OXFORD, Miss. – Following a tough week at home against Kentucky and Arkansas, the Ole Miss volleyball team (8-8, 2-5 Southeastern Conference) will now hit the road for another tough trip against No. 11 Florida and Georgia.
The Rebels face Florida (13-2, 7-0 SEC) on Friday at 6:00 p.m. CT at the Stephen C. O’Connell Center in Gainesville, Fla. Ole Miss will then close out the weekend with a 12:30 p.m. CT match against Georgia (9-7, 3-4 SEC) on Sunday.
“Florida and Georgia each present unique challenges to us,” Ole Miss head coach Joe Getzin said. “Florida is a big, well-balanced team that is on top of the SEC right now for a reason. They’re a very good team.
“Georgia is a match that will come down to serving and passing. That’s something we’ve been working on becoming more consistent at because we can be really good at it. Georgia is playing extremely well right now. Their coach is entering her second year there and it’s obvious her players have bought into her system. They are a very tough team to play.”
Junior outside hitter Kara Morgan continues to lead the Rebels’ attack, averaging 3.25 kills per set in all matches. Morgan’s 3.50 kills per set average in conference matches is the 10th best in the league. On defense, senior libero Ashley Veach ranks second in the SEC with 4.68 digs per set. Senior setter Amanda Philpot continues to drive Ole Miss with 9.24 assists per set, 1.86 kills per set, and 2.25 digs per set.
Ole Miss lost a pair of matches at home last weekend to two teams ranked inside the top 20 in the NCAA RPI. The Rebels fell 3-0 (17-25, 18-25, 19-25) to Kentucky on Friday, and dropped a 3-1 (25-22, 16-25, 21-25, 13-25) decision to Arkansas on Sunday afternoon.
The Gators enter Friday’s match as the SEC’s lone unbeaten team in conference play. Florida is coming off a 3-0 victory over Arkansas and rallied for a 3-2 victory over Kentucky in which it trailed 2-0.
Florida has at least one player ranked inside the top six in the SEC in overall matches in every major statistical category. Gators freshman outside hitter ?iva Recek is currently fourth in the conference in kills per set, and is the reigning SEC Offensive Player of the Week.
The Bulldogs enter Sunday’s match coming off a long, up-and-down week in which they won and lost a pair of five-set matches. Georgia defeated LSU on the road 3-2 in a midweek match that was featured on ESPNU. The Bulldogs then went toe-to-toe on the road against Tennessee, but fell 3-2 after winning the first two sets.
Ole Miss is 14-37 all-time against Georgia, and is 9-9 against the Bulldogs in the Getzin Era. The Rebels are 3-3 against the Bulldogs in Athens, Ga., dating back to 2006. UGA middle blocker Jasmine Eaton is the reigning SEC Freshman of the Week after recording nine kills and a season-high eight blocks at LSU, and five kills, six digs and four blocks against Tennessee.
For all Ole Miss volleyball news and information, including recaps, live stats and results, go to OleMissSports.com. Follow the Rebels on Twitter at @OleMissVB and go to Facebook at Ole Miss Volleyball.
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