The Ole Miss Rebels swept SEC foe Georgia on Sunday to advance to the Final Four of the National Invitational Volleyball Championship.
Who and where Ole Miss will play will be determined by Monday’s matchup between Syracuse and West Virginia.
The Rebels, now 20-14, went into Sunday’s match having split the season series with the Bulldogs. There was a high level of energy from the start of the first set. Georgia’s match-long errors began early. The Rebels never trailed and took set number one 25-21.
Set number two was much the same, full of mistakes from Georgia, while Ole Miss capitalized on blocking and scoring opportunities. With a couple of great volleys between the teams, Ole Miss took off to a comfortable lead and didn’t look back. The Rebels remained focused and sealed set two 25-11.
“[It was] the first time in a long time [the team kept up the intensity] instead of matching or feeling comfortable when you get a three- or four-point lead and then making a hitting or serving error. I thought, a lot of times, when they made an error, we turned that into two or three points,” Ole Miss Head Coach Steven McRoberts said.
The Bulldogs came out in set three with a little bit of fight. They took a small lead over the Rebels – their first of the day – but it didn’t last long. The Rebels had multiple players put up strong blocks at the net as well as in hitting.
Sophomore Emily Stroup set a team record for kills in a single season, notching her 438th kill.
“I am honored to have hit it,” Stroup said. “I am grateful for my setters, obviously. I wouldn’t have the kills without them. I am grateful for my teammates.”
That point was the match point in set three. The Rebels took set three 25-19, won the season series and will head to the Final Four.
When asked who they prefer to play in the Final Four – West Virginia or Syracuse -McRoberts and Stroup both said they just really hope to get the chance to play at home.
By Elyse Lenaburg, Social Media Editor of HottyToddy.com. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org