OXFORD, Miss. – It was the seniors who rose to the occasion Wednesday night, as the Ole Miss volleyball team took down visiting Alabama 3-1 (25-21, 16-25, 25-20, 25-14) at the Gillom Sports Center on senior night.
Senior libero Ashley Veach and senior setter Amanda Philpot each finished with double-doubles on the night. Veach recorded a team-high 23 digs to go with her career-high 11 assists, while Philpot finished with a team-high 41 assists and 12 digs. It was the first double-double of Veach’s career, and was the 12th this season for Philpot. Senior right side hitter Allegra Wells finished with a team-high 14 kills and three block assists in the victory.
“Obviously, on senior night, the seniors stepped up and we came away with a good victory,” Ole Miss head coach Joe Getzin said. “On a senior night, for them to perform in front of their families always means a lot to them. I’m just really proud, and hopefully we can do that again Friday evening.”
Ole Miss (12-16, 6-13 Southeastern Conference) finished with three players reaching double figures in kills, as freshman middle blocker Ty Laporte and junior outside hitter Kara Morgan each had 10 to join Wells in double figures. Senior outside hitter Kiley Sherman recorded a season-high tying six kills on a career-high .545 attacking percentage. Reigning SEC Freshman of the Week, Nakeyta Clair, had nine kills, two solo blocks and five block assists for the Rebels.
Ole Miss led for much of the first set en route to winning 25-21. The Rebels were led in the opening frame by Philpot’s 12 assists and six digs, and Laporte’s five kills. Morgan tallied two of her team-high four service aces in the opening frame as well. Morgan now has 30 aces this season, the most ever by a Rebel in a single season during the rally scoring era.
After falling in the second set 16-25, Ole Miss responded with a 25-20 victory in the third. The Rebels got five kills from Morgan in the third set, along with 10 assists from Philpot and five digs from Veach. As a team, Ole Miss hit at a .353 mark in the third set.
It was all Rebels in the fourth set, as Ole Miss raced out to an early 10-4 lead and never let up en route to an emphatic 25-14 match-clinching set victory. Veach recorded nine digs in the final set to bring her total up to 23. It was the second consecutive match for Veach with at least 20 digs. Veach now has 447 digs this season, the second most in Ole Miss single-season history.
Ole Miss will close out the 2012 season at home Friday with Texas A&M (23-5, 15-4 SEC), which is coming off a thrilling five-set victory at Tennessee Wednesday night. The match against the SEC West Champions will begin at 7 p.m. CT. Texas A&M is currently receiving votes in the latest AVCA Coaches’ Top 25, and is No. 18 in the latest NCAA RPI. During the match, Ole Miss will be hosting the second annual Black Friday Extravaganza, where fans can enter to win exciting prizes, including a 32-inch LCD HDTV.
In its first matchup against the Aggies, Ole Miss lost 3-0 (25-21, 25-23, 25-16) in front of 1,981 fans at Reed Arena in College Station, Texas. Philpot had a double-double in the match, recording 28 assists and 12 digs, while had a team-high 12 kills.
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.
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