FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. -- In her third return trip to her hometown, junior setter Aubrey Edie delivered the final blow to give the Ole Miss volleyball team a 3-2 win against Arkansas at Barnhill Arena Sunday night. With the Rebels up 14-13, Edie stepped up and sent the ball down on the assist from Kristen Brashear to give them their first SEC road win (27-25, 27-29, 25-21, 14-25, 15-313) of the season.
With the win, the Rebels improved to 17-5 overall and 3-4 in the SEC, while Arkansas fell to 13-5 and 3-3 in the SEC. With 11 matches remaining on the schedule, the Rebels are guaranteed of their second straight winning season.
In addition to grabbing their first SEC road win this season, the Rebels snapped a six-match losing streak to the Razorbacks.
With the Rebels leading 2-1, Arkansas came out firing in the fourth set and dominated the fourth set 25-14 to force a deciding set. The Rebels didn't blink when the Razorbacks started off the fifth set the way they ended the fourth and led 4-2. Ole Miss won three straight to go up 5-4. The Razorbacks answered with a 3-0 run to regain a 7-5 lead. The Rebels tied it up again, 7-7, before Arkansas won the next two points for a 9-7 advantage. Senior Ty Laporte came up with back-to-back kills and then teamed up with freshman Kathryn Cather for a huge stuff to give the Rebels a 10-9 lead. An attack error by the Rebels allowed Arkansas to tie it again, but Laporte and the Rebels would not be denied. Two more kills by Laporte allowed Ole Miss to regain the lead, 12-10, and they never trailed again.
"Our passing in the fifth set was great," Edie said. "It helped me and our hitters out so much. We were able to get one-on-ones on the slide and our middles were able to get back in the game. It's awesome to be able to come back here and get a big win in front my family and friends and people I know."
Ole Miss started the match with a 7-3 lead, but Arkansas used a 12-4 run to go up 16-11. The Rebels won four straight points to get within one forcing a timeout by Arkansas. The Rebels led 21-20, but the Razorbacks won two straight points to go ahead 22-21. Ole Miss held a set point at 24-23, but the Razorbacks tied it up and then got one of their own for 25-24. After a timeout by Ole Miss, Kate Gibson dumped it over the net to tie it at 25 and then served an ace to give the Rebels another set point. Thompson slammed it home for one of her four kills in the set to hand Ole Miss the first frame, 27-25.
Arkansas jumped out to a 7-3 lead to start set two, but the Rebels continued to battle and tied it up at 8. Both teams battled back and forth with neither side holding more than a two point lead at any one point. The Rebels led 23-21, but Arkansas answered again. Gibson followed with a huge kill to give the Rebels their first set point, 24-23. They would get another set point at 25-24, but once again, the Razorbacks answered, ultimately getting two set points themselves. The Rebels staved off two of them to tie it at 27, but Arkansas won the final two points for 29-27 to tie the match.
Coming out of the intermission, Ole Miss broke open a close one in the third set to go up 13-7 before Arkansas called timeout. The Razorbacks pulled to within two, 14-12, on a couple of Rebel errors. A 4-1 run put the Rebels back up by five (18-13), forcing Arkansas to call their last timeout. The Razorbacks won three straight points out of the timeout cutting the lead to 18-16 and Ole Miss called timeout. Ole Miss then went on a 4-0 run to build their lead back to six (22-16). Arkansas won three straight points to cut it to three again, and the Rebels called timeout. Ole Miss withstood the Razorbacks to win the set 25-21.
Arkansas needing to win the set to force a fifth got out to a 5-0 lead in the fourth and Ole Miss had to use its first timeout. The Razorbacks continued to build on their lead and forced the Rebels to use their final timeout down 12-4. The Rebels never got much closer, and Arkansas finished off the set 25-14 to set up the exciting fifth-set finish.
Quick Hits• The Rebels are 17-1 overall and 3-0 in the SEC when hitting above .200.
• Ole Miss improved to 3-1 this year in five-setters.
• Arkansas was No. 35 in the RPI coming into the match.
• Four players recorded double-digit kills and digs, as the Rebels totaled a season-best 73 kills and a season-high 72 digs.
• Senior Ty Laporte equaled her season-high with 17 kills on a .448 clip and added four blocks.
• Senior Nakeyta Clair chipped in 16 kills and four blocks. With eight blocks this weekend, Clair tied the school record in total blocks at 383. She needs one to break the record held by Regina Thomas.
• Both outsides Lexi Thompson and Kate Gibson posted double-doubles. Thompson finished with a season-high 15 kills and 12 digs, while Gibson tallied 15 kills and a career-high 18 digs.
• In her return trip home, Aubrey Edie passed out 51 assists and chipped in seven kills, including the match-clincher. She also had six digs and three blocks.
• Kristen Brashear, who ranks in the top three in SEC matches only for digs, notched 20 digs, her seventh straight double-digit performance.
• Ole Miss and Arkansas will meet again on Nov. 6 in Oxford at 6:30 p.m.
The Rebels return home next weekend to host Tennessee and Kentucky. Friday's match against the Vols begins at 6:30 p.m. at the Gillom Sports Center.