OXFORD, Miss. – Ole Miss senior setter Amanda Philpot recorded her third triple-double of the season Friday night, but it wasn’t enough for the Ole Miss volleyball team to top the Southeastern Conference Western Division Champions. The Rebels (12-17, 6-14 SEC) fought back from a tough first set, but fell to Texas A&M 3-2 (9-25, 26-24, 25-27, 25-20, 10-15) at the Gillom Sports Center.
Ole Miss rebounded admirably from the first set, and fought toe-to-toe with the Aggies (24-5, 16-4 SEC), which are receiving votes in the latest American Volleyball Coaches’ Association Top 25, and are No. 18 in the latest NCAA RPI.
“We started off a little shaky, but I was really proud with the way the team rebounded, and the next four sets were back and forth the whole way,” Ole Miss head coach Joe Getzin said. “If you erase that first set, we played a good match today.”
Philpot recorded her third triple-double of the season – the most in the SEC – with 40 assists, 11 kills and 11 digs. It was the seventh triple-double of Philpot’s career. The Cincinnati, Ohio, native had a double-double in the two teams’ first meeting.
“It was typical Amanda,” Getzin said. “The sets are always there, number wise, it’s just a matter of her finding her rhythm attacking wise. I was really excited for her to finish on such a bright note.”
Senior libero Ashley Veach finished with 22 digs and six assists Friday night. It was the third straight match of 20 or more digs for Veach.
“Veach is just steady eddy for us,” Getzin said. “She did a great job passing. I think it’s her third straight with 20 or more digs. She really went out with a good performance.”
Offensively, Ole Miss had three Rebels finish with double-digit kill totals, led by junior outside hitter Kara Morgan's team-high 16, and senior right side hitter Allegra Wells' 14. Morgan also had nine digs and a career-high seven assists.
The Rebels hit at a .368 clip in the second set against a stingy Texas A&M defense that is ranked second in the SEC in opponent’s hitting percentage. Wells and Morgan combined for 11 kills and just three errors in the set to lead the Ole Miss attack, while Philpot passed out 11 assists. The two teams combined for 14 ties and six lead changes before Ole Miss came out with the 26-24 victory.
Similar to set two, the Rebels and Aggies went back and forth again in set three. With the score tied 15-15, the two teams battled for the remainder of the set with neither team gaining a lead greater than a single point. Tied 25-25, Texas A&M came through late to win the set 27-25 and take a 2-1 lead in the match.
Ole Miss hit at a .440 clip in the fourth set, committing just three errors on 25 attacks, and forced a fifth and deciding set with a 25-20 victory. Morgan led Ole Miss in the fourth frame with a team-high five kills and four digs.
Texas A&M jumped out to a quick 3-0 lead in the final set, forcing the Rebels into a timeout. Trailing by as many as six points, Ole Miss again fought back and trailed by just one point at 10-11, but the Aggies finished off the match with four straight points to take the set 15-10.
In the record Ole Miss career record books, senior outside hitter Whitney Craven finishes with the eighth most kills all-time. Philpot closes out her career second in assists and tied for sixth in service aces. Veach’s 949 digs are the fifth most in Ole Miss history, and Wells finishes her career fifth all-time in kills, sixth in solo blocks, third in block assists and sixth in total blocks.
Morgan’s 30 service aces are a single-season record at Ole Miss, and her 311 kills are the third most in a single season. Philpot’s 989 assists are the most in a single season in Ole Miss history during the rally scoring era, and Veach’s 469 digs are the second most in Rebels history.
For all Ole Miss volleyball news and information, go to OleMissSports.com. Follow the Rebels on Twitter at @OleMissVB and on Facebook at Ole Miss Volleyball.
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