CORAL GABLES, Fla. - Paced by a strong offensive attack, the Ole Miss volleyball team (1-1) grabbed its first victory of the season, defeating Samford (0-2) 3-1 (25-20, 24-26, 25-18, 25-23) at the Knight Complex in Coral Gables, Fla.
"After coming off a disappointing match last night, it's good to see the energy that we brought back in with an early turn around," Ole Miss head coach Joe Getzin said. "I thought we performed well and handled Samford's push against us. I'm pleased with our performance today."
Competing in her first collegiate volleyball match, Ty Laporte turned in an impressive performance, registering seven kills on 11 attempts for a .636 clip, one solo block and one block assist, while playing in just over two sets.
"Ty Laporte came off the bench and added a spark for us," Getzin said. "In her first collegiate match she hit .636, so that's a good number to start with."
Junior outside hitter Kara Morgan led Ole Miss with a team-high 10 kills, followed by nine each from senior right side hitter Allegra Wells and senior setter Amanda Philpot, who also passed out 36 assists. Senior outside hitter Whitney Craven had eight kills for the Rebels and five digs.
Ole Miss took the first set thanks, in part, to a strong offensive performance from Morgan, who recorded five kills in the match's opening game. Tied 8-8, the Rebels began to click with an 8-3 run to prompt a Samford timeout with Ole Miss leading 16-11. Philpot finished the opening set with 11 assists as the Rebels hit at a 41.9 percent clip as a team.
The Rebels made a strong comeback bid in the second set, but couldn't close the deal. Trailing 24-22, Ole Miss staved off two set points to tie the match at 24-24. Samford held on, however, to take the second set and even the match at one-game apiece with a 26-24 second set victory.
Ole Miss bounced back in the third set, using a few strong runs to take a stranglehold of the set they wouldn't relinquish. Tied 9-9, Ole Miss went on a 5-1 run to force Samford into a timeout. After taking a 20-14 lead, Samford rebounded with two straight points before a pair of back-to-back emphatic kills from Laporte and Wells made it 22-16. Laporte capped off the 3-0 Ole Miss run with an impressive solo block to give the Rebels a 23-16 lead.
After opening in a 7-4 hole in the fourth set, Ole Miss rallied to score eight of the next 10 points and take a 12-9 lead they would never relinquish. Philpot recorded four kills in the final set, while Laporte hammered down three of her own.
Ole Miss will compete again at 3:00 p.m. CT against Wofford, which played a doubleheader Friday, losing to Miami (3-0) and Rutgers (3-2).
For all Ole Miss volleyball news and information, including recaps and updates from each of Saturday's two matches, follow the Rebels on Twitter at @OleMissVB and Facebook at Ole Miss Volleyball.
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