OXFORD, Miss. –Amanda Philpot tallied a triple-double to lead a balanced effort from the Rebels as Ole Miss (11-17, 7-13 SEC) closed out the season with a win over Alabama (11-20, 4-16 SEC) by a score of 3-1 (25-23, 24-26, 25-20, 25-18) on Friday night.
Philpot hit .423 with 14 kills, 44 assists and 13 digs to lead the Rebels against the Crimson Tide. Kara Morgan turned in a double-double with 12 kills and 18 digs to go along with 13 kills from Allegra Wells on the night.
Defensively, it was Morgan Springer who led the way with 25 digs to tie a season high, while Ashley Veach added 18 digs to go along with the double-digit dig performances from Morgan and Philpot.
Kellie Goss led the net defense with nine blocks, including four solo blocks, as Ole Miss out-blocked Alabama 15.0 to 8.0 on the night.
“It was a great way to end our season,” said Ole Miss head coach Joe Getzin. “It speaks volumes about this team that we went 1-9 in the first half of conference play, but turned things around and went 6-4 in the second half against the same teams. This team never gave up.
“It was an all around team effort and performance tonight,” Getzin continued. “I’m pleased with Morgan’s (Springer) performance tonight and Amanda (Philpot) notching a triple double. We don’t do that unless we’re passing the ball well. This team never quit this year.”
Ole Miss took the early lead on the Crimson Tide in the first set, pushing Alabama into timeout at 8-4 on one of Philpot’s many kills Friday night. The break in action did little to slow down the Ole Miss offense and Alabama again called timeout with the Rebel lead at 17-12.
Alabama would put together a rally following the second timeout and cut the lead to one three times down the stretch, but Ole Miss held onto the lead and claimed the first set 25-23 on a cross court kill from Kellie Goss.
The Rebels found themselves down early in the second set as things played out in reverse to start the second frame. Down 8-3, Ole Miss called a timeout before putting together a furious rally that sent Alabama to the bench with the lead cut to one at 10-9.
Ole Miss continued to build on the rally out of the break, pushing out in front of the Crimson Tide and taking a 20-16 lead that sent Alabama to the bench for a second time to halt the Rebel run. This time the Tide found the answer, erasing the lead and claiming the second set 26-24 to even the match at a set each.
Alabama continued to use the momentum from the second set finish to open the third frame, pushing out to a 5-1 lead on the Rebels from the start. Ole Miss wouldn’t go away, continuing to chip away at the lead before finally moving in front of Alabama 15-14 on a kill from Philpot.
The Rebels would not trail again in the set on the way to a 25-20 win in set three.
After trading runs to open the fourth set, the Rebels snapped a 10-10 tie with a string of scores keyed by blocks and kills from Morgan and Thomas to take a 14-11 lead on the Crimson Tide. Sensing a win within reach, Ole Miss never let up from there and pushed the lead out to as much as nine before taking the match with a 25-18 win in set four.
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