Ole Miss Starts Homestand This Weekend
Oct. 14, 1999
OXFORD, Miss. - The Ole Miss Lady Rebel volleyball team will start a homestand this weekend against Kentucky and Tennessee that will see them play seven of their next eight matches in Oxford.
The Lady Rebels will take on Kentucky on Friday at 7:00 p.m. and Tennessee on Sunday at 2:00 p.m. The match against Tennessee, being broadcast by College Sports Southeast, will be aired on a tape delayed basis on Galaxy cable in Oxford. The time and date will be announced later.
Ole Miss (8-9, 0-5 SEC) is trying pick up its first conference win against Kentucky (9-8, 2-4 SEC), ranked last in the SEC East, and coming off losses to Arkansas and LSU last weekend. Tennessee (11-8, 4-2 SEC) is ranked third in the east and split last weekend, defeating LSU while losing to Arkansas.
"We have been working all week on being intense from the start to the finish of each game," said Ole Miss head coach John Blair. "When we play at that level of intensity, we are as good as anyone we've seen this year, including Florida."
The Lady Rebels are led by senior team captain Lauren Dorcheus, who ranks seventh in the SEC in attacking percentage. She has hit above .500 five times already this season, including a .773 against Fordham, the 12th highest match percentage in NCAA history.
Sophomore Jaime Burns, who ranks seventh in kills in the SEC, has led the team in kills in nine matches this season, including both matches last weekend.
Defensively, sophomore Abby Burns has been on the upswing. She recorded a career high 11 blocks in her last outing, the most individual blocks by a Lady Rebel this season. Fellow sophomore Leigh Rittiner has also stepped up. She had 10 blocks last week, including seven against Georgia.
The Lady Rebels now enter the heart of the conference schedule. With 10 conference games remaining, they will need to turn things around to get a bid to this year's conference tournament, which invites only the top eight of the 11 SEC teams at the end of the regular season. This marks a departure from previous years, when all teams were invited to the tournament.
"We need to play with the same level of intensity from 0-0 until we get 15 points.," said Blair. "If we start doing that in more games, we will start seeing more wins."
Kentucky leads the series against Ole Miss 20-6, while Tennessee leads the series 19-4. Ole Miss last defeated Kentucky in 1997 in Lexington. The Lady Rebels have not defeated Tennessee since a 3-0 shutout in Knoxville in 1995. This will be the first time the Lady Rebels have faced either opponent in the Women's Sports Complex.
The Lady Rebels encourage all students to come out and support the team. The first 25 students at each of the remaining conference matches will receive a free volleyball t-shirt.
Friday and Sunday, Ole Miss will also celebrate Parent's Weekend, when the families of the Lady Rebels are invited to Oxford to enjoy Ole Miss volleyball.
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