FORT WORTH, Texas – Senior outside hitter Kara Morgan recorded 14 kills on a .520 hitting percentage, and Ole Miss (6-2) swept Stephen F. Austin 3-0 (25-18, 25-17, 25-15) on Friday afternoon at the TCU Nike/Molten Invitational in Fort Worth, Texas.
One match after hitting .419 in a 3-0 sweep of Grambling State, the Rebel attack again hit at an efficient rate, accumulating a .425 attacking percentage. The Rebels’ attacking percentage is its highest since Aug. 31, 2002 when they hit .430 against Boise State.
“We saw some improvement again this afternoon, which is always good,” Ole Miss head coach Joe Getzin said. “We’re starting to hit our offensive rhythm a little bit.”
Morgan led the Rebels’ attack with a season-high 14 kills and just one error while also recording four assists, five digs and one service ace. It is Morgan’s highest kill total since hammering down 16 kills against Texas A&M on Nov. 23, 2012. Despite her performance, Morgan deflected the attention away from herself after the match and toward her team’s victory.
“It really doesn’t matter about my performance,” Morgan said. “What matters is how the team played, and we came out with the win. It was huge for us coming off of last weekend losing one game and going 2-1. Coming into this tournament 2-0 already is such a good stride for us.”
Freshman setter Aubrey Edie had a match-high 33 assists, and junior defensive specialist Cara Fisher had a team-high seven digs. Sophomore middle blockers Nakeyta Clair and Ty Laporte each had strong matches as well, recording five and eight kills, respectively, while each hitting over .400.
After a back-and-forth start to the match, Ole Miss went on a 5-0 run to take an 11-6 lead in the opening set and never looked back. The Rebels led by at least four points for the remainder of the set and pushed their lead to as many as eight points on three separate occasions. Laporte led the way for the Rebels with five kills on six attempts, and Edie passed out 11 assists as Ole Miss hit at a .424 clip.
After another tight beginning, the Rebels surged ahead in the second set with a 9-2 run that gave them a 16-9 lead and forced the Ladyjacks (6-4) into using their final timeout of the set. Ole Miss would go on to win the set by a count of 25-17, seven kills from Morgan, 11 more assists from Edie and a .323 team hitting percentage.
Ole Miss continued its strong play against the Ladyjacks in the third set, and went on a 5-1 run to take an 11-7 lead and prompt a timeout by SFA. The Rebels then stretched their four-point lead to six at 19-13, and SFA used its final timeout. Ole Miss closed the match on a 6-2 run and won the final set 25-15.
Ole Miss will play another doubleheader Saturday when it faces Houston at 12:00 p.m. CT and tournament-host TCU at 7:30 p.m. CT.
“They’re both very good teams,” said Getzin about Houston and TCU. “Right now, at this time of the year, it’s really about what we’re doing on our side of the net. We’re pretty focused on cleaning up our side, and we did a great job serving. We have to keep that up for tomorrow.”
For all Ole Miss volleyball news and information, including recaps after each match, go to OleMissSports.com. Fans can also follow the Rebels on Twitter at @OleMissVB and on Facebook at Ole Miss Volleyball.
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