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.
It's sometimes easy to forget where the Ole Miss football program was just three short years ago, when Hugh Freeze was interviewing for the head coaching position. The Rebels had won just two games in 2011 and had lost 14... read more
Ole Miss Athletics Week in ReviewNov. 10-16, 2014Women's Basketball- The Ole Miss women's basketball team opened up the 2014-15 season with two wins over the weekend. The Rebels took down Grambling 92-67 in the season opener on Friday and followed... read more
The Ole Miss football team was off, but it was a busy week in Ole Miss athletics nevertheless, as the men's and women's basketball teams opened their respective seasons. Here are some thoughts and opinions on the week that was:-... read more
No. 10 Ole Miss was without several starters and regular contributors against Presbyterian, and many others were limited. But given an extra week of rest, head coach Hugh Freeze said he expects everyone, with the exception of the players out... read more
Ole Miss Athletics Week in ReviewNov. 3-9, 2014Football- Ole Miss took a break from the rugged Southeastern Conference and earned a 48-0 shutout win over Presbyterian on Saturday.- It was the Rebels' first shutout since beating Tulane 39-0 in 2012.-... read more
Austin Miller handled all of this week's edition of the Observations from the Best Seat in the House. Check out what he had to say below:- The nation's best scoring defense finally got its first shutout of the season, as... read more
Ole Miss racked up the second-most yards in school history, totaling 640 yards, including 402 yards on the ground, in a 48-0 rout of Presbyterian. The Rebels were able to limit the reps for several players in the contest, with... read more
Three areas to watch as No. 11 Ole Miss hosts FCS opponent Presbyterian in its final non-conference matchup of the regular season. Execute, Stay Heathy Saturday's game with Presbyterian is more about Ole Miss than its opponent, as the team's... read more
With injuries mounting on both sides of the ball, Saturday's game against Presbyterian presents an opportunity for young players and backups to gain experience and make an impression on the coaching staff. Among those injured players, head coach Hugh Freeze... read more
A question we keep hearing is what needs to happen in order for the Rebels to get to the SEC Championship game. It's pretty simple, just cheer for the home team. The lone exception to that notion is Ole Miss'... read more
Ole Miss Athletics Week in ReviewOct. 27-Nov. 2, 2014Football- No. 4 Ole Miss lost a heartbreaker to No. 3 Auburn on Saturday night, 35-31.- In addition to losing the game, the Rebels lost star receiver Laquon Treadwell on what looked... read more
In this week's edition of Observations from the Best Seat in the House, Metz Camfield and I teamed up to give you our thoughts and opinions of the week that was in Ole Miss athletics. There's a lot on our... read more
Dragging an Auburn defender on what initially looked to be a go-ahead touchdown, Laquon Treadwell fought his way toward the end zone, but had his ankle rolled over and fumbled into the end zone. In the moments that followed, the... read more