OXFORD, Miss. – Spring is a time for renewal, but for the Ole Miss volleyball team, this spring is a chance for both the players and the new coaches to get to know each other and lay the foundation for the future of the program under new head coach Steven McRoberts.
The Rebels played four schools Saturday in Memphis to open their spring schedule. They played two sets to 25 points and one set to 15 points against each of the four schools and finished the day 4-0 beating Tennessee State, Memphis, Christian Brothers University and UT-Martin.
“I was happy with the team on Saturday,” McRoberts said. “Our No. 1 goal was to execute what we have been working on this spring. We definitely want to compete and win, but there is a bigger picture at this point. It’s nice to have other teams to play, because it allows us to truly see what we need to work on in practice.”
Coach McRoberts said he and his staff were able to evaluate multiple players in different positions and see how the team had adapted to their system after a few practices.
“Our serve receive was consistent throughout the day and that is something we have spent a lot of time working on since we’ve been here. As a group, we need to play smarter when we are out of system, but every hitter had positive moments over the four scrimmages. Our blocking and defense also made some great plays during the day. Everyone contributed to all four wins. I liked hearing the team encourage each other and the positive energy on and off the court helped us win close sets/matches.”
Ole Miss will return four players who started almost every match last year in 2014, led by setter Aubrey Edie, who averaged a team-high 9.21 assists per set, tops among freshmen in the SEC. The Rebels are also led by rising junior Nakeyta Clair, who had the best blocking season in program history in the rally scoring era. She broke the single-season program record for block assists (105) and total blocks (130), and finished second in single-season program history for solo blocks (25).
The Rebels will continue spring action April 12 in Nashville, Tenn.
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