Ole Miss volleyball played a double header for the second time in six days, but this time the result wasn’t as favorable. Last Friday the Rebels put on a clinic, beating both Texas State and Sam Houston by a combined score of 6-1. However, Thursday, against both Florida A&M University and South Alabama, the Rebels did not hold the same level of success.
The first game of the day was against a 4-7 Florida A&M University team that had won its previous three games. Looking to end their streak, the Rebels rolled out a starting lineup of Cammy Niesen, Payton Brgoch, Riley Fischer, Vivian Miller, Maggie Miller, Charlotte Rodgers and Sommer Daniel. The squad handled business with confidence, winning the game in three sets by scores of 20-25, 11-25 and 24-26.
Anna Bair came off the bench and led the team in scoring with 17 kills and had one ace, which tied for the team lead. Bair has been the premier scorer for the Rebs so far this season with 129 total kills, 70 more than the next highest on the team.
Daniel also had a huge offensive game, logging 38 assists which is her third game of the season recording 35 or more of the stat.
Defensively, the Rebels had a trio of players put up impressive dig numbers as Niesen (12), Fischer (9) and Vivian Miller (8) all had strong performances. Ole Miss played a strong game all the way through and was able to hold off a strong third set push from the Rattlers to secure the sweep
The second match of the day put the Rebs up against a South Alabama squad that was 3-6 heading into the matchup.
The Rebels made some changes to their starting seven with Niesen, Brgoch, Vivian Miller and Maggie Miller holding over while Sasha Ratliff, Aly Borellis and Katie Correlli cracked the first team.
The Rebels struggled mightily and ended up on the wrong side of a sweep, losing 23-25, 25-27 and 20-25.
Offensively, the team lacked a standout killer as Vivian Miller (11), Bair (10) and Corelli (10) each made strong contributions but failed to stand out from the pack. This is the first game of the season in which Bair has not led the team in scoring. In conference play, there will certainly need to be more complimentary offensive pieces to diversify the team’s scoring.
Borellis continued to impress in her freshman campaign as she led the team in assists with 26 while also scooping up seven digs on defense.
The biggest positive from the match was the high quality service as the Rebs delivered six aces, with three coming from Sommer. This was a game that Ole Miss would like to have back, plain and simple. A 3-6 Sun Belt team is a pre-conference win that cannot be left on the board, and one that certainly should not end up as a sweep.
The Rebels play Eastern Kentucky on Friday before settling down for the conference season which starts on Sept. 21 with Texas A&M.
The Eastern Kentucky Colonels are 7-3 heading into the match and it may be a tough match, despite not having played a challenging slate so far.