Rebels Fall On Road After Late Rally By No. 19 Tennessee Kara Morgan Puts Down Career-High 18 Kills To Lead Ole Miss
KNOXVILLE, Tenn. –Kara Morgan put down a career-high 18 kills and was one of three Rebels to tally double-digit kills, but the effort came up just short following a late Lady Vols rally as Ole Miss (5-11, 1-7 SEC) fell to No. 19 Tennessee (15-2, 8-0 SEC) by a score of 3-2 (22-25, 25-17, 25-21, 21-25, 13-15) on Sunday.
Morgan turned in a double-double with 18 kills and 14 digs, while Whitney Craven added 13 kills and Allegra Wells put down 11 kills on the afternoon to pace the Ole Miss offense. Regina Thomas continued to hit at a high rate, tallying eight kills and only one error while hitting at a .538 clip to go along with four blocks.
Morgan Springer led the back row defense with 19 digs and was one of four Rebels with double-digit digs. Ashley Veach added 10 digs, while Amanda Philpot came up with 12 digs for a double-double as she also tallied 46 assists.
“We did some good things today and continue to build, but we have to make some plays down the stretch,” said Ole Miss head coach Joe Getzin.
After falling behind 5-3 to open the first set, the Rebels used three kills from Kara Morgan as a part of a four point run to claim the lead in the opening frame. Despite repeated runs and Tennessee fighting back to tie the match twice, Ole Miss continued to hold the home team out of the lead. The third time Tennessee would knot the set, the Rebels couldn’t come up with an answering score as the Lady Vols moved out in front 20-19.
Ole Miss then mustered a rally moving back in front 21-20, before Tennessee would put together one final run on the way to claiming the first set 25-22.
The Rebels reversed fortunes in the second set, grabbing the first point on a block by Thomas and Wells. Ole Miss weathered a run by the Lady Vols, fighting off a service ace that tied the score at 11 and answering with a run that included a kill and a service ace from Morgan that put the Rebels back in front in the set for good.
Ole Miss claimed the second set 25-17 to even the match at a set each heading into the break in play.
The third set opened with the two squads trading scores throughout the early stages before Ole Miss took advantage of a ball handling error with the score tied at seven to grab the lead for good. The Rebels pushed the lead to four points before Tennessee called a timeout when Ole Miss claimed a five-point edge at 21-16.
The Rebels continued to push forward following the quick break in action and claimed the third set 25-21 to take the lead in the match.
Ole Miss continued to push the Lady Vols offensively in the fourth set, snapping a 5-5 tie with a string of three straight kills from Craven, Kellie Goss and Morgan to take the lead. The Rebels continued to hold the lead, but Tennessee chipped away at the advantage, moving back in front of the Rebels 17-16 on an Ole Miss attack error.
The Rebels couldn’t slow the Lady Vols down from there, falling in the fourth set 25-21 and setting up a deciding fifth set.
Tennessee grabbed a pair of quick scores to open the set, but the Rebels fought back and evened things at four before trading points with the Lady Vols. After trailing by one at 8-7 when the teams flipped ends of the court, the Rebels rattled off a 4-to-1 run to take an 11-9 lead and send Tennessee into a timeout.
The Lady Vols pushed back to tie the match at 11, but Ole Miss capitalized on a Lady Vol service error to move back into the lead. The Rebels couldn’t hold off a final rally by Tennessee, falling in the final set 15-13 to drop the match.
Ole Miss will return to action on Friday, returning home to host the No. 13 Florida Gators at 7 p.m. at the Gillom Sports Center.
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