The Ole Miss volleyball team lost their second consecutive match on Wednesday, falling to Georgia 3-1 on the road.
The Rebels were competitive in each of the first three sets but could not take advantage of the opportunities that arose.
The first set was back-and-forth through the first half, and Ole Miss remained in striking position down 10-12. The Bulldogs exploded from that point, scoring eight of the next 10 points to take a commanding 20-14 lead. The Rebels responded with a scoring spurt of their own to bring the score to 20-22, and had an opportunity to complete the comeback down just two points. Instead, they conceded a kill and back-to-back service aces to drop the first set 20-25.
They were fortunate to stay in the set in the early stages, earning their first three points in the second frame by way of Georgia errors. After short waves of scoring back-and-forth the Rebels led 10-7 when the Bulldogs went on an absolutely dominant eight-point run. They scored five points on kills and three on aces, dicing up the Ole Miss defense with ease.
After exchanging a few points, Georgia led 19-13 before the Rebels went on a 7-1 run of their own to even the score at 20. They pushed the Bulldogs to set point at 24-22 but conceded back-to-back points that brought it back to even. The Rebels had an opportunity to close it out after a kill from sophomore middle blocker Aubrey Sultemeier put them up by one, but an attack error from Anna Bair brought it back to even. Luckily, the Rebels scored on another Sultemeier kill, and an errant shot from Georgia’s Rachel Ritchie gave Ole Miss the set.
With the match even at one set a piece, the third set was a competitive spectacle. The two teams battled evenly through the first half of the set before the Rebels went on a 5-0 run to open their lead up to 18-10. Within striking distance of putting the set away and going up 2-1 run on the road, Ole Miss conceded nine of the next 10 points, bringing the score to 19-19. They scored two consecutive points before conceding four straight to fall behind 21-23 and only managed one more point before Georgia closed out the set 25-22.
With their backs against the wall, the Rebels looked defeated in the fourth set, being easily dispatched by the Bulldogs in a 25-15 blowout to end the match.
“This loss is on me,” head coach Steven McRoberts said. “I did a poor job of coaching. Georgia did a great job to get the win, and they deserve the win, but this is not the level we have been playing at all season, and that’s on me.”
Senior outside hitter Emily Stroup led the team with 11 kills but finished with a .000 hitting percentage. Junior setter Lauren Bars had seven kills to go along with 28 assists, three blocks and 12 digs. Senior middle blocker Nayo Warnell tallied five kills and five blocks in the loss, while senior libero Nicole Purcell recorded eight assists, one ace and 27 digs in the losing
Ole Miss will have to try to snap its short losing streak when they face No. 16 Kentucky at home on Sunday.