Colorado. Culley also had a stellar weekend at the plate, going 7-for-16 for the weekend with three multi-hit games.
On the mound, Ole Miss posted more strikeouts (32) than hits allowed (25) for the weekend. The Rebels used five pitchers and allowed just five runs -- four earned -- on 25 hits with 12 walks and 32 strikeouts over 34 innings of work.
Senior right-hander Shelby Jo Fenter won a pair of games, as she allowed just two runs on nine hits with seven walks and 14 strikeouts, which included 6.2 scoreless innings against Bowling Green. Fellow senior right-hander Carly Hummel earned a win and two saves in eight scoreless innings for the weekend, highlighted a complete game shutout against Buffalo.
"It's a lot of fun to pitch with a staff this year," Thees said. "All of our kids are super talented. They do a good job of attacking the strike zone. They have some nasty stuff and are very different. For me, it's kind of fun to go to somebody else who may be different than the person who started on the mound, and we did that a lot this weekend."
With a doubleheader sweep at Southern Miss followed by a five-game sweep at the Red and Blue Classic, the Rebels have won seven in a row and improve to 11-6 on the season. Their current seven-game winning streak is two shy of equaling the longest winning streak in program history, which they tied a season ago.
"We're still growing," Thees said. "We're still trying to figure some things out. There are still some consistency issues at the place. I would like our hitter to be better at swinging at their pitches early in the count. We're getting there. I saw more of that this weekend."
With a doubleheader sweep on the road at Southern Miss on Tuesday, the Ole Miss softball team improved to 6-6 on the season as it comes home to play its first home games of the season at the annual Red and Blue Classic from Friday-Sunday.
"It's tough because we lost a lot of one-run ball games, and if we cleaned up some mistakes in some of those games, or scored some of the runners that we left on base, we would have won some more games," head coach Windy Thees said.
"Overall, if you look at our offense, we're doing really well. We just need to make sure we're scoring the runners when we get on base. Pitching-wise, we're keeping our team in ball games. We need to get the big out with a runner on instead of putting pressure on our defense. Defensively, we have had some great games, but we need to come up with the big play in the infield and outfield. We have made more mistakes this year than I'm used to, but part of that is because we have more drop-ball pitchers and we don't have as my pop-ups or fly balls."
The Rebels are hitting .317 and averaging 4.1 runs per game, led by senior outfielder RT Cantillo and junior third baseman Allison Brown. Cantillo leads the Southeastern Conference with 23 hits on the season, and her team-high batting average of .575 ranks second in the league. Brown is tied for second in the SEC with 16 hits, while her .381 batting average is third on the team.
Through 12 games, Ole Miss has left 88 runners on base, an average of 7.3 per game. Thees said she wants her team to embrace the opportunity and make the great play in situations such as hitting with runners on base.
"Sometimes we're getting some great hits, but we're getting unlucky," Thees said. "A lot of times the kids are putting too much pressure on themselves and not being patient and selective enough to get their pitch early in the count.
"We're working on that. It's early-season excitement, getting in the box, wanting to come through and seeing the game too big, instead of really small, looking for something up and out so I can drive it opposite field to score the runner."
In the circle, Ole Miss has posted a 2.48 ERA with 39 runs scored -- 28 earned -- on 66 hits with 34 walks and 69 strikeouts. Four pitchers have started games for the Rebels.
The most consistent option has been senior right-hander Shelby Jo Fenter, who holds a team-best 1.24 ERA in 22.2 innings of work, including a team-high 28 strikeouts. Another right-hander, redshirt freshman Emily Gaitan, is second on the team with a 1.43 ERA in 14.2 innings of work and also leads the team with a .156 opponents' batting average.
"It's nice to have so many options, and they're all four very different pitchers," Thees said. "Part of it is tough because they all need to get more time on the mound, and they're not getting as much as they're used to.
"I like that we can mix pitchers, so I definitely plan on using my whole staff throughout the season. We don't have that staff where we are going to ride one pitcher like some teams do for the whole season."
Ole Miss opens the three-day, five-game tournament Friday against Bowling Green at 6:00 p.m. On Saturday, the Rebels play back-to-back games at 1:30 p.m. and 3:45 p.m. against Buffalo and Northern Colorado, respectively. Ole Miss will close the tournament Sunday with games against Saint Louis (1:30 p.m.) and UT Martin (3:45 p.m.)
