OXFORD, Miss. – They say there’s no place like home. For Ole Miss setter Amanda Philpot, that sentiment rang true Friday night as she recorded her second triple-double in four home matches this season to lead the Ole Miss volleyball team (7-5, 1-2 Southeastern Conference) to a 3-1 (25-18, 24-26, 25-23, 25-12) victory over Mississippi State in front of a near-capacity crowd at the Gillom Sports Center.
Philpot, who finished with 40 assists, 12 digs and 10 kills, led the Rebels to their first win in conference play in front of a raucous crowd of 662. It was the second triple-double of the season for the Cincinnati, Ohio, native. She also had a triple double in a three-set home victory over Rice on Sept. 7.
“She’s such a threat (offensively) that if you can get the ball up near the net, she can take care of it,” Ole Miss head volleyball coach Joe Getzin said. “Then, when you start making 12 digs it’s awesome. That’s the part that’s probably the hardest part, is the kills plus the digs.”
The Rebels had three players reach double figures in kills, led by junior outside hitter Kara Morgan’s team-high 15 kills. Senior right side hitter Allegra Wells had 11 kills, and Philpot finished with 10.
Defensively, senior libero Ashley Veach led the Rebels with 24 digs, while Philpot finished with a dozen and both Morgan and sophomore Rachael McLamore finished with 11. Morgan’s double-double (15 kills, 11 digs) is her fifth of the season.
“I’m very excited,” Getzin said. “Anytime you can take care of home court it’s really good. We took care of a pesky, good defensive team in Mississippi State. I’m really happy with our performance down the stretch.”
The Rebels won the opening set by a count of 25-18, led by five kills each from Morgan and Wells, and 13 assists from Philpot. The Rebels took a 3-2 lead and never looked back as they stretched the lead to seven on five separate occasions before winning by the same margin.
The second set was a back-and-forth affair that featured five lead changes and 10 ties. Trailing by five at 13-8, Mississippi State (4-8, 0-3 SEC) mounted a furious rally to tie the match at 14-14. Mississippi State and Ole Miss exchanged the lead three more times before Ole Miss held set point at 24-23, but the Bulldogs wouldn’t go away, eventually winning the set 26-24.
“(At halftime), we said Mississippi State is a good team and we shouldn’t take them for granted,” Getzin said. “The way they played in set two is the way they’re capable. They kept the ball alive and we got a little frustrated and started making a few errors. I thought we settled down nicely to finish it out.”
Philpot shined in the third set for Ole Miss, registering eight assists, five kills and five digs en route to pacing Ole Miss to a tight 25-23 victory. Similar to the second set, Ole Miss again got out to an early lead but MSU would not back away. With the match tied at 23-23, the Rebels benefitted from a serving error by the Bulldogs before sealing the set with a kill by Wells off a Philpot pass.
It was all Ole Miss in the fourth set as the Rebels scored seven of the set’s first eight points. Ole Miss hit at a .407 clip in the set, defeating MSU 25-12 to take the match 3-1.
The win gives Getzin an 11-10 record against the Bulldogs and is Ole Miss’ fourth victory over MSU in the two teams’ last five meetings.
Senior outside hitter Ashley Anderson finished with six kills for the Rebels, junior middle blocker Kellie Goss had a team-high three solo blocks, and freshman middle blocker Ty Laporte had two solo blocks and two block assists.
The Rebels will have Sunday off from competition before hitting the court again Sept. 28 at Alabama at 7 p.m. CT.
For all Ole Miss volleyball news and information, go to OleMissSports.com, follow the Rebels on Twitter at @OleMissVB and go to Facebook at Ole Miss Volleyball.
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