OXFORD, Miss. – One night after defeating intrastate rival Mississippi State on the road, the Ole Miss volleyball team will now take a charter flight north to Knoxville, Tenn., to face the Tennessee Lady Vols on Friday before coming back home to Oxford to host Texas A&M on Sunday.
“We had a great win last night at Mississippi State, now we have to learn from that match and use that Friday at Tennessee,” Ole Miss head coach Joe Getzin said. “This is our fourth road match in the past eight days, but we’re feeling good and ready to compete against Tennessee.
“After that we’ll be excited to return home to the Gillom Center to play Texas A&M for the first time this season. Our offense has been clicking and our defense really stepped up last night. We’re hoping that will continue to be the case this weekend and we can get some results.”
Sophomore middle blocker Nakeyta Clair had a career-high 19 kills at Mississippi State, junior libero Cara Fisher had a career-high 17 digs, and freshman setter Aubrey Edie notched her team-high fifth double-double of the season with 42 assists and 12 digs.
The win was Ole Miss’ sixth in its past seven matches against Mississippi State, and its second on national TV against the Bulldogs dating back to 2010.
Ole Miss (12-12, 2-9 Southeastern Conference) hit at a .299 clip Wednesday night, but Getzin was especially pleased with the Rebels’ defense stepping up to the task at hand. The Rebels recorded 66 digs against the Bulldogs, their highest total since logging 67 in a five-set match at Georgia on Oct. 6, and their second-highest total in a four-set match this season.
Ole Miss is seeking its first season sweep of the Lady Vols (9-16, 1-10 SEC) since 2007 after the Rebels defeated Tennessee 3-1 (18-25, 27-25, 25-14, 25-19) on Oct. 18 in Oxford. Tennessee is led defensively by senior libero Ellen Mullins, who tops the SEC and is second nationally with 5.99 digs per set. Mullins, who has been named SEC Defensive Player of the Week three times this season, guides a Tennessee defense that leads the SEC in digs (18.21 digs per set). The Lady Vols’ dig total is 1.14 digs per set more than any other team in the conference.
The Rebels return home Sunday for their first home match since Oct. 20. It will be the first and only matchup of the season between Texas A&M (11-10, 3-7 SEC) and Ole Miss. The Aggies, as a team, enter the weekend ranked in the top-five in the league in hitting percentage (.244), assists (13.32 per set), kills (14.29 per set) and digs (15.70 per set). At the net, redshirt-freshman middle blocker Jazzmin Babers is second in the league in blocks, averaging 1.23 blocks per set.
Sunday is Military Appreciation day at the Gillom Sports Center. Retired and currently active military members will receive two free football tickets to the Ole Miss football game against Troy scheduled for Nov. 16.
For all Ole Miss volleyball news and information, including recaps, live stats and results, go to OleMissSports.com. Fans can also follow the Rebels on Twitter at @OleMissVB and on Facebook at Ole Miss Volleyball.
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