Coming off its most successful season in several years, the Ole Miss volleyball team looks to continue the momentum with spring practice underway.
In his first year at Ole Miss, head coach Steven McRoberts led the Rebels to the most wins (22-10) since the 2007 season and the team finished the season battling for a spot in the NCAA Tournament.
Along the way, the Rebels broke several individual and team records, giving the team confidence and adding excitement and expectations heading into year two.
Junior Nakeyta Clair earned All-America, All-SEC and All-Region honors, becoming the first Rebel to grab these honors since former All-American Regina Thomas earned all three in 2011. Clair set the single-season record for kills with 366.
Sophomore Aubrey Edie joined Clair, earning All-Region Honorable Mention honors, as she set the single-match (62) and single-season (1,322) records for assists.
Sophomore Melanie Crow set the single-season record for aces with 42 and finished with 352 kills, the second-most in a single season, while freshman Lexi Thompson finished with 323 kills, the fourth-most in a single season and the most by a freshman in school history.
The Rebels were rewarded for their accomplishments last fall, taking home three awards at the Rebels’ Choice Awards Monday night. Thompson garnered Rookie of the Year, McRoberts earned Coach of the Year, and the team was named Team of the Year on the women’s side.
With a successful first season in the rearview mirror, the team has been focused on getting stronger with offseason conditioning and fine tuning certain areas of their games as they seek to have an even better year in 2015.
“I am really pleased with how we have improved when it comes to our strength and conditioning,” McRoberts said. “We spent the first half of the semester with that as a primary focus. After spring break, we have now really hit it hard on the court. With only eight players, they are getting a lot of individual attention.”
The Rebels are in the second week of spring practice and will travel to Chattanooga, Tennessee this weekend for a tournament. They will face Georgia Tech, Belmont and UT-Chattanooga.
On April 1, the Rebels will host Memphis in a spring competition at 6 p.m., and then travel to Memphis for a match on April 15.
“Anytime you can get extra game experience, it pays off,” McRoberts said. “Our players will get a lot of opportunities this spring. There are areas, as a team, that we excel, but there are also skills that we need to improve on before we get to the fall. Our team is working hard to improve those skills.”
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