OXFORD, Miss. -- The Rebels cruised early, but had to fight back late to defeat Auburn (17-12, 8-9 SEC) as Ole Miss (19-8, 13-5 SEC) got a team-leading 14 kills from Miranda Kitts to defeat the Tigers by a score of 3-2 (25-17, 25-17, 13-25, 18-25, 15-13).
The win gave Ole Miss a season sweep of Auburn and a clean sweep on the weekend after defeating Georgia 3-1 on Friday night.
Kitts led the way with 14 kills and hit .414, while Whitney Craven came up with 12 kills on the afternoon. Amanda Philpot turned in another double-double, putting down 10 kills to go along with her 40 assists.
"It's a great road win and I think we grew up a little bit as a team today," said Ole Miss head coach Joe Getzin. "We played some very good defense and Miranda Kitts had another excellent match. That's just senior leadership coming through for us.
"We talked all week about how comfortable we are at home and how we had the chance to do something special here. We come home for our last home stand and we really invite our fans to come out on Friday night and support this team on senior day next weekend."
The Rebels took control of the first set early after giving up the first score of the match to Auburn. Ole Miss snapped a tie at three on an Auburn attack error and a service ace from Whitney Craven to move out to a lead. The Rebels held to the advantage from there, continuing to build on the lead and holding the advantage on the way to a 25-17 win in the first set.
The second set saw the Rebels fall behind early as the Tigers moved out in front with a 7-3 lead. Ole Miss fought back, chipping away at the lead before tying the set at 10 on a kill from Miranda Kitts. Auburn pushed back in front only to see the Rebels again respond and tie the set at 14. A service error from the Tigers put Ole Miss on top and the Rebels held the lead the rest of the way, taking the second set 25-17.
It was all Tigers in the third set as Auburn came out of the break an attacked the Rebel defense quickly. Auburn jumped out to a 5-1 lead and continued to build on the advantage from there, despite the Rebels cutting the lead to two at 14-12. Ole Miss couldn't overtake the Tigers, who claimed the third set 25-13.
The fourth set was again a Tiger controlled frame as Auburn moved out to a 6-3 lead on the Rebels in the early stages and held the lead from there. The Tigers continued to push offensively, evening the match at two sets each with a 25-18 win in set four.
Ole Miss stormed out of the gates in the fifth and decisive set, pushing ahead of the Tigers 5-1 and forcing the home team to call a timeout to halt the Rebel run. Ole Miss continued to hold the lead, moving toward claiming the set before the Tigers close the gap to one at 13-12. The Rebels held on, using a kill from Philpot at match point to claim the match with a 15-13 win in the final set.
The Rebels will close out the regular season at home with a pair of matches next weekend, hosting Kentucky and No. 22 Tennessee at the Gillom Center. Ole Miss will face Kentucky on senior night, Friday at 7 p.m.
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