The past few days did not go as planned for the Rebels (4-3). The volleyball team won just a single match over the long weekend, an outlier against Virginia Tech Friday.
The Ole Miss volleyball team’s only win this weekend came against Virginia Tech in a highly contested 3-2 match filled with frequent lead changes. After the Hokies dropped this game to the Rebels, they went on to dominate the rest of the tournament, and Ole Miss remains the only team to have beaten them this year.
Against Virginia Tech, the Rebels started fast and strong, crushing the first set 25-16, eventually climbing to a five-set victory that would go down in the record books for Ole Miss.
During the fifth set, Ole Miss allowed the fewest points in school history, booking a 15-3 win. The Rebels played aggressively and attacked the whole match, outnumbering the Hokies in both kills and aces.
In addition to the win, senior Lexi Thompson joined teammate Kate Gibson as a member of the 1,000/1,000 club for digs and kills after tallying an impressive 15 digs against Virginia Tech. Thompson also grabbed the 39th double-double of her career.
The game against Southern Methodist University was far closer than the final set score appears; every set was decided by five points or fewer. Ole Miss grabbed the first but could not collect another win. Rebel sophomore Emily Stroup pulled ahead of the pack and racked up a career 21 kills on her way to being named to the All-Tournament Team.
Stroup managed to lead the way offensively all weekend with 46 kills, averaging out to 3.54 kills per set. After a successful weekend for the sophomore, she now leads the team in kills at 94 on the season, one ahead of Thompson.
Although Thompson posted her fifth double-double of the season, Ole Miss failed to beat Arkansas State and struggled to stay competitive all match (19-25, 19-25, 25-21, 18-25). The Red Wolves dominated the match and thoroughly outplayed the Rebels, tallying more attacks, kills, set assists and aces.
Ole Miss could not handle the fire power Arkansas State delivered. By the fourth set, fatigue had set in, and it failed to grab a lead before eventually dropping the match.
On a positive note, Thompson hit a season-high .367 against Arkansas State, and Kate Gibson found her fourth double-double of the season with 11 kills and 11 digs against Arkansas State. Stroup racked up a team-high 46 kills throughout the tournament, as well.
Despite the losses, the Rebels still lead the all-time series 26-18 against Arkansas State and sit at 2-2 all-time against SMU.
Ole Miss volleyball returns to action at 11 a.m. Thursday in the Gillom Sports Center for its opening match in the Ole Miss Classic Tournament against Northwestern State. The tournament will be available on SEC Network.