OXFORD, Miss. - Ole Miss will face off against intrastate rival Mississippi State for the first time this year when the Rebel volleyball team hosts the Bulldogs Friday at 7 p.m. CT in its Southeastern Conference home opener at the Gillom Sports Center.
"We're looking forward to being back at home," Ole Miss head coach Joe Getzin said. "We've only had the one tournament at home, so to get back to the friendly confines of the Gillom Center is always exciting for our team. We play well at home and our home crowd plays such a huge role in our girls feeling comfortable and confident in who they are as a team."
The volleyball rivalry between the Rebels (6-5, 0-2 SEC) and Bulldogs (4-7, 0-2 SEC) has been as close as possible with Getzin at the helm. Ole Miss and Mississippi State are an even 10-10 against each other since 2002, but the Rebels have won three of the series' last four matchups.
"As a rival school, it's always an exciting time," Getzin said. "You can throw out the records - in my tenure here we're at .500. It's been a battle back and forth and they always come to play. We have to respect them and be ready for a hard fought match."
Ten pairs of football tickets to the Oct. 6 game between Ole Miss and Texas A&M will be given away at Friday's match, and the first 500 fans in attendance will receive free t-shirts. For Ole Miss students, the match will serve as a double Rebel Rewards points match.
Each team won on the opposing team's floor last season, with the Bulldogs winning 3-2 in Oxford and Ole Miss topping Mississippi State 3-0 in Starkville.
Ole Miss opened conference play last weekend with a pair of road losses to Texas A&M and Missouri, which drew 1,981 fans and 2,332 fans, respectively. Getzin said a big crowd at the Gillom Center Friday night could help push the team against Mississippi State.
"It helps create an atmosphere where people are cheering for the things you do well," Getzin said. "Because of that, it helps our girls gain confidence and confidence always plays an important role in anyone's success. I think the crowd, because it is a smaller venue and everyone is so close to the action, plays a huge role for us."
Ole Miss has been led offensively this season by the play of junior outside hitter Kara Morgan, who has four double-doubles on the season and is averaging a team-high 3.22 kills per set. A Pickens, S.C., native, Morgan has recorded double-digit kills in eight matches this season and registered a career-high 20 kills in a five-set victory at Xavier earlier this year.
Senior setter Amanda Philpot has facilitated the Rebels' offense with a team-high 9.49 assists per set. The co-captain from Cincinnati, Ohio, has a team-high five double-doubles, including one triple-double (36 assists, 14 digs, 11 kills) in a three-set victory over Rice on Sept. 7. Philpot shined in the regular season tournaments to start the season, as she earned all-tournament honors for each of the three tournaments, including MVP honors at the Magnolia Invitational.
Senior libero Ashley Veach has been a defensive stalwart for the Rebels. Playing in her first season as the Rebels' libero, Veach's 5.02 digs per set average is currently the second highest in the SEC, and the 46th highest in the country. She tied the single-match program record against Xavier on Aug. 31 with a career-high 37 digs.
For all Ole Miss volleyball news and information, including a recap of Friday's match, live stats and results, go to OleMissSports.com. Follow the Rebels on Twitter at @OleMissVB and go to Facebook at Ole Miss Volleyball.
Ole Miss Athletics Week in ReviewMarch 24-30, 2015Women's Basketball-The Ole Miss women's basketball team saw its record setting season some to a close with a loss to Middle Tennessee in the third round of the WNIT. The Rebels closed the... read more
Ole Miss celebrated one of the most successful years in school history. The women's basketball team saw its season come to an end in the Sweet 16 of the Postseason WNIT. The football team continued spring practice, and we're now... read more
The SEC Network will air every SEC spring football game with multiple viewing opportunities on both television and the network's digital platforms. All 12 spring football games will be carried live and in full on SEC Network + with additional... read more
Through the first seven spring practices, or three weeks since the start of spring practice on March 3, there does not appear to be any separation between sophomores Ryan Buchanan and DeVante Kincade and junior college transfer Chad Kelly. Whether... read more
Ole Miss Athletics Week in Review March 17-23, 2015 Men's Basketball - Ole Miss scored 62 second-half points to overcome a 17-point halftime deficit, rallying past 11th-seeded BYU 94-90 in the first round of the NCAA Tournament on Tuesday. -... read more
The men's basketball team saw its run in the NCAA Tournament come to an end in the Round of 64 after a thrilling win in the First Four. The women's basketball team won two postseason WNIT games to continue its... read more
Junior left-hander Christian Trent and sophomore right-hander Brady Bramlett picked up quality starts on the mound, and the offensive provided some timely hits, which proved to be a winning formula as Ole Miss claimed the weekend series over No. 1... read more
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- A four-year starter at point guard, one of the most accomplished players in program history, senior Jarvis Summers saw his Ole Miss career come to an end, as did four of his fellow seniors in LaDarius White,... read more
From his five years at Cincinnati, three as an assistant coach and one each as associate head coach and interim head coach, head coach Andy Kennedy knows and has experienced the Xavier program first hand, having coached against the Musketeers... read more
Ole Miss has gone through a two-day turn twice, as well as a one-day turn when the Rebels played No. 23 Creighton and Cincinnati in back-to-back days at the Emerald Coast Classic, but they haven't gone through a turn quite... read more
Giant Killers come in many different shapes and forms in the NCAA Tournament. They are not just your teams from smaller and mid-major conferences, but also your lower-seeded power-conference teams. As defined by ESPN's Peter Keating and Jordan Brenner, Giants Killers... read more
March Madness reigned in Dayton, as 11th-seeded Ole Miss scored 62 second-half points to overcome a 17-point halftime deficit, rallying past 11th-seeded BYU 94-90 in the first round of the NCAA Tournament on Tuesday. The nation watched, and they reacted to... read more