OXFORD, Miss. -- Sunday night's Ole Miss volleyball match against Arkansas on the SEC Network was a roller coaster ride, as the two teams battled back and forth before going to a fifth set, where Ole Miss came out on top to earn their first SEC win of the year.
Behind a career night from sophomore right side Kathryn Cather and solid defense, the Rebels improved to 12-4 overall and 1-2 in the SEC with the 3-2 win. Cather recorded a career-high 20 kills on a .621 clip and also had three service aces, five digs and three blocks to lead the Rebels with 24.5 points. Junior outside hitter Lexi Thompson was all over the court with her defense and finished the night tying her career-high with 21 digs.
As a team, the Rebels finished with 11 blocks to Arkansas' four. Ole Miss hit .246, while holding Arkansas to just .148.
Fayetteville native Aubrey Edie passed out 48 assists to help the Rebels win their third straight against the Razorbacks.
After Ole Miss took a 2-1 lead on .417 hitting percentage in set three, Arkansas came back and grabbed the fourth set to even the match and send it to a deciding fifth set.
In the fifth set, the Rebels raced out to a 6-3 lead, but the Razorbacks won three straight points on three consecutive kills by Danielle Harbin, who finished with a match-high 22. The Rebels closed out the set on a 9-4 run to win it 15-10 and their fifth five-setter of the season.
Ole Miss went up 1-0 to begin the climb toward their first conference victory, winning set one 25-15 behind a .318 hitting percentage. The second set was a different story for the Rebels, as they hit just .128 and Arkansas came away with a 25-20 win to even the match at 1-1. The Rebels came out of the break and hit .417 to win a decisive third set 25-14 and take a 2-1 lead in the match. The roller coaster continued in the fourth set with Ole Miss hitting just .115 with six errors to let the Razorbacks win it 25-20 and set up the final set.
• The Rebels improved to 12-4 overall and 1-2 in the SEC, while Arkansas dropped to 3-12, 1-2.
• It marked the Rebels' third consecutive win against Arkansas and second straight at home.
• Sophomore right side Kathryn Cather recorded a career-high 20 kills on a .621 clip, marking her third straight match to hit above .400. She also added 3 service aces, 5 digs and 3 blocks.
• In addition to tying her career high of 21 digs, junior outside hitter Lexi Thompson added 9 digs, 2 service aces and 3 blocks. Thompson posted her 800th career kill and now has 802 for her career. With her 740 career digs, she now needs just 18 to move into the top 10 at Ole Miss.
• Junior outside hitter Kate Gibson posted her eighth double-double of the year with 10 kills and 13 digs.
• Senior setter Aubrey Edie tallied 48 assists to help the Rebels hit .246 on the night.
• Junior middle blocker Taylor Alexander got back on the right track with 8 kills on a .462 hitting percentage.
• Freshman Nayo Warnell chipped in 5 kills and also posted 6 blocks.
Quoting Sophomore Right Side Kathryn Cather
"Aubrey made it really easy, her sets were always in the right spot. Our middles pulled blocks like crazy, so it left me wide open. We've been working really hard in practice, and I have been focusing on getting better and coming in for extra reps."
Quoting Senior Setter Aubrey Edie
"Any SEC win is a good one, especially because it's our first. But it is nice, because I am from Fayetteville. I am just glad we were able to pull it out. We've been really tough in fifth sets this year, and that definitely speaks to our physical condition. Chas works us really hard, and it has paid off. It's really big to be able to win in the fifth, because a lot of those are split either way."
Up next: The Rebels will welcome LSU Wednesday night for a 7 p.m. match on the SEC Network.