Rebels Travel To No. 7 Missouri, Arkansas

Cara Fisher and the Rebels face No. 7 Missouri and Arkansas on the road this weekend.

Cara Fisher and the Rebels face No. 7 Missouri and Arkansas on the road this weekend.

Oct. 31, 2013

OXFORD, Miss. – Following an open week in which the Ole Miss volleyball team was able to rest and recuperate, the Rebels will hit the road this week with matches at No. 7 Missouri and Arkansas on Friday and Sunday, respectively.

The Rebels (11-10, 1-7 Southeastern Conference) will face the SEC-leading Tigers (25-0, 9-0 SEC) at 6:30 p.m. CT on Friday, and will then face Arkansas (13-9, 6-5 SEC) on Sunday at 1:30 p.m. CT. It will be Ole Miss’ first and only match against Missouri this season, and it is the Rebels’ second matchup against the Razorbacks.

“The bye week was greatly appreciated and much needed, more for little nagging injuries like tendonitis in the jumpers’ knees and shoulders, that type of thing,” Ole Miss head coach Joe Getzin said. “Missouri is undefeated and in the top 10 in the country right now. They’re playing very strong and with a lot of seniors on the floor. It will be a good match. Our kids are excited to play that match, just to see where we stack up against one of the best teams in the country, let alone the conference. Then we go to Arkansas and face a really tough Razorback team. With the bye weekend beforehand we made sure the kids caught up academically and so forth. We’re looking forward to it.”

Ole Miss’ two road matches Friday and Sunday kick start a very busy stretch for the Rebels in which they will play five matches in 10 days, including four road matches in the opening eight days of the stretch. After the Rebels’ match against Arkansas on Sunday, Ole Miss heads to Mississippi State on Wednesday, followed by a match against Tennessee two days later. Ole Miss finishes the trip at home with a match against Texas A&M on Sunday, Nov. 10.

“We’re afforded a great luxury being able to charter a flight to all of those matches except Mississippi State - we’ll drive over the morning of,” Getzin said. “That cuts down on some of the wear and tear on them. It’s just about staying focused.”

In the two teams’ last meeting one season ago, Ole Miss defeated Missouri 3-1 (25-17, 25-21, 19-25, 25-21) behind a team-high 19 kills from outside hitter Kara Morgan. Ole Miss lost a tough match to Arkansas on Sept. 27 in each team’s SEC opener this season. The Razorbacks won each of the opening two sets in extra points, and wound up taking the match 3-0 (24-26, 28-30, 18-25).

Ole Miss has been led offensively this season by sophomore middle blockers Ty Laporte and Nakeyta Clair. Laporte is averaging a team-high 2.58 kills per set, and is second on the team with a .268 hitting percentage and 0.80 blocks per set. Clair leads the Rebels with a .295 hitting percentage and 1.25 blocks per set, which is the third highest blocking average in the conference. Clair is also second on the team with a 2.24 kills per set average. Freshman setter Aubrey Edie is passing out 8.89 assists per set, and junior libero Cara Fisher has 2.02 digs per set.

Missouri enters Friday’s match with a top-two ranking in the SEC in hitting percentage, opponent’s hitting percentage, assists, kills, blocks and service aces. Mizzou senior setter Molly Kreklow, who is the niece of head coach Wayne Kreklow, leads the SEC and is second nationally with 12.61 assists per set, and junior middle blocker Whitney Little is second in the conference and second nationally with a .493 hitting percentage.

Arkansas has been led offensively by junior outside hitter Meredith Hays, who enters the weekend with a 3.99 kills per set average, which is the fourth highest mark in the league. Senior libero Emily Helm is third in the SEC with 4.61 digs per set.

For all Ole Miss volleyball news and information, including recaps, live stats and results, go to Fans can also follow the Rebels on Twitter at @OleMissVB and on Facebook at Ole Miss Volleyball.

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