Ole Miss volleyball wins weekend series with Alabama
Vivian Miller was virtually unstoppable on the attack, leading Ole Miss volleyball with a career-high 18 kills on a.485 clip as the Rebels rolled to a 3-1 victory over Alabama Saturday afternoon inside the Gillom Center.
Ole Miss (7-9, 3-3 SEC) took care of business for the second straight match, claiming the weekend series with Alabama (6-12, 0-6 SEC). Miller led all attackers as she topped her career-high of 15 from the previous night. The freshman was lights out, as she buried nearly half of her swings for kills and added 17 digs for her second collegiate double-double. Right behind her were Anna Bair and Katie Corelli, who tacked on 17 and 13 kills, respectively. Freshman setter Aly Borellis guided the offense with 43 kills as her team hit .287 on the afternoon.
The Rebels opened up on a 6-1 run in the first set before Alabama began to close the gap, taking advantage of opportunities at the service line. Ole Miss remained in control, never relinquishing the lead as Miller got creative at the net to put the Rebs up 15-11 at the media break. The Crimson Tide climbed all the way back to tie things up at 17, but Payton Brgoch and Corelli were having none of it, sparking a 5-1 run. Ole Miss withstood one final push from Alabama and took the opening set 25-23.
Alabama took its first lead of the afternoon, grabbing the opening point in set two, but it wouldn’t last long. Bair dropped in an ace a few moments later, and Ole Miss took control. The Rebels continued to click offensively, nearly doubling up the Tide at 14-8 and forcing them to burn both timeouts as the lead grew to seven. Looking to close out the set, Bair and Corelli found the final points to give the Rebs a 25-20 victory.
Ole Miss fell behind 4-8 to start set three. Alabama maintained the lead, increasing it to six before Banwarth called timeout down 13-7. The Tide reached 20 first, but Ole Miss never wavered. It cut the lead to one at 23-24 with a 7-2 run capped off by a kill from Bair; however, Alabama narrowly hung on to avoid the sweep and force a fourth set.
Both teams battled back and forth in the early going of set four. The Rebels broke the match open with a kill from Corelli that sparked an 8-0 run to give Ole Miss a 17-7 lead. With the momentum on Ole Miss’ side, the Rebels cruised to their second victory of the season at home.
Ole Miss looks to continue its high-level play next week in the Blue Grass State when it takes on No. 18 Kentucky on October 12 at 7 p.m. CT.