OXFORD, Miss. – With the season less than two weeks away, the Ole Miss volleyball team hosted its annual Red-Blue scrimmage on Saturday afternoon at the Gillom Sports Center, and left head coach Joe Getzin pleased about his team’s performance.
“It’s kind of a dry run for us in a lot of ways – getting used to playing in front of people with the stadium seating out – and I thought the kids did some great things,” Getzin said. “Obviously, anytime you’re playing each other it’s a win-win and a lose-lose, because one of your teams wins and the other loses. I was very pleased with the overall performance though.”
Sophomores Nakeyta Clair and Ty Laporte each had strong showings for the Rebels Saturday. Clair finished the match with 10 kills, three solo blocks and six block assists, while Laporte had a match-high 14 kills, one solo block and one block assist.
“They have definitely improved in their technique,” said Getzin of Clair and Laporte, who were each named to the Southeastern Conference All-Freshman team last season. “They’re stronger and they play bigger at the net. The biggest adjustment right now for them is getting used to a new setter. That’s a timing issue more than anything else, and that just takes some reps that we haven’t had yet.”
The scrimmage offered the coaches an opportunity to see and try out many different things with a team that features seven newcomers, including five freshmen. One aspect of the team the coaches got to see for the first time was how they responded in a match environment where they are away from the team on the sidelines.
“There were some really good moments with that, and probably more plusses than minuses, but there are some things that we will definitely have to work on as well,” Getzin said. “That (includes) not dropping our heads when things don’t go our way, or exactly how we planned, and we did respond to that. The fourth set was much better.”
Ole Miss begins the 2013 season on the road at the GW/Nike Invitational in Washington, D.C., on Aug. 30 against UMBC. The Rebels’ first home match will be Sept. 6 at 11 a.m. against Kennesaw State in the Magnolia Invitational.
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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