OXFORD, Miss. – One week after opening Southeastern Conference play, the Ole Miss volleyball team (10-5, 0-2 SEC) will embark upon its first SEC road swing beginning Friday and continuing through Sunday as the Rebels face No. 19 Kentucky and Georgia, respectively.
The Rebels face Kentucky (10-3, 2-0 SEC) at historic Memorial Coliseum in Lexington, Ky., on Friday at 6:00 p.m. CT. Ole Miss will then fly down to Athens, Ga., to compete against Georgia (11-3, 1-1 SEC) on Sunday at 12:30 p.m. CT.
“We have a very good Kentucky team and a very solid Georgia team that went down to LSU and beat them in five (sets),” Ole Miss head coach Joe Getzin said. “The SEC is tough. It is a very good conference volleyball wise. Now we have to go on the road and do it.”
Ole Miss is 5-2 on the road so far this season, going 2-1 at the season-opening GW Invitational in Washington, D.C., and 3-1 at the TCU Nike/Molten Invitational in Fort Worth, Texas. The Rebels finished second at each tournament.
Sophomore middle blockers Nakeyta Clair and Ty Laporte have led the Rebels offensively this season. The former SEC All-Freshman selections are first and second on the team in kills, hitting percentage and blocks. Clair is averaging 2.24 kills per set on a .320 hitting percentage and 1.19 blocks per set, which ranks sixth in the conference. Laporte has a team-high 2.42 kills per set while attacking at a .295 clip. The Irmo, S.C., native is also averaging 0.79 blocks per set.
The Rebels’ youth has seen a large amount of playing time this season. Alongside second-year student-athletes Clair and Laporte, Ole Miss has started four newcomers in each of the past nine matches, including three freshmen, and senior Kara Morgan.
Freshman Kristen Brashear has started every match at the libero position, and ranks 12th in the league with 3.54 digs per set and first among freshmen. The Louisville, Ky., native set an Ole Miss single-match freshman record earlier this season when she had 28 digs in a four-set victory at George Washington.
Melanie Crow has started each match as the Rebels’ right side hitter. The freshman currently leads the team in SEC matches with 2.67 kills per set. Her .264 hitting percentage on the season is the third best on the team.
Aubrey Edie, a freshman from Fayetteville, Ark., has been Ole Miss’ setter in each of the past nine matches. Edie is averaging 8.90 assists per set on the season, 10th best in the SEC and second among freshmen.
Kentucky enters Friday’s matchup riding a five-match winning streak, including a pair of road wins last week at Auburn and Alabama. UK senior Whitney Billings is the league’s reigning player of the week after logging a pair of double-doubles against the Tigers and Crimson Tide. In addition to Billings, fellow senior Alexandra Morgan is the reigning SEC Defensive Player of the Week.
Georgia went 1-1 in its opening week of SEC action. The Bulldogs topped LSU in Baton Rouge, La., in five sets before falling on the road at Texas A&M. Of Georgia’s 11 wins this season, eight have come in the form of 3-0 sweeps. Senior Stacey Smith and junior Lauren Teknipp are each averaging 2.62 kills per set to lead the UGA attack, and senior libero Allison Summers is third in the SEC with 4.79 digs per set.
For all Ole Miss volleyball news and information, including daily recaps, live stats and results, go to OleMissSports.com. Fans can follow the Rebels on Twitter at @OleMissVB and on Facebook at Ole Miss Volleyball.
Ole Miss fell 17-10 in overtime to intrastate rival Mississippi State, but the Rebels' one score provided a special moment for two of the team's unsung players. Down 7-0 with 31 seconds left in the first half, Ole Miss called... read more
Ole Miss sent seniors Kellie Goss and Kara Morgan out with a win as the Rebels topped LSU 3-2 on Senior Night. "It was a great win," head coach Joe Getzin said. "We tweaked the lineup, and one of our... read more
One of the core values for the Ole Miss football program is mental toughness. With a rivalry game in a hostile environment, it will carry a greater importance. "You're going into a hostile environment, and that's the biggest thing," offensive... read more
The Egg Bowl returns to Thanksgiving night for the first time since 2003, which is also the last time Ole Miss won in Starkville. Thursday's game is the 110th meeting of one of the nation's most-played rivalries and the 86th... read more
Ole Miss had its four-game winning streak snapped with a 24-10 loss to No. 8 Missouri on Saturday night. The 24th-ranked Rebels now face a quick turnaround as they travel to face intrastate rival Mississippi State on Thursday night in... read more
Head coach Hugh Freeze meets with members of the media following Wednesday's practice.Ole Miss is the only school in the upper half of the SEC statistical rankings in every major offensive and defensive category. This week, the Rebels face one... read more
Photo Gallery Courtney Cunningham is a builder. While playing volleyball for Ole Miss from 2009-11, Cunningham helped build the Rebels into an NCAA Tournament team while also earning her civil engineering degree. From that degree, Cunningham is helping build... read more
There's a different air surrounding this week's primetime showdown with No. 8 Missouri, the Rebels' first top-10 test since a 27-24 win over then-No. 6 LSU back on Oct. 19. "It's a huge week for us," junior quarterback Bo Wallace... read more
Freshman wide receiver Laquon Treadwell caught a short pass from junior quarterback Bo Wallace, made six Troy defenders miss and dove into the end zone for a 25-yard touchdown. It was the start of a historic day for the Ole... read more
Ole Miss won its second ever NCAA Tournament game and set a school record for wins in a season with 16, as seven different Rebels scored in a 9-0 win over Jackson State Friday night. No. 22-ranked Ole Miss (16-5-2)... read more
Tony Dungy, who won a Super Bowl as head coach of the Indianapolis Colts, visited campus Wednesday. He spent time with head coach Hugh Freeze, spoke to the team and signed the equipment room Wall of Fame. "He's one of... read more
Ole Miss is bowl eligible for the second straight year under head coach Hugh Freeze after a 34-24 win over Arkansas this past Saturday. The Rebels are also 6-3 for the first time since 2009, when the started 8-3 before... read more
After Ole Miss took a 20-10 lead into halftime, the momentum swung in favor of Arkansas after an interception, a touchdown-scoring drive and a defensive three-and-out to start the third quarter. Now leading 20-17, senior quarterback Barry Brunetti converted a... read more
Junior guard Jarvis Summers scored a career-high 28 points to lift Ole Miss past Troy, 69-54, in Saturday's season opener in the Tad Smith Coliseum. He shot 52.6 percent (10-of-19) from the field, including 5-for-10 from 3-point range. "He was... read more