Ole Miss Sweeps Two, Completes Non-Conference Slate Undefeated
BLOOMINGTON, Ind.— (Courtesy of Media Relations) On the second day of the Indiana Invitational, Ole Miss continued its winning ways, sweeping Alabama A&M and Indiana 3-0 each from Wilkinson Hall on Friday. The Rebels move to 11-0 and complete their non-conference slate undefeated for the second time in program history, the first time since 2014. Ole Miss remains the lone undefeated SEC team heading into conference play next week.
MATCH ONE | OLE MISS 3, ALABAMA A&M 0
Freshman Julia Dyess made her first start as a Rebel, registering a career-high 11 kills and six digs against the Bulldogs. In the middle, Aubrey Sultemeier recorded a season-high 10 kills, while Lauren Thompson added 10 kills hitting at a .714 clip. As a team, Ole Miss set the program single-match rally scoring era record hitting at a .488 clip, marking the first time the Rebels have hit over .400 in a match since 2014. Defensively, three Rebels finished with five-plus digs, while Kylee McLaughlin led Ole Miss tying a season-high five blocks.
Ole Miss pieced together multiple 3-0 scoring runs early in the first set, highlighted by kills from Dyess and Sasha Ratliff to go up 9-3. Aubrey Sultemeier made an impact at the net matching her season-high with two blocks in the first set. The Rebels controlled the set from start to finish, finishing things off 25-14.
The Rebels continued to roll in set two as Bailee Middleton led the squad behind the line with a 3-0 run to lead 7-2. Ole Miss didn’t let off the gas, as Thompson carried the Rebs on a 9-0 run with kills from Dyess, Ratliff and the aforementioned Thompson to go up 17-3. The offensive firepower continued to power ahead for the Rebels as they took set two 25-9.
Thompson’s strong day carried on into the third set, as the senior added her ninth kill for the first point of the set. Ole Miss continued its theme from the previous sets, piecing together multiple scoring bursts, as a 13-0 run led by Callaway Cason allowed the Rebels to put match point within reach at 23-6. It wasn’t long before the Rebels capitalized off Alabama A&M errors to win the set 25-9 and the match 3-0.
MATCH TWO | OLE MISS 3, INDIANA 0
In Ole Miss’ final non-conference match of the season, it was a battle back-and-forth with a total of 25 ties and seven lead changes. On the outside, Samantha Schnitta recorded her fifth match with ten-plus kills, finishing with 14. Anna Bair added 13 for her seventh match with double-digit kills. Kylee McLaughlin racked up 35 assists and added three service aces, while Sam Burgio totaled her fourth straight match with double-digit digs as she finished with 15.
The Rebels fired off back-to-back kills from Samantha Schnitta and Bair to begin the match, but it wasn’t long before the Hoosiers drew level with the set tied at seven. Ole Miss quickly rattled off three straight points to lead 10-7 before Indiana called timeout. The Rebels continued to maintain their lead as big swings from Sasha Ratliff kept them in control at 16-13. Indiana kept within striking distance within two, trailing 20-18, but Bair fired back with two straight kills to push the Ole Miss advantage to 22-18. The Rebels held off an Indiana charge and held strong to take set one 25-22.
The two teams played tight into the second match with the set tied up through the first eight points before Indiana jumped out to a two-point lead at 10-8. Bair responded again with two straight kills to tie the set up at 10. The Rebs continued the 4-0 run off an Indiana error and a Ratliff kill to lead 12-10 until a 3-1 IU run tied up the set again at 13. The two teams continued to trade points through 20 until Schnitta took control with two straight service aces to lead 22-20 and Ole Miss held its ground to take the set 25-22 and a 2-0 lead.
In a wire-to-wire third set, Schnitta continued her hot streak firing off a kill to start off right before Indiana jumped out on a 4-0 run. Ole Miss worked to catch up to IU, cutting the deficit to one, trailing 10-9. The Rebels fought their way back, as a block from Ratliff and McLaughlin tied the match up at 11-all. Both teams would not let up as multiple ties ensued through 18. Two straight Rebel points allowed them to go up 20-18, before IU tied the set up again at 21 apiece. Ratliff fired off a pair of kills in quick succession to give the Rebels a slim lead at 23-22, but the home side responded yet again to draw even at 24-all. However, Ole Miss made its presence known with two straight kills to take the set 26-24 and the match 3-0.
Ole Miss kicks off SEC play Wednesday, Sept. 22, with a trip to The Plains to face off against Auburn. The match against the Tigers will air nationally on ESPNU at 8 p.m. CT.