The Ole Miss volleyball team extended its winning streak to 13 with a victory over Auburn in straight sets on Sunday.
The Rebels dispatched the Tigers with ease, cruising through much of the match with solid defense and efficient offense, especially from the middle blockers.
In the first set, Auburn claimed the first two points before the Rebels established themselves in the match. They quickly jumped out to a 12-6 lead but then had to fend off a ferocious response from the Tigers who narrowed the gap to two at 15-13. The Rebs responded with a run of their own to open the lead to seven which allowed them to cruise to the finish with a 25-21 victory in set one.
The second set was more competitive, and the visitors gave Ole Miss a decent scare with their solid response to dropping the first set. Auburn grabbed the lead right away and looked as if they were going to even things up before the Rebels went on a 7-2 run to even the score.
From there, the two teams were neck and neck in the battle to the finish. With just a one-point lead late in the set, Ole Miss scored on three straight points to complete the comeback and win.
The third set was a breeze for the Rebels who nearly led by double digits at one point in the blowout. Auburn put together a solid second half to narrow the gap but Ole Miss came out with a 25-18 win in the final set to wrap up the quick victory at home.
Senior middle blocker Nayo Warnell, who leads the SEC in hitting percentage, had a match-high 11 kills on a .524 hitting percentage along with four digs, two aces and one block.
Senior outside hitter Emily Stroup recorded just nine kills on a .192 clip, but also contributed 11 digs and two blocks. Freshman outside hitter Anna Bair also had nine kills on a disappointing .118 hitting percentage.
Junior setter Lauren Bars had 31 assists, 12 digs and two kills in a good effort. Sophomore middle blocker Aubrey Sultemeier had six kills on a .462 clip as well as two blocks and senior libero Nicole Purcell had an astonishing match on defense, recording 23 digs in just three sets as well as five assists and two aces.
“Over 20 digs per set as a team, led by Nicole Purcell,” head coach Steven McRoberts said after the match. “Purcy had 23 digs in three sets, I don’t know if that’s a record or not, but it’s got to be close to it for Ole Miss.”
The Rebs will play two matches at home this weekend against Arkansas on Friday and Texas A&M on Sunday. The Aggies pose a threat to Ole Miss’ SEC-best win streak but have been far better at home than on the road so far this season.
The Rebels could remain undefeated in the conference heading into a week with matchups against Georgia and No. 12 Kentucky.