AUBURN, Ala. – The Ole Miss volleyball team came out strong on the road at Auburn on Sunday afternoon, but could not replicate its production later in the match against a scrappy Auburn defense and lost 3-1 (25-19, 14-25, 19-25, 14-25).
“We didn’t match their intensity after the first set,” Ole Miss head coach Joe Getzin said. “Hats off to Auburn, a senior-heavy team playing on Senior Day, for playing the way they did. We’re looking forward to getting back home Wednesday for our Senior Day match against a good LSU team.”
Sophomore middle blocker Nakeyta Clair finished with 11 kills and eight blocks, including six block assists. It is the seventh time in the last eight matches the Country Club Hills, Ill., native has finished with double-digit kills. Fellow sophomore middle blocker Ty Laporte had a team-high 12 kills and four blocks, including three block assists. Freshman setter Aubrey Edie had a balanced match, finishing with 37 assists, seven kills, five digs and three block assists.
Junior libero Cara Fisher and senior outside hitter Kara Morgan each had 14 digs, while freshman defensive specialist Kristen Brashear had a strong defensive match with 13 digs, her highest total since registering 14 against Louisiana-Lafayette on Sept. 21.
Ole Miss (13-17, 3-14 Southeastern Conference) got off to a great start in the match, topping Auburn 25-19 in the opening set to take a 1-0 lead in the match. Trailing 8-11 to begin the set, Ole Miss regrouped to go on a 4-0 run and cause Auburn (19-10, 10-7 SEC) to use its first timeout. The Rebels stayed hot out of the break, going on a 4-1 run to prompt a second timeout by the Tigers as Ole Miss took a 16-12 lead. Ole Miss maintained a lead of at least three for the remainder of the set en route to the victory. Laporte led Ole Miss offensively with six kills on seven swings, as Edie passed out 11 assists to go with her four kills and two block assists. Brashear had eight digs in the set, while Clair had four kills, one solo block and three block assists. As a team, Ole Miss hit at a .385 clip in the opening game.
After falling 25-14 in the second set, Ole Miss and Auburn battled in a tight third set with the score getting knotted at 15 and again at 17. The Tigers closed the set on an 8-2 run, however, and won the set 25-19 to take a 2-1 lead in the match. Clair finished with four kills and three block assists in the third set.
Ole Miss could not stop the Auburn attack again in the fourth set and the Tigers claimed the match with a 25-14 fourth-set victory.
Ole Miss will close out its season Wednesday against LSU at 7 p.m. CT. The Rebels will honor their two seniors, Kellie Goss and Morgan, prior to Wednesday night’s match.
For all Ole Miss volleyball news and information, go to OleMissSports.com and follow the Rebels on Twitter at @OleMissVB and on Facebook at Ole Miss Volleyball.
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