OXFORD, Miss. – The Ole Miss volleyball team (10-3) kept its composure and rebounded from a first set loss to defeat Louisiana-Lafayette 3-1 (20-25, 25-19, 25-15, 25-14) in the Rebel Classic championship on Saturday evening at the Gillom Sports Center.
“We did a great job of adjusting and putting some pressure back on them,” Ole Miss volleyball head coach Joe Getzin said. “Lafayette played a great match in the first set and we got a little frustrated with that. We then settled down and started putting some pressure on them and things started going our way.”
Sophomore middle blocker Nakeyta Clair earned tournament MVP honors following the match, and was joined on the all-tournament team by freshman right side hitter Melanie Crow and Edie.
Clair finished the tournament with a 3.20 kills per set and 1.30 blocks per set average. While Clair’s kill total of 32 for the week was nine more than anyone else on the team, she also hit for a high average with a .587 hitting percentage.
Crow finished the week averaging 2.30 kills per set and 0.80 blocks per set. Edie had a strong passing game at the Rebel Classic, dishing out an impressive 10.2 assists per set to go with her 1.80 kills per set.
After finishing in second place in each of its first three tournaments of the season, Ole Miss dropped just one set at the Rebel Classic and allowed its opponents to score 20 or more points just twice.
“We have proven that we can win and still not be at the top of our game,” Getzin said. “We have some things to improve upon, but the biggest thing is we took care of business in all three matches.”
Ole Miss hit at a strong .480 hitting percentage in the first set, but couldn’t stop the Louisiana (10-4) attack and lost 25-20.
With the second set tied at 15, Ole Miss stepped on the gas and went on an 8-0 run to take a commanding 23-15 lead before winning 25-19. Senior outside hitter Kara Morgan led the Rebel attack in the second set with a team-high five kills.
After another back-and-forth start to begin the third set, Ole Miss went on a 14-4 run to take a 23-12 lead and win the set 25-15.
Ole Miss used a pair of 3-0 runs, followed by a 6-1 run to take control of the fourth set and win 25-14.
Ole Miss opens Southeastern Conference play at home next week against Arkansas and No. 4 Florida. The Rebels face the Razorbacks on Friday at 7 p.m. CT, followed by the Gators on Sunday at 1:30 p.m. CT.
“We’re excited to be opening up at home,” Getzin said. “I like our team. We’re doing good things – we’re young, but we keep coming and we get stronger every day.”
For all Ole Miss volleyball news and information, go to OleMissSports.com and follow the Rebels on Twitter at @OleMissVB and on Facebook at Ole Miss Volleyball.
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