BATON ROUGE, La. – Ole Miss faced a tough LSU attack Friday evening at the Maravich Center in Baton Rouge, La., and lost 3-1 (19-25, 9-25, 25-23, 25-27) to the Tigers.
After dropping the opening two sets of the match, Ole Miss (10-8, 0-5 Southeastern Conference) rebounded out of the halftime break to win the third set and push the Tigers (12-3, 2-1 SEC) to extra points in the fourth set, but it wasn’t enough for the win.
“We got ourselves down in a hole 0-2, and we responded, but we responded too late,” Ole Miss head coach Joe Getzin said. “We’re not seasoned enough to go down 0-2 on teams and expect magically for them to roll over for us, especially a good team like LSU.”
Ole Miss was led in the match by a trio of sophomores. Middle blocker Ty Laporte had a team-high 13 kills, setter Skylar Johnson passed out a team-high 19 assists, and middle blocker Nakeyta Clair had a team-high tying six total blocks.
Junior libero Cara Fisher had a team-high 13 digs for Ole Miss, while freshman right side hitter Melanie Crow had a career-high tying six block assists and nine kills. Freshman Margaret Eggert notched eight kills against the Tigers, her highest kill total of the season in conference action.
Despite being only in her second season, Clair’s one solo block Friday evening moved her into solo possession of sixth place on the Ole Miss career block solos list, and her six total blocks advanced her up to No. 9 on the career list in program history (161).
Laporte highlighted the opening set for Ole Miss. The Irmo, S.C., native recorded five kills on seven attempts, but the Rebels dropped the set by a score of 25-19. Trailing 18-14, Ole Miss went on a 5-2 run to cut its deficit to one point at 20-19, but the Tigers closed out the set on a 5-0 run to take a 1-0 lead in the match.
LSU raced out to an early lead to start the second set and Ole Miss couldn’t get back in it, falling 25-9.
With the third set tied at seven points apiece, the Rebels went on an impressive 10-2 run highlighted by two kills from Clair, and a service ace from Kara Morgan and Fisher. Leading 16-9 thanks to their run, the Rebels held on to their lead for the remainder of the set to win 25-23 and extend the match to a fourth set. Laporte registered four kills in the third set, Morgan, who finished with 11 digs for the match, recorded five digs in the third set and Johnson had 12 assists and four digs.
Ole Miss led 13-11 midway through the fourth set, but a 5-0 run by the home-standing Tigers prompted the Rebels to use their first timeout. Trailing by five at 15-20, Ole Miss went on a 5-1 run to cut its deficit to one point at 20-21, causing LSU to use its first timeout. The Rebels tied the match at 22-22 on an attacking error by LSU, but could not close out the Tigers and dropped the fourth set 25-27.
Ole Miss now returns home to the friendly confines of the Gillom Sports Center for a match against the Auburn Tigers (9-7, 0-4 SEC) on Sunday at 1:30 p.m. CT. Sunday at the Gillom Sports Center is International Student Night. All international students in attendance will receive two free tickets to the Ole Miss versus Idaho home football game Oct. 26.
Auburn senior libero Sarah Wroblicky is currently fifth in the conference with 4.33 digs per set, and senior outside hitter Katherine Culwell leads the team offensively with 3.40 kills per set. Culwell is currently sixth on the active career kills list (877) in the SEC, just 29 blocks ahead of Morgan, who is seventh on the list.
For all Ole Miss volleyball news and information, including daily recaps, live stats and results, go to OleMissSports.com. Fans can follow the Rebels on Twitter at @OleMissVB and on Facebook at Ole Miss Volleyball.
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