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.
On the transition as new hitting coach: The transition has been really good. The coaching staff has made it a lot easier on me than what it could be. It's definitely been a whirlwind. On what he knew about Ole... read more
UPDATE: Tuesday at 1:30 p.m.Here are more of Coach Freeze's interviews in Bristol. Scroll down to the earlier post to hear him on Ivan Maisel's podcast. Listen: Freeze on the Paul Finebaum Show Listen: Freeze on the Freddie Coleman ShowListen:... read more
All 14 Southeastern Conference football coaches will travel to ESPN's annual mid-summer football coaches "car wash" - in which guests appear across multiple programs and platforms over one day - at ESPN's Bristol, Conn., headquarters on Monday and Tuesday. Ole... read more
Ole Miss took its turn at the annual SEC Media Days on Thursday. Joining head coach Hugh Freeze was senior quarterback Bo Wallace, junior defensive end C.J. Johnson and senior safety Cody Prewitt. Here are a few related SEC Media... read more
Ole Miss head coach Hugh Freeze said on day one that his expectations were to make the program relevant in the Southeastern Conference Western Division. With a full allotment of 85 scholarship players and more depth of both sides of... read more
Once overshadowed, Wallace now finds himself more firmly in the spotlight after the departure of seven of the league's eight top passers. The dean of SEC quarterbacks, Wallace is the league's leading returner in total offense, passing yards and passing... read more
Before taking his turn at the podium in the main room at SEC Media Days on Thursday, head coach Hugh Freeze met with members of the Ole Miss local media and addressed a wide variety of topics. Here are some... read more
Ole Miss will take its turn at SEC Media Days on Thursday. Here are a few links to stories of interest for Ole Miss fans from Day Three of SEC Media Days, which featured Steve Shaw (SEC), Justin Connolly (ESPN),... read more
Ole Miss will take its turn at SEC Media Days on Thursday. Here are a few links to stories of interest for Ole Miss fans from Day Two of SEC Media Days, which featured South Carolina, Mississippi State, Texas A&M... read more
NFL.com CFB 24/7 has counted down the 14 college football players to watch -- and some other college football topics -- in varying categories in 2014. Below are the highlights for Ole Miss and the link to the complete 14... read more
Ole Miss will take its turn at SEC Media Days on Thursday. Here are a few links to stories of interest for Ole Miss fans from Day 1 of SEC Media Days, which featured SEC commissioner Mike Slive, Auburn, Florida... read more
Former Ole Miss player Zack Cozart, now a member of the Cincinnati Reds, was named the best defensive shortstop in baseball for the first half of the 2014 season. ESPN Insider Scott Spratt selected one player from either league at... read more
The Season: Ole Miss Baseball: Omaha Bound from Ole Miss Rebels on Vimeo. Chapter 1: Regionals from Ole Miss Rebels on Vimeo. Chapter 2: Super Regionals from Ole Miss Rebels on Vimeo. Chapter 3: CWS Games 1 & 2... read more
Three student-athletes and the head coach of each of the 14 Southeastern Conference football programs will participate in SEC Football Media Days, July 14-17, at the Hyatt Regency Birmingham - The Wynfrey Hotel in Hoover, Ala.Ole Miss will take its... read more