OXFORD, Miss. – Playing its third match in a five-day span, the Ole Miss volleyball team fought back after a slow start Sunday afternoon at the Gillom Sports Center, but could not top Texas A&M and fell 3-1 (10-25, 20-25, 25-22, 21-25).
The Rebels came on strong in the third set to extend the match, but a tough loss in the fourth set ended the match. Sunday concluded a busy week for Ole Miss that saw the Rebels play five matches in the first 10 days of the month.
“I don’t think it was not being ready to play,” said Ole Miss head coach Joe Getzin of the match. “It’s a little bit of fatigue, and frustration when things don’t work well that have been working well. We’re young enough to not understand that you have to work through that. It’s frustrating that we came out and our offensive production slipped backward a bit. It’s all above the shoulders right now.”
Sophomore middle blocker Nakeyta Clair led Ole Miss (13-13, 3-10 Southeastern Conference) with a team-high 13 kills and three block assists. Freshman setter Aubrey Edie passed out 36 assists to go along with five digs, and junior libero Cara Fisher had a team-high 15 digs. It was the third straight match for Fisher with a double-digit kill total. Senior Kara Morgan provided five kills, 13 digs and a pair of block assists, while junior defensive specialist Rachael McLamore had a season-high tying 12 digs.
Ole Miss struggled offensively in the match, as Texas A&M redshirt freshman middle blocker Jazzmin Babers, who entered the week second in the SEC with 1.25 blocks per set, had six block assists against the Rebel attack.
“Texas A&M does a very good job at blocking and giving you a limited court to hit in,” Getzin said.
Entering the third set down 2-0 in the match, Ole Miss won a hard fought, back-and-forth third game that featured nine ties and five lead changes. Trailing 6-10, Ole Miss went on an 8-3 run to take its first lead in the set at 14-13. From there, the two teams stayed within two points of each other until Ole Miss took a 24-21 lead just prior to closing out the set with a 25-22 victory. Junior outside hitter Marie-Pierre Bakima, Clair and freshman right side hitter Melanie Crow each had four kills in the set. Edie passed out a set-high 13 assists and Morgan added seven digs.
The fourth set proved to be even closer than the third, as the two teams had 10 ties and six lead changes prior to the Aggies going on a 4-0 run to close out the set and the win the match with a 25-21 final-set victory.
For all Ole Miss volleyball news and information go to OleMissSports.com. Fans can also follow the Rebels on Twitter at @OleMissVB and on Facebook at Ole Miss Volleyball.
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