AUSTIN, Texas –Courtney Cunningham put down five kills and came up with four blocks to help lead the Rebels, but couldn’t come up with the win as Ole Miss (0-2) fell to Pepperdine (1-1) by a score of 3-0 (19-25, 14-25, 17-25) at the Burnt Orange Classic on Saturday.
Springer was named the Libero of the Tournament for her performance on the weekend.
“We ran into a really good Pepperdine team and we have to learn how to respond better when we run into goo teams,” said Ole Miss head coach Joe Getzin. “I think we saw a lot of good things this weekend, and a learned a lot that we can take forward with us from this point.
The Rebels fell behind early in the first set only to fight back and surge in front of the Waves with a run that put Ole Miss on top 8-4. The lead wouldn’t last long, however, as Pepperdine answered the Rebel rally with a run of its own to go back in front 9-8. Ole Miss would not overtake the Waves again as Pepperdine closed out the first set 25-19.
The second set saw the Rebels take the early lead, but it was short lived as Pepperdine again mustered a rally to push into the lead. The Waves used a 10-to-2 run to extend the lead out to one Ole Miss could not find a way to overcome. Pepperdine claimed the second set 25-14 to take a two set lead at the break.
It was all Pepperdine in the third set as Ole Miss fell behind 4-0 and couldn’t regroup to overtake the Waves. The Rebels cut the lead to five twice down the stretch, but Pepperdine had built up too much of an early cushion as the Waves claimed the match with a 25-17 win in set three.
The Rebels will return to action next weekend at the Crowne Plaza Cardinal Classic hosted by the University of Louisville. There, Ole Miss will face Louisville, Wichita State and Eastern Illinois.
No. 4 Texas 3, Ole Miss 1 - Match 1
AUSTIN, Texas – Junior right side hitter Allegra Wells put down 13 kills and sophomore outside hitter Kara Morgan added 12 kills, but the Ole Miss (0-1) dropped a tight match to No. 4 Texas (2-0) on Saturday by a score of 3-1 (22-25, 22-25, 26-24, 14-25).
Senior middle blocker Regina Thomas hit an efficient .385 in the match to go along with three blocks, while senior libero Morgan Springer came up with 19 digs to lead the back row defense.
“We did some good things, but Texas is one of the top teams in the country for a reason,” said Ole Miss head coach Joe Getzin. “It’s exciting to go play one of those top teams at their place. I think we learned about ourselves and we can build on this match. I look forward to taking the court again tonight against Pepperdine and seeing what we do.”
The Rebels jumped out of the gates in the first set and took a quick 4-0 lead on the Longhorns, but the home team fought back and chipped away at the lead before tying the score at nine. The squads traded scores back and forth with Texas grabbing its first lead at 11-10.
Ole Miss would keep things close from there, but was unable to ever reclaim the lead as the Longhorns inched ahead and claimed the first set by a score of 25-22.
The second set was a reversal of the first as Texas grabbed an early 5-1 lead on the Rebels to get things started. Ole Miss fought back, cutting the lead to one at 12-11, but the Rebels could never pull ahead of the Longhorns despite staying within striking distance. Texas claimed the second set by an identical score of 25-22 to take a two set lead heading into the break.
The third set was back and forth throughout with the two squads trading scores early before Texas would move out to a six-point lead on the Rebels at 14-8. Ole Miss did not back down, however, and continued to fight before tying the score at 20 on a kill from Kara Morgan.
Texas moved back in front, and with the pressure on, the Rebels fought off two match points to tie the score at 24 before a kill from Morgan and a service ace from Morgan Springer gave the Rebels the third set by a score of 26-24. Ole Miss ended the set scoring the final four points, sparked by a block from Thomas and Wells before a kill from Courtney Cunningham evened things at 24 and kept the Rebels alive on the way to claiming the set.
After winning the third set, the Rebels were unable to solve the Texas puzzle in the fourth. Despite a tight match early, the Longhorns put together a run to pull ahead of Ole Miss and never look back. Texas claimed the match with at 25-14 win in set four.
Ole Miss will close out the Burnt Orange Classic at 7 p.m. tonight against the Pepperdine Waves (0-1) who fell to Texas on Friday night 3-1.
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