"It's always exciting for our players and for us as a staff to play in front of our friends, our family, Ole Miss and the community we have here," Thees said. "Our girls are very excited to be at home and play on the field that we practice on and that we know so well. Hopefully we can make everyone proud."
Ole Miss Athletics Week in Review
Feb. 10-16, 2014
- Ole Miss went on the road and picked up a sweep of Stetson, outscoring the Hatters 26-3 on the weekend.
- Will Allen led the Rebels at the plate, hitting .545 with 10 RBI in 11 at bats and a pair of home runs.
- Four Rebels combined for six home runs on the weekend, including two home runs each from Will Allen and Preston Overbey.
- Nine players made their Rebel debuts over the weekend, including seven freshmen and two transfers.
Track & Field
- Ole Miss athletes broke two school records to highlight another strong weekend for the No. 25 Rebel men's team in the final meets before the upcoming SEC and NCAA Indoor Championships.
- On Friday, Sam Kendricks smashed his own school record with one of the best indoor pole vaults in NCAA history at the Don Kirby Elite Invitational in Albuquerque, N.M. Kendricks jumped 18-8.25, which ranks him No. 1 in the NCAA, No. 1 among Americans and No. 13 in the world this year, while he moves into a tie for ninth place on the all-time NCAA indoor list.
- On Saturday, freshman Sean Tobin ran his first mile as an Ole Miss Rebel and became the first person in school history to break four minutes with his time of 3:59.91 that won the men's late division race at the Husky Classic in Seattle. In addition to breaking the school record, he also moved into the top 25 in the NCAA this year.
- Junior Malcolm Davis won the Don Kirby Elite men's long jump (non-invitational division) with a personal-best leap of 24-8.5 that ranks him top 25 in the NCAA this year and No. 11 in the school record book.
- Senior Mike Granger and freshman Jalen Miller led the way in the 60 meters. Granger, who is getting back to full health, clocked a season-best 6.67 (converted from 6.65 for altitude) to place third in the final, followed by Miller in fifth at 6.68. Granger moves to No. 21 on the NCAA indoor list this year.
- The Rebels also had two milers run strong races in Albuquerque, as junior Daniel Bulmer placed third and freshman Robert Domanic sixth. Their altitude-converted times of 4:01.37 and 4:04.46 rank them second and fourth in school history, respectively.
- The Rebels dropped a pair of last-second buzzer beaters on the road last week falling 67-64 at Alabama on Tuesday, and 61-60 at Georgia on Saturday.
- Senior Marshall Henderson has hit a 3-pointer in 58 straight games, just two shy of Pat Bradley's SEC record of 60 straight games.
- The Rebels host a pair of top-20 ranked teams in No. 16 Kentucky and No. 3 Florida at home this week. That marks the first time since 1998-99 that Ole Miss has hosted two top-20 teams at home in the same week.
- Tia Faleru set a new career-high in points and rebounds with 31 points and 16 rebounds in Ole Miss' loss to Kentucky on Thursday. Faleru's 31 points is the most for a Rebel this season and the most points for an Ole Miss player since the 2010-11 season.
- Faleru recorded her third double-double in the last four games with her 31 points and 16 rebounds and has an SEC leading 13 double-doubles on the season.
- Valencia McFarland had 21 points vs. the Wildcats, her third consecutive game in double figures and her 10th game of 20 or more this season. The senior point guard also played her third consecutive game of 40 minutes, and has played the entire game in seven of Ole Miss' last nine games.
- The Rebels will host Texas A&M on Thursday for its annual Tickled Pink at the Tad Pad game. Tipoff is at 6 p.m. and will travel to Starkville to close the week for a Sunday afternoon matchup against Mississippi State at 2 p.m.
- Ole Miss went 2-3 last week at the College of Charleston Classic in Charleston, S.C., with wins over Kansas and Western Carolina and losses to Fordham, DePaul and College of Charleston.
- Junior third baseman Allison Brown led Ole Miss last weekend with a team-high batting average of .563 (9-16).
- Brown tied a pair of program single-game records Saturday night vs. Western Carolina when she notched four hits and four runs on her 4-4 night that also included two RBI.
- Senior first baseman Londen Ladner had a team-high nine RBI at the tournament, highlighted by a grand slam vs. WCU.
