It was a tough day on the court for the Rebels as the Auburn Tigers prevailed in a four-game match. Though Auburn is comfortably ahead of the Rebels in the standings, Ole Miss desperately needed this win to keep momentum going. After starting out the year poorly, Ole Miss seemed to have straightened the ship in SEC play as they won six of seven in the middle of the season. But that hot streak seems to be fading with recent losses to Tennessee, South Carolina and now Auburn. Losing Friday signaled the first time that Ole Miss has dropped back-to-back games since September.
Ole Miss walked out a starting seven of Cammy Niesen, Payton Brgoch, Samantha Schnitta, Vivian Miller, Sasha Ratliff, Aly Borellis and Anna Bair. The first set was competitive to say the least. After a massive comeback, Ole Miss managed to force a tiebreaker but lost 25-27 and Auburn jumped to a one-game lead. The Rebels tied the match up after dominating the second set 25-15, but Auburn came out just as fiery in the third set and once again took the lead after winning 15-25. The final set was close, but the Tigers prevailed and landed a 23-25 victory, giving them a 1-3 match win.
It was a quiet scoring day as just 52 of the Rebels’ 88 points came off kills. Miller led the team with 14 and Schnitta “Tha Hitta” logged her third straight game with double digits kills after turning in 11 on the night. Interestingly, Ole Miss had just three players record an assist, and as always Borellis was right at the top of the list with 39. Borellis leads the team in assists this year with 831, which is 628 more than the runner up. Defensively it was Niesen leading the charge. She recorded 17 diggs, which was the most in the game across both teams.
Ole Miss has just four games remaining in the regular season. Next weekend the Rebels will travel to Athens to play Georgia in a double-header before coming back home for a final stand against the Florida Gators. Georgia and Florida are ranked first and third in the conference standings with 11 losses combined, so closing out the season will be difficult. Ole Miss needs to win three of their remaining games to finish with a winning record in the SEC, and all of their games if they want to finish with a winning record overall.