Bouncing Back From Injury

OLEMISSSPORTSDOTCOM
Senior outside hitter Kara Morgan now has 882 kills in her Rebel career, which ranks fourth on the career kills list at Ole Miss.

OLEMISSSPORTSDOTCOM
Senior outside hitter Kara Morgan now has 882 kills in her Rebel career, which ranks fourth on the career kills list at Ole Miss.
OLEMISSSPORTSDOTCOM

Nov. 6, 2013

By Austin Miller, OleMissSports.com

OXFORD, Miss. — Senior outside hitter Kara Morgan has had to adapt and change on the volleyball floor coming off labrum surgery in March.

Last year, the Pickens, S.C., native led Ole Miss offensively with a team-high 311 kills (3.02 kills per set), which is the third most in single-season program history. This year, she ranks fifth on the team with 151 kills (1.80 k/s) but has also improved other aspects of her game.

More importantly, as one of two seniors on this year’s team, Morgan has provided leadership on a roster dominated by underclassmen.

“It sucks being injured for my senior year, but just coming back and being able to experience the game in a different way, maybe not be as successful as I had been, has changed me as a player and person for the better,” Morgan said. “I definitely don’t hit as hard as I used to, so I have had to change my game and be more crafty as a player, learn new shots and do different things. It’s not all about swinging as hard as I can every single time.”

“She’s been a four-year starter for us,” head coach Joe Getzin said. “Unfortunately with an injury this last spring, I don’t think she’s been quite at the top of her game as she would like in her senior year. I’ve been really proud of her because of the way she’s stayed in there. Recently she’s really come on strong defensively and passing-wise. Kara’s been a good leader for us her whole career here.”

Prior to the season, after surgery, it was four months of rehab every day.

“It was tough, and there were times where my arm hurt and I didn’t want to do it,” Morgan said. “(Ole Miss athletics trainer) Meredith Pendergast was literally with me every single day, even on the weekends. She pushed me to be better and come back when I did. Without her, I wouldn’t have been back in four months.”

Morgan has played in and started all 23 matches this year but said she has only started to feel like herself the last two and a half to three weeks of the season.

She recently moved into fourth-place on the career kills list at Ole Miss after recording nine total kills at Missouri and Arkansas this past week. Morgan now has 882 kills in her Rebel career, passing a pair of former teammates in Regina Thomas and Allegra Wells along the way.

“It means a lot to me,” Morgan said. “It’s nice to be in the record books, but it’s more about how successful our team has been in the past and how successful our team has made me because I couldn’t do it without a team. It’s cool.

“Regina is one of the best players we have ever had here, and Allegra had a big influence on our team and the program, too, so it’s good to be recognized with players like them.”

Morgan has some individual and team goals in mind as the Rebels enter their eight remaining regular season matches this season, including tonight’s primetime showdown on the road against Mississippi State (7 p.m., ESPNU).

“My last games here, we want to grow as a program, and I want to do everything I can to help my team win,” Morgan said. “We have been struggling some this year, but the last eight games are going to be a growing and learning process for all of us.

“I want people to remember me as a good teammate and someone who they can look up to and someone who’s going work hard every single game and every single play and always put it out on the floor.”

Austin Miller is a writer and blogger for OleMissSports.com. He joined the staff in June 2013 after serving as sports editor of the Daily Mississippian. Follow him on Twitter @austinkmiller

Ole Miss Gear
    Facebook
    Twitter
    Blog
    • VIDEO: Get Up. It's GameDay.

