The Ole Miss volleyball team answered a disappointing opening weekend with a flawless weekend in The Big Easy.
The Rebels went 3-0 at the Allstate Sugar Bowl Collegiate Volleyball Classic over the weekend with sweeps over Houston Baptist and Missouri State and a nail-bitter win over Tulane on Sunday. The three wins on the weekend brought Ole Miss back to .500.
Senior Emiliy Stroup and freshman Anna Bair were named to the all-tournament team and Stroup took home the MVP award for the weekend. The two had 34 combined kills in the final game.
The Rebels found their first win of the season with a 3-0 sweep over the Houston Baptist Huskies on Friday. The Rebels finished the match hitting above .330 in the first and third sets. The matchup was lopsided other than the first set when the huskies climbed their way back within one point before the Rebels surge ahead.
“(I’m) very proud of our offensive efficiency. We worked on that a lot this week,” head coach Steven McRoberts said. “We know there’s some things that we can do better for sure but we’re really pleased with getting that first win.”
Anna Bair notched 14 kills and Nicole Purcell had 19 digs.
“When Lauren Bars sets well like she did most of the time today, it gives our hitters opportunities and we’ve got some arms that can get it done,” McRoberts said. “(I’m) just really proud of (Nicole Purcell) that she’s coming out and playing so well her senior year so far.”
The Rebels came back Saturday morning to sweep Missouri State 3-0. Senior Leah Mulkey turned in a .636 hitting percentage in her debut on the starting lineup. The Rebels held the Bears to 14, 20 and 10 points in the three sets.
The teams biggest challenge of the weekend came against Tulane Sunday afternoon. The matchup went down to the wire with five sets. The two teams went back and forth, trading sets until the Rebels came out on top in the fifth and final set 17-15 to break the tie. All three sets won by the Rebels took extra points.
Emiliy Stroup led the team with 20 kills and Nicole Purcell tallied 22 digs. Aubrey Sultemeier added eight block assists and Lauren Bars kept up her stellar weekend with 49 assists.
“They’re going to win a lot of ball games this year so we’re very fortunate to come away with a win here,” McRoberts said after the win on Sunday. “I even told our young ladies that I’m not so sure that we deserve to win this one, but it was resiliency. I’m just really proud of the team that we could pull this win out.”
The Rebels are back in action on Friday with a doubleheader against Little Rock and Central Arkansas in Conway, Arkansas.