Sept. 8, 2001
OXFORD, Miss. -
The Ole Miss volleyball team rallied for a 3-2 win over Arkansas State in the final match of the 2001 Magnolia Invitational Saturday night to take second place. Tennessee-Martin won the title by going 3-1 during the tournament, including a 3-2 win over Ole Miss (2-5) earlier in the day.
Senior middle blockers Abby Hollander and Leigh Rittiner were named to the All- Tournament team. Hollander tallied 12 kills on 19 attempts for a .579 hitting percentage against Arkansas State. She also had four digs, and six total blocks. Rittiner posted a double-double of 19 kills and 10 digs and had 7 blocks.
"Arkansas State is a good team," head coach John Blair said. "For us to recover from a 2-0 deficit is a tribute to this team. We made nice adjustments during the match. This was a great tournament with evenly-matched teams. We lost a tough 3-2 match to the eventual champion Tennessee-Martin. A few points here and there and we could have won the championship.
"Leigh and Abby played steady for us all weekend. They learned a lot about themselves and kept everyone energized. From start to finish Leigh played better in our last two matches than she has all year."
In game one, the two teams traded points, with Ole Miss ahead 24-22. The Lady Indians would outscore the Lady Rebels 8-5 down the stretch to take the game 30-27. ASU's Michal Evers had five kills on seven attempts for a .571 hitting percentage.
Arkansas State (4-3) got off to a 10-5 lead in game two, but Ole Miss would tie it at 12-12. The game seesawed back and forth until ASU took a 21-16 lead. The Lady Rebels answered to get within one (21-20). The Lady Indians went back up by four (26-22) and Ole Miss tied it again, 26-26, but ASU held on for a 30-26 outcome and a 2-0 lead in the match.
The third game was tied 7-7, but Ole Miss would eventually go ahead 13-10. The Lady Rebels stayed three to four points ahead the rest of the way and went on to win 30-26 behind the play of Leigh Rittiner. Rittiner hit .429 with 7 kills on 14 attempts to lead Ole Miss.
The Lady Rebels forced a game five with a 30-18 win in game four. Ole Miss led 17-12 and then used a 13-6 run to close out the game. Sophomore Karla Zschau had five kills and five digs to lead the Lady Rebels.
Game five started out close, but Ole Miss quickly took charge. The Lady Rebels led 6-3 when ASU head coach Craig Cummings called a timeout. Ole Miss then led 11-5 but Arkansas State got within 11-8 and 12-9 at one point. Ole Miss scored three of the final four points to seal the comeback victory.
Ole Miss will head to Minnesota Sept. 14-15 to participate in the Diet Coke Classic. Other participants include Santa Clara and Oral Roberts.
MAGNOLIA INVITATIONAL - Oxford, Miss.
Arkansas State 30 30 30
Southern Miss (5-3) 17 25 18
Tennessee-Martin (5-3) 32 33 30
Samford (1-7) 30 31 14
Ole Miss 27 26 30 30 15
Arkansas State 30 30 26 18 10
2001 MAGNOLIA INVITATIONAL
Champion - Tennessee Martin
Second place - Ole Miss
Third place - Arkansas State
Kelly Tribble - Southern Mississippi
Heather Kea - Tennessee-Martin
Abby Hollander - Ole Miss
Leigh Rittiner - Ole Miss
Katie Silliman - Arkansas State
MVP - Lindsey Stock - Tennessee-Martin