      Thursday, October 2, 2014 - Football

      read more

    • Rebels Knock Off Defending SEC Champs

      Wednesday, October 1, 2014 -

      Playing in front of a nationally-televised audience on the SEC Network, the Ole Miss volleyball team notched their biggest win of the season, knocking off defending SEC Champion Missouri in three sets. The win also snaps the Tigers' 20-match SEC... read more

    • Freeze, Saban Preview Saturday's SEC Showdown

      Wednesday, October 1, 2014 - Football

      Highlights from Ole Miss head coach Hugh Freeze and Alabama head coach Nick Saban on the SEC teleconference Wednesday, ahead of Saturday's much-anticipated matchup. For the full SEC teleconference, go here. Alabama head coach Nick Saban (starts at 36:16 mark)... read more

    • Striking The Right Balance Offensively

      Tuesday, September 30, 2014 - Football

      Ole Miss has been held under 100 yards rushing in each of its last meetings with Alabama, a 33-14 loss in 2012 and a 25-0 loss in 2013. Running the ball effectively and finding a balance is one area, the... read more

    • 3 Things About Gameday - Ole Miss vs. Alabama

      Tuesday, September 30, 2014 - Football

      read more

    • Ole Miss Athletics Week in Review (Sept. 22-28)

      Monday, September 29, 2014 - Athletics

      Ole Miss Athletics Week in ReviewSept. 22-28, 2014Football- No. 10 Ole Miss used a dominant defensive effort to put away Memphis 24-3 on Saturday, setting up one of the biggest games in recent history this coming Saturday against the Alabama... read more

    • PHOTOS: Week-Long Timeline of Powder Blues

      Monday, September 29, 2014 - Football

      1. Tuesday 9/23 at 4PM @CoachHughFreeze reveals the helmets to the @olemissfb team at team meeting. pic.twitter.com/8jpVCvny4p— OleMissPix (@OleMissPix) September 29, 2014 2. Wed 9/24 at 4PM @OleMissFB practice hidden indoors so that team practice in helmets for safety reasons. pic.twitter.com/vA0Oo6Ps7S— OleMissPix (@OleMissPix) September... read more

    • Observations from the Best Seat in the House

      Sunday, September 28, 2014 - Athletics

      It's Sunday, so that means it's time for this week's Observations from the Best Seat in the House. I'll handle the bulk of the notes this week, but we also have some insight from Austin Miller here as well. Let's... read more

    • Upset Bid Falls Short Against No. 10 A&M

      Sunday, September 28, 2014 - Soccer

      Seeking its first win over a top-10 team since 2009, Ole Miss took a 1-0 lead but fell short to No. 10 Texas A&M, 2-1, Sunday afternoon. "I'm really happy with the team's performance," head coach Matt Mott said. "I'm... read more

    • Defense Honors Mullins with Dominant Effort

      Saturday, September 27, 2014 - Football

      Wearing the lighter blue helmets for the first time since 1994 to honor the late Chucky Mullins, the Ole Miss defense also honored his memory with perhaps the most dominant defensive performance of the Hugh Freeze Era. "Chucky would have... read more

    • VIDEO: Ole Miss-Memphis Motivational

      Saturday, September 27, 2014 - Football

      Ole Miss vs Memphis: Official Team Motivational from Ole Miss Rebels on Vimeo.... read more

    • Three and Out: Keys to Ole Miss-Memphis

      Saturday, September 27, 2014 - Football

      Three areas to watch as No. 10 Ole Miss faces Memphis Saturday. Battle of the Quarterbacks Ole Miss and Memphis have both gotten steady quarterback play, as both teams rank inside the top-15 nationally in scoring offense.  Senior quarterback Bo... read more

    • Rebels Rebound with Hard-Fought Draw

      Thursday, September 25, 2014 - Soccer

      Playing in their fourth overtime game of the season, the Ole Miss soccer team played Arkansas to a 1-1 double-overtime draw on Thursday night.  The teams combined for 30 shots, including 13 on goal, but the game was characterized more... read more

    • 3 Things About Gameday - Ole Miss vs. Memphis

      Thursday, September 25, 2014 - Football

      read more

    • Freeze Stresses Focus, Attention Ahead of Memphis

      Thursday, September 25, 2014 - Football

      Highlights from Ole Miss head coach Hugh Freeze's time on the SEC teleconference Wednesday, ahead of the Rebels' matchup with Memphis on Saturday (6:30 p.m. CT, Fox Sports Net). Freeze's time on the call begins at the 1:21:20 mark. For... read more