OXFORD, Miss. – The Ole Miss volleyball team (9-10, 3-7 Southeastern Conference) recorded its third highest attacking percentage of the season (.320), and defeated Missouri 3-1 (25-17, 25-21, 19-25, 25-21) in front of an electric crowd Friday night at the Gillom Sports Center.
Three Rebels reached double figures in kills, led by Kara Morgan’s team-high 19, and four other Rebels recorded double-digit digs, including Ashley Veach’s team-high 17. Senior setter Amanda Philpot registered her eighth double-double of the season with a season-high tying 47 assists and 15 digs, and freshman middle blocker Nakeyta Clair had a season-high 13 kills, three solo blocks and four block assists.
“Credit to the kids,” Ole Miss head coach Joe Getzin said. “We had some heart to hearts this week and the team responded well and realized what we have to do. It’s always great to play at home too.
“Nakeyta has been stepping up in practice and has looked great, but has just looked uncomfortable in game situations. Tonight she broke through, so it was great to see that.”
Freshman middle blocker Ty Laporte followed up her season-high 20-kill performance last week at Georgia, with a 13-kill effort against Missouri. Freshman defensive specialist Evan St. Laurent had a season-high 16 digs, while sophomore Rachael McLamore had 11. Freshman outside hitter Seini Moimoi had the best match of her young career, finishing with nine kills against the Tigers.
Ole Miss jumped out to a quick start Friday night against Missouri (14-6, 6-4 SEC), taking the first set 25-17. Clair made her presence known in the opening game with five kills and a pair of block assists. The Rebels attacked at a .421 clip in the set and led throughout.
The Rebels never trailed in the second set, holding a tie with Missouri just once at 1-1. Philpot passed out a dozen assists, and the Rebels hit at a .344 clip.
Missouri got back into the match with a 25-19 win in the third set where they committed just two errors.
Ole Miss wrapped up the match with a drama-filled fourth set where the Rebels and Tigers were tied 11 times. With the score tied at 20-20, Ole Miss put the final touches on the match by scoring five of the final six points to grab its third conference victory of the season. Morgan and Laporte fueled the Rebels with seven and five kills, respectively, and Philpot passed out 15 assists.
Ole Miss will take the court at the Gillom Center again Sunday at 1 p.m. CT against South Carolina (15-7, 3-7 SEC). The match will be televised by Comcast. The Gamecocks will be playing their second consecutive match in the Magnolia State after defeating Mississippi State 3-0 (25-9, 25-15, 25-9) on Friday night.
On Sunday, three fans will be selected to compete for a $100 gift card to the Rebel Shop located at the Gillom Center. One fan will also have the opportunity to win cash in the Renasant Bank Cash Cube.
Ole Miss defeated South Carolina 3-0 (25-19, 25-18, 25-23) on the road Sept. 30. Ole Miss had a balanced attack against the Gamecocks, with four players recording seven or more kills, but no player with more than eight. Philpot led the Ole Miss attack with a match-high 24 assists, seven kills and six digs. It was Ole Miss’ third straight 3-0 victory against South Carolina in Columbia, S.C. The Gamecocks, as a team, rank in the top four of the SEC in hitting percentage and assists.
“South Carolina is a very dangerous team. With us going in and sweeping them, we have to be very careful we don’t become complacent with them,” Getzin said. “I have a lot of respect for their team and coaching staff and I know that they’re going to come in ready to play.”
For all Ole Miss volleyball news and information, including recaps, live stats and results, go to OleMissSports.com. Follow the Rebels on Twitter at @OleMissVB and go to Facebook at Ole Miss Volleyball.
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