Ole Miss Volleyball Falls To Kentucky
The Ole Miss Rebels volleyball team fell at home Friday night to Kentucky 3-0 (17-25, 18-25, 19-25) in a match in which the Wildcats hit at an impressive .548 clip. The loss was Ole Miss' (8-7, 2-4 Southeastern Conference) first at the Gillom Sports Center this season.
OXFORD, Miss. – After spending the last two weeks at home in the friendly confines of the Gillom Sports Center, the Ole Miss volleyball team will hit the road this weekend with matches at Kentucky and LSU.
Ole Miss (10-11, 4-8 Southeastern Conference) will face Kentucky (15-8, 9-4 SEC) on Friday at 6 p.m. CT. The Rebels will then take on LSU at 3 p.m. CT on Sunday, with the match being televised by Cox.
The Rebels will be facing a tough Kentucky team for the second time this season. Ole Miss fell 3-0 (17-25, 18-25, 19-25) to Kentucky in the two teams’ first meeting on Oct. 5. Ole Miss will be looking for its second win at Memorial Coliseum over the last three seasons. The Rebels swept UK 3-0 in 2010.
“When Kentucky was here I thought they played a very good match,” Ole Miss head coach Joe Getzin said. “How we can stop that a little bit is by changing some of our matchups. I don’t think we matched up well against them so I think we’ll try to match things up a little differently. We’ve got to respond to what they bring. Obviously, they’re a very good team.”
The Rebels will head south after Friday’s match to Baton Rouge, La., to take on the LSU Tigers. It will be the first matchup of the season between the two schools. Ole Miss won the two teams’ last meeting Oct. 23 of last season, a five-set thriller where the Rebels staved off six match points in the fourth set.
“It’s always a good match between (LSU and Ole Miss),” Getzin said. “They’re a team that is similar to Georgia and Auburn. They’re a very scrappy team. They’ll bring it from the beginning. Physically, we match up OK with them, it’s just a matter of us being able to hang in there long enough to have a game plan work for us.”
Ole Miss has been led offensively this season by junior outside hitter Kara Morgan, who is averaging 3.18 kills per set. Senior setter Amanda Philpot is passing out 9.08 assists per set, and defensively, senior libero Ashley Veach is fourth in the SEC with 4.44 digs per set.
The Rebels have had great production from its freshmen of late. In the last five matches, two of Ole Miss’ top three kill leaders are freshmen, with Ty Laporte (50 kills) just three kills behind Morgan. Similarly, the top two Rebels in blocks over the last five matches are freshmen, including Nakeyta Clair, who has led Ole Miss with 18.0 total blocks in the last five matches.
The Wildcats enter Friday’s match as winners of nine of their last 11 matches, including five 3-0 sweeps. UK won each of its two road matches last weekend over Tennessee and Georgia. Kentucky senior setter Christine Hartmann has been named the SEC Offensive Player of the Week in two of the last three weeks, and is third in the SEC with 10.75 assists per set.
LSU plays just one match this week. The Tigers have split its matches for six straight weekends in SEC action. LSU has been led offensively by Desiree Elliott (3.58 kills per set) and Madie Jones (3.56 kills per set), who each rank in the top 10 in kills in the SEC. LSU senior libero Meghan Mannari is currently second in the league with 4.83 digs per set.
For all Ole Miss volleyball news and information, including live stats, recaps 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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