- Senior pitcher Shelby Jo Fenter allowed just one earned run in Charleston in 11.0 innings of work with 11 strikeouts.
- The No. 12 ranked Rebels lost to No. 11 Murray State 4649-4610 last Saturday.
- Senior Melissa Quartarone posted a season-high 592 in air rifle to lead the Rebels. The mark was two off her career best.
- Freshman Alison Weisz posted a 590 for her fifth score in the 90s in the past seven matches.
- The Rebels head to Lexington, Ky., this weekend for the NCAA Qualifier.
Ole Miss Athletics Week in Review
Feb. 3-9, 2014
- Senior Marshall Henderson scored 29 points, including eight 3-pointers, and four Rebels scored in double figures as the Rebels held off the Missouri Tigers 91-88 at home Saturday.
- Henderson hit 8-of-15 from 3-point range and added five assists for Ole Miss, which remained in sole possession of third place in the Southeastern Conference. Jarvis Summers and LaDarius White had 16 points apiece, and Anthony Perez had 11.
- The Rebels hit 14 3-pointers vs. Missouri, one off the school record of 15 set earlier this year versus Oregon.
- Henderson has now hit a 3-pointer in 56-straight games, four shy of tying Pat Bradly's SEC record of 60-straight games.
- Ole Miss' win over Missouri gave the Rebels their first top-50 RPI win of the season, and was their fifth top-100 RPI win of the season.
- The Rebels improved to 5-0 in the SEC at home.
- Playing without their No. 1 player, the No. 21 nationally ranked Ole Miss men's tennis team shut out visiting Southern Miss 7-0 Friday at the Gillom Sports Center. The Rebels picked up their first win of the season to improve to 1-2.
- Junior William Kallberg, playing only his second match ever at No. 1 singles, won 6-4, 6-4 to clinch the victory.
- Vinod Gowda earned his first career dual match victory after coming so close on the opening weekend. He won in straight sets at No. 4 singles.
- Sophomore Joe Rogers, playing in his first singles dual match and first singles match in more than two years, won 6-4, 1-6, 10-6 at No. 5 singles to complete the sweep.
Track & Field
- The Ole Miss men and women tracksters broke two school records and had several nationally relevant marks in New York over the weekend at the prestigious Armory Collegiate Invitational.
- The No. 21 Rebel men were led by the distance medley relay team of Robert Domanic, Montez Griffin, Sean Tobin and Daniel Bulmer. They shattered a 29-year-old school record by running a 9:40.17, which ranks them 12th in the NCAA this year.
- The women's 4x200m relay squad of Mary Ashton Nall, Kierra White, Erika Sisk and Kennadi Bouyer broke a 25-year-old school record when they clocked a 1:43.66. Perhaps the most impressive aspect of that record is that only one of those (Bouyer) is a sprint specialist. The others are a multi-eventer (Nall) and two jumpers (White and Sisk).
- Junior Robert Semien clocked a personal best time of 7.81 to finish third in the 60m hurdle final, and moved up to No. 3 in school history and top 20 in the nation this season.
- Freshman Jalen Miller blazed his way to third place in the 60m final with a personal-best 6.62 that moves him up to No. 11 in the NCAA this year and keeps him at fifth-best in school history.
- Junior Daniel Bulmer, who anchored the DMR team, ran a time of 8:12.19 in the 3,000 meters Saturday, which moved him into fifth place in the school record books.
- Freshman Trevor Gilley burst onto the scene by winning the college division mile run with a season-best time of 4:08.65 that ranks him ninth in school history.
- The Rebels have one more weekend of competition this coming Friday and Saturday (split between the Don Kirby Elite Invitational and the Husky Classic) before the SEC Championships in College Station, Texas (Feb. 27-March 1).
- Powered by a school record in air rifle (2353), the No. 12 ranked Ole Miss rifle team rallied to defeat No. 13 Navy 4629-4610 on Saturday.
- The Rebels found themselves trailing the Midshipmen by nine after smallbore, but came out strong in air to overtake Navy for the second straight year and win their second GARC match in a row. Ole Miss defeated No. 9 Memphis by one on Wednesday.
- Freshman Ali Weisz fired a 592 in air to pace the squad again. It marked the fourth match in the last six for the Montana native to score in the 590s.
