LEXINGTON, Ky. - Ole Miss freshman middle blocker Nakeyta Clair had a team-high 11 kills and four block assists, but it wasn't enough, as the Rebels (10-12, 4-9 Southeastern Conference) dropped a tough 3-1 (20-25, 25-19, 22-25, 16-25) match at Kentucky on Friday evening.
Clair, in addition to leading the Rebels in kills and blocks, also recorded her first two service aces of the season. Senior setter Amanda Philpot was one dig shy of a double-double, finishing with 38 assists, nine digs and five kills. Freshman middle blocker Ty Laporte and junior outside hitter Kara Morgan joined Clair with double-digit kills, finishing with 10 each.
"The team did a good job of competing tonight," Ole Miss head coach Joe Getzin said. "We had some chances in the third game that we didn't take advantage of. In the fourth set, our system broke down a little bit. We've got to find more ways to be more consistent with that."
The Rebels have gotten great production from Laporte and Clair over the last six matches. The two freshmen are first and second on the team, respectively, in kills over the six-match span, with Clair also leading the Rebels in blocks and Laporte in second during the stretch.
"Nakeyta is continuing to improve every day," Getzin said. "We let her do some serving today and she got two aces. I think Nakeyta is an untapped source of talent for us who we have to continue to develop."
After Kentucky jumped out to an early 3-1 lead in the opening set, the Rebels and Wildcats exchanged points until Ole Miss tied it at 13-13. The Rebels would then take a 17-16 lead, but Kentucky (16-8, 10-4 SEC) caught fire at the end and scored nine of the final 12 points in the set to win 25-20. Clair led Ole Miss offensively with five kills, while Philpot passed out a dozen assists.
With the scored tied 9-9 in the second set, the Rebels went on a 3-0 run to take a 12-9 lead and force the Wildcats into their first timeout of the set. Kentucky called its final timeout of the set after the Rebels went on another 3-0 run to take a 19-17 lead. Ole Miss came out of the second timeout strong, scoring six of the next eight points, including Clair's first two service aces of the season, to win the set 25-19 and tie the match 1-1.
The Rebels jumped out to a quick 6-3 lead to open the third set and did not trail until a 2-0 run by the Wildcats pushed UK ahead 17-15, prompting an Ole Miss timeout. Trailing by three at 16-19, Ole Miss went on a 4-1 run to tie the match at 20 points apiece. The Wildcats closed out the third set on a 5-2 run though, and took the set 25-22 to take a 2-1 lead in the match. Laporte led Ole Miss with a team-high five kills in the third frame, as Morgan had four kills of her own and Philpot tallied 11 assists.
Ole Miss fell in an early 2-7 hole to start the fourth set, but a 5-1 run by the Rebels cut the deficit to just a single point at 7-8. Kentucky went on another 7-2 run midway through the fourth set, though, and took an 18-12 lead they wouldn't surrender.
The Rebels will now head south to Baton Rouge, La., to take on the LSU Tigers on Sunday. The matchup between the Rebels and Tigers will begin at 3 p.m. CT and will be televised by Cox. It will be the first matchup of the season between the two schools. Ole Miss won the two teams' last meeting Oct. 23 of last season, a five-set thriller where the Rebels staved off six match points in the fourth set.
LSU plays just one match this week. The Tigers have split their matches for six straight weekends in SEC action. LSU has been led offensively by Desiree Elliott (3.58 kills per set) and Madie Jones (3.56 kills per set), who each rank in the top 10 in kills in the SEC. LSU senior libero Meghan Mannari is currently second in the league with 4.83 digs per set.
For all Ole Miss volleyball news and information, including live stats, recaps and results, go to OleMissSports.com. Follow the Rebels on Twitter at @OleMissVB and go to Facebook at Ole Miss Volleyball.
Ole Miss Athletics Week in ReviewSept. 22-28, 2014Football- No. 10 Ole Miss used a dominant defensive effort to put away Memphis 24-3 on Saturday, setting up one of the biggest games in recent history this coming Saturday against the Alabama... read more
Tuesday 9/23 at 4PM
@CoachHughFreeze reveals the helmets to the @olemissfb team at team meeting. pic.twitter.com/8jpVCvny4p— OleMissPix (@OleMissPix) September 29, 2014 2.
Wed 9/24 at 4PM
@OleMissFB practice hidden indoors so that team practice in helmets for safety reasons. pic.twitter.com/vA0Oo6Ps7S— OleMissPix (@OleMissPix) September... read more
It's Sunday, so that means it's time for this week's Observations from the Best Seat in the House. I'll handle the bulk of the notes this week, but we also have some insight from Austin Miller here as well. Let's... read more
Seeking its first win over a top-10 team since 2009, Ole Miss took a 1-0 lead but fell short to No. 10 Texas A&M, 2-1, Sunday afternoon. "I'm really happy with the team's performance," head coach Matt Mott said. "I'm... read more
Wearing the lighter blue helmets for the first time since 1994 to honor the late Chucky Mullins, the Ole Miss defense also honored his memory with perhaps the most dominant defensive performance of the Hugh Freeze Era. "Chucky would have... read more
Three areas to watch as No. 10 Ole Miss faces Memphis Saturday. Battle of the Quarterbacks Ole Miss and Memphis have both gotten steady quarterback play, as both teams rank inside the top-15 nationally in scoring offense. Senior quarterback Bo... read more
Playing in their fourth overtime game of the season, the Ole Miss soccer team played Arkansas to a 1-1 double-overtime draw on Thursday night. The teams combined for 30 shots, including 13 on goal, but the game was characterized more... read more
Highlights from Ole Miss head coach Hugh Freeze's time on the SEC teleconference Wednesday, ahead of the Rebels' matchup with Memphis on Saturday (6:30 p.m. CT, Fox Sports Net). Freeze's time on the call begins at the 1:21:20 mark. For... read more
Memphis is 2-1 heading into Saturday's matchup with wins over Austin Peay (63-0) and Middle Tennessee (36-17) and a 42-35 loss at No. 11 UCLA. The Tigers scored two early fourth-quarter touchdowns to tie the Bruins at 35-35 with 13:44... read more
Ole Miss Athletics Week in ReviewSept. 15-21, 2014Volleyball- Ole Miss went 4-0 to capture the Rebel Classic and improve to 14-0 on the season.- Through four weeks of the season, the Rebels have equaled last year's win total (14-17).- Sophomore... read more
This is the fourth installment of Observations from the Best Seat in the House. The idea of this weekly feature will be to bring you all some of our observations from the previous week in Ole Miss Sports. This week... read more
The Ole Miss Volleyball team remained undefeated at 14-0 and matched last year's win total with a 4-0 weekend at the Rebel Classic capped by wins over Lamar (3-0) and Jackson State (3-1) Saturday. The last three sets against Jackson... read more
The Season: Ole Miss Football - Episode 4 - ULL (2014) from Ole Miss Rebels on Vimeo.In case you missed it, The Season: Ole Miss Football Episode 1, The Season: Ole Miss Football Episode 2 and The Season: Ole Miss... read more