OXFORD, Miss. – The Rebels got 12 kills each from Kara Morgan and Allegra Wells as Ole Miss (7-14, 3-10 SEC) rallied after dropping the first set to defeat Auburn (9-14, 3-10 SEC) by a score of 3-1 (23-25, 25-22, 25-23, 25-19) on Friday night.
Morgan and Philpot both tallied double-doubles on the night.
“We handled our first contact well tonight and that made a big difference for us,” said Ole Miss head coach Joe Getzin. “We were able to take Auburn out of their system with our serving. We played with more confidence after that win at LSU. Maybe we’ve got that monkey off our back and we can keep building on that.”
Ole Miss pulled out to the early lead on the Tigers, riding the emotion of a raucous crowd at the Gillom Sports Center before Auburn settled in and evened the set at nine and pushed out to a three-point lead as a part of that run. The Rebels would cut the Auburn lead to one point four separate times down the stretch, but could never overtake the visiting team as the Tigers took the first set 25-23.
After falling behind 4-1 at the start of the second set, it was the Rebels who fought back with a run to tie the set before pushing out to a 15-11 lead that sent Auburn to the benches in a timeout. Ole Miss held the lead the rest of the way, though the Tigers would cut the lead to two at 24-22, but the Rebels grabbed the final point of the set on a Morgan kill to take the set 25-22 and tie the match.
A back-and-forth struggle early in the third set turned into a four-point Auburn lead when Ole Miss called a timeout down 10-6 in the first set. The Rebels fought back out of the break in action to tie the score at 10 before using a ferocious push to take the lead back at 14-13 and send Auburn into a timeout.
The Tigers called a second timeout as the lead grew to 17-13 in favor of the Rebels before mounting a run of their own. Ole Miss fought off the Tiger rally that cut the advantage to one at 24-23 and claimed the second set 25-23 when Regina Thomas put down a solo block – one of her six blocks on the night – to give the Rebels the set.
It was all Ole Miss in the fourth set as the Rebels took a 4-0 lead out of the gates and weathered an early Auburn run that saw the Tigers pull within one at 9-8. Ole Miss never relinquished the lead, pushing back in front by as much as six down the stretch on the way to a match clinching 25-19 win in what proved to be the final set of the match.
Ole Miss will return to action on Sunday when the Rebels host the Georgia Bulldogs at 1:30 p.m. at the Gillom Sports Center.
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