The Ole Miss volleyball team took on the Tennessee Volunteers Friday night, and the Rebels took the win after four sets, snagging their fourth SEC victory on the season.
After picking up their third SEC win last week against a good Arkansas team, Ole Miss looked to continue their strong play and offensive efficiency and move up in the SEC standings.
In the first set, both teams battled for the lead as Tennessee went in to the timeout leading 15-13. Following the break, the Rebels went on a 6-1 run to take a 19-16 lead. A kill by senior Ty Laporte would give the Rebels the win in the first set 25-21.
The Vols didn’t go down without a fight, as they came out of the break and into the second set down 5-2 before making a surge and going on an 8-1 run, going up 10-6 and forcing Ole Miss to call a timeout. The Rebels were able to tie it at 17, but Tennessee remained resilient. A kill by sophomore Kate Gibson put the Rebels down only one at 22-21, but the Vols won the final three points to take the set 25-21.
In the third set, the Rebels came out hot as they built a 10-6 lead forcing the Vols to take an early timeout. Kills by Lexi Thompson and Ty Laporte helped the Rebels build on their lead as they went up 16-9. The Rebels continued to roll over the Volunteers in the third set as Aubrey Edie’s dump put Ole Miss up 21-12. The Rebels would take the set 25-13.
The fourth set was back and forth as neither team was able to gain more than a three point lead. Tied up at 20, the Rebels would find some ground on two kills by Lexi Thompson and Kathryn Cather. Ole Miss’ defense would also play a huge role with a block at the net by Cather and Laporte to put the Rebels up 24-20. Tennessee erased one match point but an error on the next play gave the Rebels the set 25-21 and the match 3-1.
Laporte totaled 11 kills to go with her six blocks.
Senior Nakeyta Claire made history with the win when she broke the previous school record for total of blocks. Claire also had a season high in blocks as she totaled 13 blocks for the game and 388 for her career.
Edie finished the night, dishing out 42 assists, four kills and three blocks.
“It’s going to be tough, we have to get over this win fast,” said head coach Steven McRoberts. “We’ll give it our best shot.”
With Friday’s win, the Rebels moved up to sixth in the SEC standings as they prepare to take on number 21 Kentucky at home before hitting the road next week to take on Georgia and South Carolina.