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Tigers get series-opening victory over Rebels

9 days ago
Missouri Athletics
Photo: Missouri Athletics

OXFORD, Miss. - No. 8 Mizzou Volleyball (5-2) fought back and forth Friday at Ole Miss, but used a dominating fifth set to clinch a 3-2 (25-13, 23-25, 25-13, 19-25, 15-4) victory over the host Rebels. The Tigers dominated in their three set triumphs, hitting .300-plus each time out.

After Ole Miss evened the match with a fourth set triumph, Mizzou took control on both sides of the ball in the fifth and final set. The Tigers' offense tallied five kills on .308 hitting, while their defense forced the Rebels to -.235 hitting (three kills, seven attack errors).

Mizzou possessed a slim 6-4 advantage early in the fifth set, but rattled off an impressive 9-0 scoring run to secure its third consecutive match victory. The Tigers improved to 2-0 this fall in five-set contests.

Sophomore OH Anna Dixon and senior RS Dariana Hollingsworth-Santana were simply magnificent offensively. Dixon posted a match-high 17 kills on .394 hitting, while Hollingsworth-Santana tallied 13 kills on season-high .545 hitting. The San Juan native also tacked on a season-best 11 digs, clinching her first double-double this fall.

With 17.5 points Friday, Hollingsworth-Santana surpassed 1,000 points for her outstanding four-year Tigers career.

#SHOWME TOP PERFORMERS AT OLE MISS

  • Dixon: 17 kills on .394 hitting, 1 assist, 2 digs
  • Hollingsworth-Santana: 13 kills on .545 hitting, 11 digs, 4 total blocks, 1 solo block, 2 aces
  • Kylie Deberg: 16 kills, 2 aces, 8 digs, 2 total blocks
  • Kenna Sauer: 6 kills, 2 aces, 4 total blocks, 4 digs
  • Andrea Fuentes: 41 assists, 8 digs, 2 kills, 1 ace, 1 total block
  • Emily Brown: 14 digs, 3 assists, 1 ace

HEAR FROM HEAD COACH JOSHUA TAYLOR

On Friday's series opener in Oxford...

"This team has faced a lot of adversity lately and I'm proud of the fight they showed this afternoon. It had been 15 days since we last played so conditioning was definitely an issue, but we really came out strong and locked-in during the fifth set. We had a lot of different people step up throughout the day and our depth was crucial into our success. I think if we come out tomorrow with a little more consistency, we'll be able to be even better." 

#MIZ TAKEAWAYS

  • Mizzou now leads its all-time series over Ole Miss, 16-6.
  • The Tigers have now won nine of their last 10 contests against the Rebels, including five-straight triumphs in Oxford.
  • Friday marked Mizzou and Ole Miss' first five-set battle in six years (Nov. 16, 2014). The Tigers claimed the victory that day as well and now own a 3-2 all-time record in five-set contests historically against the Rebels.
  • Following a dominating 25-13 opening set victory, Mizzou has now secured a first set win in all seven matches played this fall. The Tigers' offense arguably had their top showing in the first set, recording 13 kills on .375 hitting.
  • After letting a 20-17 second set lead evaporate, Mizzou responded in a big way in set three. Behind a massive 12-0 scoring run, the Tigers cruised to yet another 25-13 set triumph.
  • Mizzou performed well on both sides of the ball in set three, tallying 14 kills on .312 hitting offensively while limiting Ole Miss to only six kills (six errors) on .000 hitting defensively.
  • With 16 kills Friday, Deberg secured her fifth-straight and sixth overall match this fall with double-digit kills.

UP NEXT

Mizzou concludes its two-match series with Ole Miss and its fall 2020 schedule Saturday afternoon in Oxford. First serve is scheduled for noon CT and the match will be available online at SEC Network + via WatchESPN.