- The Rebels are back in action Saturday, traveling to Murray, Ky., to face No. 11 Murray State.
- Ole Miss went 0-2 on the week, dropping a hard fought, 77-65 contest to No 8/8 Tennessee on Thursday before taking an 84-63 road loss at the hands of Georgia.
- Valencia McFarland picked up her 1,500th career point with 14 points against Georgia on Sunday. McFarland becomes one of just seven players in program history with 1,500 career points, joining the likes of the Gillom sisters and Armintie Price, among others.
- Tia Faleru picked up her SEC-leading 12th double-double against Tennessee with 23 points and 11 rebounds. Her 12 double-doubles are the most for an Ole Miss player since Nikki Byrd had 12 in 2011-12 - a number Faleru is poised to surpass this season.
- Amber Singletary set a new career high with five 3-pointers against Georgia to finish with 15 points. Singletary was in double figures for the second time this season.
- Danielle McCray posted her second double-double this season with 11 points and 10 rebounds vs. Georgia, while Kenyotta Jenkins added 10 rebounds for her second game with double-figure rebounds this season.
- Ole Miss opened the 2014 season at the FGCU/Four Points by Sheraton Invitational in Fort Myers, Fla., with a 2-3 mark that included wins over Georgetown and Liberty on day two of the three-day tournament.
- Senior outfielder RT Cantillo led the Rebels at the plate with a .563 average in 16 at bats. Cantillo batted in two runs and scored three more, while going a combined 5-of-6 in Ole Miss' two victories.
- After dropping each of its first two games at the tournament to Western Kentucky and host Florida Gulf Coast by 3-2 marks, Ole Miss bounced back on the second day of the tournament with a 2-1 victory over Georgetown and a 5-1 win over Liberty. Ole Miss lost 9-2 in the third-place game against Georgetown on the final day of the tournament Sunday.
- Redshirt-freshman pitcher Emily Gaitan threw a fantastic game in her collegiate debut against Georgetown on Saturday, going all seven innings while striking out seven, walking one and allowing just three hits and zero earned runs.
- The Rebels closed out the second day of the tournament with a 5-1 victory over Liberty in which senior Shelby Jo Fenter picked up her first win by going 6.1 innings and striking out eight before sophomore Madi Osias, who hit a three-run home run earlier in the game, came on for the save.
The Ole Miss baseball team opens the 2014 season one week from today on Feb. 14 with the first game in a three-game series at Stetson. The Rebels' home opener is Feb. 19 against Tennessee-Martin, followed by a three-game weekend series against Georgia State (Feb. 21-23).
Ole Miss baseball media day is set for Feb. 10, so stay tuned to @OleMissBSB, @OleMissBlog, @WMBunt and @austinkmiller for updates.
The Ole Miss softball team opens the 2014 season this weekend with a five-game, three-day tournament on the campus of Florida Gulf Coast. Ole Miss begins play in the tournament today against Western Kentucky at 1:30 p.m. CT. The Rebels' home opener is Feb. 21 against Bowling Green, their first of five games in the three-day Red & Blue Classic.
In case you missed it, here are three things from Ole Miss softball head coach Windy Threes, previewing the 2014 season and this weekend's tournament. For updates this weekend and throughout the season, follow the Rebels on Twitter @OleMissSoftball.
Three things from Ole Miss softball head coach Windy Thees, previewing the 2014 season and the Rebels' first tournament, the FGCU/Four Points by Sheraton Invitational at Florida Gulf Coast, which starts Friday:
1. Year Three Of Thees Era
Ole Miss head coach Windy Thees enters her third year leading the Rebels, coming off a 25-31 season in 2013, a three-win improvement over the 2012 season (22-32). The Rebels return eight of nine starters and four of their five pitchers from a season ago.
"They know the drill," Thees said. "The first two years was difficult because it was a new system for them and then it was a lot of new players. Now that we're in year three, there's a big comfort level and a lot of confidence being built over the years because we have had a couple of years of more success than they have had in the past, and we're hoping to continue to build on that."
2. Taking Care Of Business
The Rebels open the 2014 season in Fort Myers, Fla., where they will compete in the FGCU/Four Points by Sheraton Invitational on the campus of Florida Gulf Coast University. Ole Miss will play five games over the three-day tournament (Feb. 7-9), highlighted by the tournament opener against Western Kentucky, an NCAA Tournament team a season ago.
