OXFORD, Miss. - Behind a season-high hitting percentage in Southeastern Conference play (.293) and an SEC leading 14th double-double from junior outside hitter Lexi Thompson, the Ole Miss volleyball team defeated Alabama 3-1 Sunday afternoon at The Pavilion at Ole Miss.
It was Book it to The Pavilion day benefitting the Lafayette County Literacy Council. Fans were encouraged to bring a new children's book in exchange for one free ticket to the men's basketball game on Dec. 15 against Murray State. The Literacy council collected 64 books.
The Rebels started off the match strong, hitting .577 and siding out at 66 percent in set one. Thompson put down one of her five kills in the set to make it 12-7 and force Alabama to call its first timeout. The Rebels maintained their lead the rest of the way winning the set 25-18 to go up 1-0 in the match.
Alabama answered in set two hitting .270 to the Rebels .163 and siding out at 66 percent. They gained an early lead and increased it to seven as Ole Miss called its first timeout trailing 12-5. The Crimson Tide led by six late (23-17), but the Rebels pulled to within three, 23-20, before Bama closed out the set 25-21 to even the match. Junior middle blocker Taylor Alexander notched five of her nine kills in set two to try and keep the Rebels in it.
Coming out of the break, the Rebels jumped out to a 9-4 lead forcing Alabama to use its first timeout in set three. The Rebels won the next three points to increase their lead to 12-4 as the Crimson Tide called their final timeout of the set. Siding out at 73 percent, the Rebels kept the pressure on and went on to win the set 25-15 to take a 2-1 lead in the match.
The Rebels have had trouble closing out matches recently where they've been ahead, but this time, they built a lead to start the fourth set and never relinquished it. Trailing 13-6, the Tide called their first timeout of the set to try and stall the Rebels' momentum. After a service ace by the Crimson Tide's Krystal Rivers cut it to 16-12, Ole Miss called a timeout. Following the timeout, the Rebels went on a 5-2 to run to go back up by seven, 21-14. Alabama cut into the lead again, but never got closer than four, as the Rebels closed strong 25-18 to take the 3-1 win.
Quick Hits • The Rebels snapped a five match losing streak to improve to 13-9 overall, 2-7 in the SEC.
• The Rebels have now won four straight against Alabama.
• The Rebels posted their highest hitting percentage in conference play with .293. They held Alabama to .166.
• Junior outside hitter Lexi Thompson posted her 14th double-double of the season with 20 kills and 11 digs. She hit .333.
• With her 20 kills, Lexi Thompson moved up to seventh all-time at Ole Miss with 892 career kills. With her 11 digs, Thompson now has 814 for her career and needs 11 to move up to eighth.
• It marked the 17th match this year for Lexi Thompson to finish with double-digit kills.
• Junior outside hitter Kate Gibson recorded her 10th double-double of the season with 12 kills and 11 digs.
• Freshman Emily Stroup finished with a career-high 9 kills on a .500 clip.
• Junior middle blocker Taylor Alexander finished the match with 9 kills on a .389 clip and 3 blocks.
• Senior Aubrey Edie passed out 45 assists and added 5 kills, 7 digs and 2 blocks.
• Sophomore right side Kathryn Cather missed her fourth match in the last six.