OXFORD, Miss. - After hitting the road for a long trip to Kentucky and LSU, the Ole Miss Rebels volleyball team (10-13, 4-10 Southeastern Conference) returns home to the friendly confines of the Gillom Sports Center on Friday and Sunday for matches against Tennessee and No. 16 Florida.
Tennessee (17-6, 10-4 SEC) and Florida (19-4, 13-1 SEC) are two of the SEC Eastern Division's top teams, ranking third and first, respectively, in the division. Ole Miss will face the Lady Vols, which are receiving votes in the latest American Volleyball Coaches' Association top 25, on Friday at 7:00 p.m. CT, and Florida on Sunday at 1:30 p.m. CT.
"They're two of the better teams in the conference," Ole Miss head coach Joe Getzin said. "They're both very physical teams. We're going to have to bring our A-game. Right now, we're still cleaning some things up on our side of the net. If we can take care of our first contact, our middle blockers have proven that they can play with anybody. Hopefully that continues to open up some things for other positions."
Friday is "International Students Day" at the Gillom Center, as each international student who prints the email sent to them by their department head and brings it to the match will receive two tickets to Saturday's football game against Vanderbilt.
Sunday, in honor of it being Veterans Day, Ole Miss volleyball is offering two Egg Bowl tickets to active duty and retired military personnel who attend the match. Service members must present an ID, and tickets will be given away after the second set against Florida.
Ole Miss will be playing Tennessee for the first time this season. The Lady Vols are the only team in the conference Ole Miss has yet to play in 2012. The two teams had a flare for the dramatic last season when they got together, as both matches went to five sets, with the Lady Vols taking home a victory in each.
The Rebels lost 3-0 (14-25, 12-25, 22-25) to Florida on the road earlier this season. Junior outside hitter Kara Morgan had team highs of 11 kills and eight digs against the Gators. Eight of Morgan's 11 kills in the match, and six of her eight digs came in the third set. Senior setter Amanda Philpot had a team-high 23 assists, and freshman middle blocker Ty Laporte finished with six kills, the second most on the team.
Ole Miss has been led offensively this season by Morgan, who is averaging 3.16 kills per set. Philpot is passing out 9.28 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 seven matches, two of Ole Miss' top three kill leaders are freshmen, with Laporte (76 kills) just one kill behind Morgan. Similarly, the top two Rebels in blocks over the last seven matches are freshmen, including Nakeyta Clair, who has led Ole Miss with 29 total blocks in the last seven matches.
Tennessee enters Friday night's match coming off its best conference win of the season, defeating Florida 3-2 in Gainesville, Fla. Tennessee junior outside hitter Kelsey Robinson is second in the SEC in kills, and senior middle blocker DeeDee Harrison is second in the league in blocks.
Despite its first conference loss of the season Sunday, Florida has had a great year in league play thus far, ranking inside the top four in the SEC in hitting percentage, opponent's hitting percentage, assists, kills and service aces. Florida outside hitter ÂÂ?iva Recek is the two-time reigning SEC Freshman of the Week, and a three-time honoree overall.
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.
Hugh Freeze and Ross Bjork embarked on the Rebel Road Trip, the baseball team claimed their weekend series over Alabama that featured the largest crowd of the season and the football program's NFL presence is expected to grow with the... read more
Ole Miss swept a doubleheader Saturday, defeating Alabama 10-2 in Game One and 4-0 in Game Two. As a pitching staff, the Rebels allowed just one earned run and scattered a combined 12 hits with 17 strikeouts compared to just... read more
Ole Miss head football coach Hugh Freeze will team with former All-SEC basketball player Sean Tuohy to represent the Rebels for the fourth straight year and compete for a share of the $520,000 total purse in the ninth annual Chick-fil-A... read more
Ole Miss Athletics Week in ReviewApril 14-20, 2015Men's Tennis- Ole Miss downed No. 22 Vanderbilt 4-1 to advance to the SEC Tournament semifinals for the 16th time in program history.- The Rebels rallied to take the doubles point and then got... read more
With a split of road matches at South Carolina and No. 8 Georgia, the Ole Miss men's tennis team moved up one spot to No. 13 in the nation entering the Southeastern Conference Men's Tennis Championship this week in College... read more
Ole Miss Athletics Week in Review April 7-13, 2015 Baseball - Ole Miss finished the week with a 2-2 mark to remain a .500 overall record for the season (18-18) as well as 7-8 in SEC play. After dropping a... read more
The baseball team claimed claimed their second series of the second over the nation's top-ranked team in dramatic fashion. The football team wrapped up spring practice. And the men's and women's tennis teams closed out their respective regular seasons and... read more
At one point, co-offensive coordinator Dan Werner said, all three quarterbacks had completed around 66 percent of their passes, a testament to how close the competition has been this spring. Going into the Grove Bowl, Freeze said one had a... read more
Former Ole Miss head coach Billy Brewer almost did not sign Chucky Mullins, whose memory has been honored with the Chucky Mullins Courage Award. Nate Wayne, a four-year letterman for the Rebels and the 1997 recipient of the award, who... read more
#RebelNation here are the Red and Blue rosters for tomorrow's Regions Bank Grove Bowl. See you there! pic.twitter.com/FZptUEkW4P-- Ole Miss Football (@OleMissFB) April 10, 2015 Three areas to watch as Ole Miss splits into two teams for the annual Regions... read more
Junior cornerback Tee Shepard's story has been well-documented. Shepard is hearing impaired, but since he has arrived at Ole Miss, he has been the beneficiary of new hearing technology that has allowed him to hear sounds, such as a coach's... read more