Ole Miss will also compete in tournaments in Charleston, S.C., and San Diego, Calif., as well as host the Red & Blue Classic from Feb. 21-23, where they will play Bowling Green, Buffalo, Northern Colorado, Saint Louis and Tennessee-Martin. The Rebels open Southeastern Conference play on March 7 at Florida, the first game of a three-game series against the Gators.
"The first thing is to take care of business, and that's taking care of business without even thinking about SEC schools," Thees said. "SEC play is the second half of the season. The first half of the season is going out and playing in these tournaments, where you're playing top-100 RPI teams from other conferences.
"This weekend, we play Florida Gulf Coast and Western Kentucky, two NCAA Tournament-type teams that are really solid, but we need to go in there and we need to win. We need to win the games we're supposed to win. We need to compete with those teams and make sure we come away with a lot of wins out of conference, and that builds our confidence going into conference."
3. Restoring Pride, Turning A Corner
Coming off a 14-39 season in 2011, Thees and her staff and players have helped restore in the pride in the Ole Miss softball program. The Rebels have increased their win total in each of the past two years and hosted the largest crowd in the Ole Miss Softball Complex's history.
"The players have a lot more pride," Thees said. "The pride in Ole Miss has grown over the years. And because of that, the whole school and community want to support all the teams. Everybody is just waiting for us to win. As soon as we start winning, the crowds are going to continue to build and build, and we have already started the process of that. That's why our crowds have gotten bigger."
The SEC led all conferences with 11 teams selected to the NCAA Tournament last season, and it remains as challenging as ever. Leading the Rebels to the NCAA Tournament for the first time in program history, Thees said, would turn a corner.
"It's easy for me to recruit to the campus, education and community that this school offers," Thees said. "Our coaching staff is dynamic, and we can bring kids in. We want to beat the top schools for kids. To do that, you have to get to the NCAA Tournament because every kid wants a chance to go to Oklahoma City and play in the World Series.
"The first step is getting into the postseason, and once you get into the postseason, it's all about hitting your stride at the right time and matchups. Turning the corner and getting to the NCAA Tournament and becoming a perennial NCAA Tournament team, that's our job at Ole Miss, and that's where we're hoping to take that step this year."
With Valentine's Day rolling in on February 14th, I Love Ole Miss week is the perfect way to show your affection for the Ole Miss Rebels. There are nine events in a five day span that are great opportunities for you to take part in cheering on the red and blue, including the home openers of Rebel Softball and Baseball. At five different events, you will be able to score a sweet I Love Ole Miss T-Shirt. Below is a schedule of events, so mark your calendars!
Softball vs. LSU 5PM
Dollar Dogs and Popcorn for Fans
I Love Ole Miss T-Shirts for First 100 Fans
Fans who donate gently-used sports equipment for the Geaux Play Program will receive two free general admission tickets to the baseball home opener on February 15th.
Women's Basketball vs. MSU 7PM
Free I Love Ole Miss T-Shirts to All Fans
Buy 1 Get 1 Free Facebook Voucher
Russian Bar Trio at the Half
5 Rebel Rewards Points
Date Night Package Giveaway
*1 Dozen Roses
*2 Tickets to Baseball, Men's Basketball, and Women's Basketball Games
*Gift Certificates to Malco Cinema
*Dinner at Irie
*and much more
Women's Tennis vs. Oklahoma State 2PM
Iris Verboven Collectible Poster
I Love Ole Miss T-Shirts to First 100 Fans
1 Rebel Rewards Point
Baseball vs. TCU 4PM
Tanner Mathis Collectible Poster
1 Rebel Rewards Point
Baseball vs. TCU 1:30PM
I Love Ole Miss T-Shirts to first 500 fans
1 Rebel Rewards Point
Men's Basketball vs. Georgia 7PM
Roll Out Banners for first 1000 fans
Russian Bar Trio at the Half
1 Rebel Rewards Point
Women's Tennis vs. Washington 11AM
Enter to win an iPod
1 Rebel Rewards Point
Baseball vs. TCU 12PM
Free Ole Miss Koozies
1 Rebel Rewards Point
Women's Basketball vs. South Carolina 1PM
1 Rebel Rewards Point
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