OXFORD, Miss. - The Ole Miss volleyball team got career-best performances from a number of student-athletes, and took down visiting Tennessee 3-1 (18-25, 27-25, 25-14, 25-19) Friday night at the Gillom Sports Center.
Freshman setter Aubrey Edie passed out a career-high 48 assists, freshman right side hitter Melanie Crow notched a career-high 15 kills and sophomore middle blocker Nakeyta Clair tied a career high with nine total blocks, including a career-high tying three solo blocks to help lead the Rebels (11-9, 1-6 Southeastern Conference) to their first SEC victory of the season.
Ole Miss head coach Joe Getzin talked about the Rebels' hard-fought second set victory as being a result that helped turn the match around.
"If we don't win set two, you're down 0-2 and you play totally different," Getzin said. "That second set evened the playing field and allowed us to relax a little bit and the results are good."
Senior outside hitter Kara Morgan recorded her second double-double of the season by finishing with 10 kills and a team-high 13 digs. Junior outside hitter Marie-Pierre Bakima had 10 kills and a season-high four block assists.
Morgan's 10 kills Friday night moved her into sixth place on the program's career kills list, while Clair's six block assists elevated her into eighth place on the Ole Miss career block assists list.
After dropping the opening set 25-18, Ole Miss rebounded to take the second set in extra points, 27-25, and even the match at one set apiece. Down 7-13 in the second set, Ole Miss went on a 9-1 run to take a 16-14 lead. From there, the two teams went back and forth, accumulating a total of 15 ties and five lead changes throughout the set. Finally, with the scored tied at 25, Edie and Laporte recorded back-to-back kills to push the Rebels' to the 27-25 victory.
Ole Miss cruised to a 25-14 victory in the third set, thanks to a match-high .444 team hitting percentage. Laporte and Morgan each tallied four kills in the set, while Edie passed out 13 assists. Laporte, a native of Irmo, S.C., also had two solo blocks and two block assists in the set, finishing the match with a career-high tying eight total blocks, including a career-high tying two solo blocks.
Ole Miss closed out the match in dramatic fashion with a 25-19 victory in the fourth set. Down 20-11, the Lady Vols (10-9, 0-6 SEC) went on a 7-0 run to cut the Rebels' lead to two at 20-18. Ole Miss regrouped from there though, and closed out the set and the match on a 5-1 run to win 25-19. Crow led Ole Miss in the final set with five kills, two digs, a solo block and a block assist. The Rebels' victory over Tennessee on Friday night was their first over the Lady Vols since 2007.
Ole Miss will face South Carolina (10-9, 2-5 SEC) on Sunday at 1 p.m. CT at the Gillom Sports Center. The Gamecocks are coming off a 3-0 loss at Mississippi State on Friday. South Carolina senior outside hitter Juliette Thévenin leads the SEC with 4.87 kills per set.
Sunday is "Greek Day," where the fraternity and sorority with the most spirit will get a picture on the Ole Miss website and recognition at the Ole Miss homecoming football game against Idaho on Oct. 26. All Greeks will also receive a free Ole Miss six-pack cooler.
For all Ole Miss volleyball news and information, including daily recaps, live stats and results, go to OleMissSports.com. Fans unable to attend Friday or Sunday's match will be able to watch the Rebels on WatchRebelVision.com. Fans can also follow the Rebels on Twitter at @OleMissVB and on Facebook at Ole Miss Volleyball.
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