OXFORD, Miss. – After a 3-0 loss Friday morning, Ole Miss volleyball head coach Joe Getzin challenged his team. They responded Friday evening.
The Rebels fought off match point in the fourth set and went on a crucial 6-1 run midway through the fifth set to grab a thrilling 3-2 (22-25, 25-18, 14-25, 26-24, 15-8) victory over host-school Xavier in the Xavier Invitational in Cincinnati, Ohio.
Many of the Rebels turned in career- or season-best performances in the victory, including a career-high 37 digs from senior libero Ashley Veach that ties the school record set by Michelle Whitby-York in 1990, and Morgan Springer in 2010. Junior outside hitter Kara Morgan had a double-double, notching a career-high 20 kills to go along with her 16 digs. Senior setter Amanda Philpot passed out a season-high 46 assists, while senior outside hitter Whitney Craven had a season-high 19 digs and senior right side hitter Allegra Wells had a dozen digs.
“After challenging the upperclassman following this morning’s loss, I was really happy to see how they responded and fought in tonight’s match,” Getzin said. “Ashley Veach stepped up in a big way and made some big plays for us. Kara Morgan continued to develop as an outside hitter and had a good offensive performance against a very-good defensive team.”
Xavier won the first set by a count of 25-22 after a furious Ole Miss rally gave the Rebels the lead. The Musketeers jumped out to an early 3-0 lead before Ole Miss rebounded to score five straight points. Trailing 15-10, Ole Miss mounted its second comeback of the set, scoring eight of the set’s next 10 points to take an 18-17 lead. Xavier regrouped from there, though, and went on an 8-4 run of its own to close out the set and take a 1-0 lead.
Ole Miss took control of the second set early and never looked back. The Rebels took a 2-1 lead and never trailed for the remainder of the set, stretching its lead to nine points at one time. Wells led the Rebels offensively in the set, recording five kills and three blocks. Junior outside hitter Kellie Goss had three kills of her own and Philpot had a dozen assists.
The third set was the complete opposite of the second set for the Rebels, as Xavier, this time, took an early 2-1 lead and never looked back en route to winning the set 25-14 and taking a 2-1 lead in the match.
The Rebels showed an immense amount of grit and heart in the fourth set with their backs against the wall. With Xavier leading 24-23 and serving for the match, freshman middle blocker Nakeyta Clair and Morgan combined for a block assist on an attack from Xavier’s Alex Blair to notch the set at 24 points apiece. Wells then gave Ole Miss a 25-24 lead when she converted a kill off a pass from Philpot. After a Xavier timeout, Ole Miss finished off the set with a block assist from Clair and Wells.
Riding a wave of momentum after the dramatic fourth set victory, Ole Miss trailed just once in the fifth set. Tied 5-5, the Rebels used a 6-1 run to build a cushion and finished off Xavier 15-8.
“They have the potential, it’s just a matter of believing in themselves to do it,” Getzin said. “We’re a good team, we just have to believe it. I’m really happy with the leadership we had tonight. Amanda Philpot set a great game today and it was a good win for us.”
The Rebels lost to Marquette 3-0 (21-25, 21-25, 25-27) earlier Friday morning to open play at the Xavier Invitational.
Ole Miss will play again Saturday at 1 p.m. CT against Tennessee Tech to conclude play in the Xavier Invitational.
For all Ole Miss volleyball news and information, including daily recaps, live stats and results, go to OleMissSports.com, follow the Rebels on Twitter at @OleMissVB and go to Facebook at Ole Miss Volleyball.
Ole Miss Athletics Week in ReviewOct. 13-19, 2014Football- Ole Miss rode its dominant defense to a 34-3 homecoming win over Tennessee on Saturday to improve to 7-0 overall and 4-0 in Southeastern Conference play.- The Rebels are 7-0 for just... read more
It's Sunday, so that means it's time for this week's Observations from the Best Seat in the House. There was no shortage of observations surrounding the Homecoming festivities this weekend. Let's get into it:1. When "College GameDay" visits Baton Rouge,... read more
The winning formula revealed itself as it has throughout the season: a dominant defense and a mistake-free offense. The Ole Miss defense forced four turnovers, while the Ole Miss offense did not commit a single turnover in a workmanlike 34-3... read more
Three areas to watch as No. 3 Ole Miss faces Tennessee for Homecoming on Saturday.'Third Down for What'Tennessee is very dangerous, Ole Miss football head coach Hugh Freeze said, because its talented, particularly if it gets momentum and confidence during... read more
Highlights from today's media opportunity with SEC Nation host Joe Tessitore and analysts Tim Tebow and Marcus Spears discussing the show's visit to Oxford for the SEC matchup between No. 3 Ole Miss and Tennessee. Tessitore recalls calling the first college... read more
At the halfway point of the regular season, Ole Miss is 6-0 for the first time since 1962, when it went 10-0 and earned a share of the national title. It's No. 3 ranking in the national polls is its... read more
With a dominant defense that ranks among the nation's leaders in most statistical categories, head coach Hugh Freeze acknowledged he has changed his offensive philosophy and play-calling to limit negative plays and quick possessions. Ole Miss averaged the second-most offensive... read more
Highlights from Ole Miss head coach Hugh Freeze and Tennessee head coach Butch Jones on the SEC teleconference Wednesday, ahead of Saturday's game in Oxford. For the full SEC teleconference, go here. Ole Miss head coach Hugh Freeze (starts at... read more
Head coach Hugh Freeze admitted the offense played well enough to manage the game and let the defense win it. Ole Miss leaned on its running game, rushing for 160 yards on 35 carries, while Bo Wallace completed 13-of-19 passes... read more
Ole Miss Athletics Week in ReviewOct. 6-12, 2014Football- The No. 3 Ole Miss Rebels showed they belong among the nation's upper crust with a dominating 35-20 win at No. 14 Texas A&M on Saturday.- Ole Miss jumped out to a... read more