OXFORD, Miss. - The Ole Miss volleyball team raced out to a two-set lead in its match against Georgia on Friday evening at the Gillom Sports Center, but the visiting Bulldogs fought back after halftime as Ole Miss couldn't find its groove from the beginning of the match and fell 3-2 (25-21, 25-10, 11-25, 17-25, 6-15).
"It's a really disappointing loss, but my hats off to Georgia, they did a nice job of rebounding after the (halftime) break," Ole Miss head coach Joe Getzin said. "I don't think we matched their intensity after the break"
It was the Rebels' second heartbreaking loss to Georgia after the Rebels fell in five sets in Athens, Ga., on Oct. 6.
"We're pretty evenly matched," Getzin said. "One of the things we have to learn is that when teams push us we can push back and there's another level that obviously Georgia went to and we've got to be able to respond to that."
Freshman setter Aubrey Edie tallied her team-high seventh double-double of the season in Friday night's defeat with 34 assists and 11 digs. Sophomore middle blocker Nakeyta Clair notched a team-high 15 kills to go with her seven total blocks, including six block assists. It was the fifth straight match Clair has recorded at least a dozen kills. Junior libero Cara Fisher had her fourth straight match with double-digit digs, finishing with a team-high 15.
Ole Miss (13-14, 3-11 Southeastern Conference) came out of the gates firing on all cylinders in the opening set as it scored eight of the first 10 points. Ole Miss stretched its lead to 18-11 before the Bulldogs called their final timeout. Ole Miss cruised from there en route to a 25-21 first set victory. The Rebels hit at a .303 clip, including five kills on six attempts by Clair. Edie facilitated the offensive wonderfully with 13 assists.
The Rebels continued their strong play in the second set as they walloped the Bulldogs by a count of 25-10. Ole Miss held Georgia, which entered the match sixth in the SEC in hitting percentage (.238), to a negative attack of -.071 in the set.
Georgia (19-8, 9-6 SEC) rebounded after the halftime break to claim each of the final three sets as Ole Miss dropped its second heartbreaking five-set match against the Bulldogs this season.
"We played a real disciplined game for the first two sets, and Georgia then made some great digs and we became a little tentative in our attacking and frustrated that they were digging so well," Getzin said.
Ole Miss will now turn its attention to Sunday's home match against No. 17 Kentucky. The Wildcats entered the weekend ranked in the top five in the conference in hitting percentage (.257), opponent hitting percentage (.187), assists (12.90 per set), kills (13.90 per set) and blocks (2.53 per set). The Wildcats' leader this season has been senior outside hitter Whitney Billings, who is sixth in the SEC with 3.55 kills per set, 16th with 2.75 digs per set, and also has been a menace at the net with 0.76 blocks per set. First serve is scheduled for 1:30 p.m. CT.
For Sunday's match against Kentucky it will be "Sundaes on Sunday" as fans will be able to design their own ice cream treats outside of the Gillom Center.
For all Ole Miss volleyball news and information, including match recaps, stats and results, 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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