OXFORD, Miss. - Playing its first match in nine days, Ole Miss volleyball dominated Missouri, sweeping the Tigers in straight sets Friday night at the Gillom Center.
The Rebels (8-10, 4-4 SEC) tallied their best offensive performance in conference play, hitting at a .314 clip against the Tigers (8-10, 1-7 SEC).
Senior Anna Bair led the way with a team-high 16 kills on 34 swings. She was joined by Katie Corelli and Payton Brgoch in double-figure kills.
Defensively, Sasha Ratliff and Brgoch gave Missouri fits at the net all night, combining for eight blocks. Ole Miss set the tone early, opening the match on a 7-2 run with Bair at the service line that forced Missouri to call a timeout just minutes in.
Corelli and the Rebels rattled off four more points out of the break to take control of the set with an 11-2 lead.
From there, Ole Miss ran away with the set, hitting a blistering .412 as a team. In the first set alone,
Bair, Brgoch, and Corelli combined for 15 kills on 22 swings with no attack errors.
It looked like a promising start to set two with back-to-back aces from Ratliff to start things off, but Missouri quickly scored in bunches. The Tigers used runs of 4-0 and 5-0 to double up the Rebels. Ole Miss clawed back within two at 15-13, but Missouri padded the lead back to four points.
Late in the set, back-to-back aces from libero Cammy Niesen pulled Ole Miss within one. The Rebels managed to tie the set up at 24 all, and then madness ensued.
Ole Miss fended off three set points and capped off the comeback to steal the second set 31-29. The momentum carried into Set Three as Ole Miss quickly went to work.
A big kill and block from Ratliff gave the Rebels a comfortable six-point cushion at 11-5, and from there, the offense continued to roll. The lead grew to seven as Ole Miss took advantage of attack errors and made plays when it needed to.
Missouri attempted to battle back, cutting the Rebels' lead to two at one point, but the Ole Miss middles stepped up to slam the door and finish off the sweep with a 25-21 set victory.
The Rebels go for the series sweep of Missouri Saturday afternoon in Gillom. The match will be streamed on SECN+.