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Today’s stories come from Ole Miss Sports, Ole Miss.247Sports.com
Rebels Volleyball Position Watch:
The outside hitter position does not claim the most fame, especially when the majority of the balls given are out of system situations. The position is one for the selfless, a leader and a quiet terminator. Luckily for Coach Steven McRoberts and the Ole Miss volleyball team, the spot this year has great depth filled with young talent and determination.
The Rebels position roster includes two veterans, Lexi Thompson (Riverview, Florida) and Kate Gibson (Sedalia, Colorado), and two newcomers, Leah Mulkey (Austin, Texas) and Emily Stroup (Fargo, North Dakota). Gibson and Thompson are looked to be the frontrunners to take the leading roles, given their experience in the Southeastern Conference, but the battle will be ongoing until conference play. This past weekend laid a foundation for the weeks ahead for this highly contested position:
“I think (Lexi Thompson and Kate Gibson) showed improvement from last year, not panicking in certain situations, they stayed confident and stay composed,” said McRoberts. “It was nice to see opening weekend what they brought because we will need that going forward.”
The Rebels have come close, but have not yet secured a spot in the NCAA tournament during Coach McRoberts’ tenure. He believes the addition of a veteran presence, specifically on the left side, will make all the difference.
“It is leadership by example more than it is leadership by words and that’s what we have needed over the last couple years,” said McRoberts. “We have players that not only talk-the-talk but they walk-the-walk. We are starting to see that with a lot of our upperclassmen and that has filtered down now into our younger players. I think that is why Kate and Lexi had a good first weekend, because for two and a half weeks they have had to compete and earn that spot, which hasn’t been the case the first two years.”
Gibson earned Most Valuable Player honors at UND, in addition to being the SEC Player of the Week. She finished the weekend with an average of 4.15 kills and 2.46 digs per set. She set a single-match record with a career-high 27 kills, while adding nine digs and three assists for the win versus UND. Gibson completed the tournament adding two more double-doubles to her career totals.
Thompson earned a spot on the all-tournament team this past weekend. She averaged 3.0 kills and 3.08 digs per set to help lead the Rebels to the title. She recorded a double-double of 13 kills and 12 digs in the 3-1 win vs. UC Davis and also had three assists, one service ace and a block assist. Thompson posted 19 kills and 12 digs in the 3-2 win against North Dakota and added a pair of blocks and a service ace.
While Gibson and Thompson are the known commodities of the group, there is a lot of anticipation about the two young faces and what they will bring to the court this season.
Mulkey recorded more than 1,000 kills during her high school career and was recruited heavily for her volleyball IQ, fearless mentality and potential to be a six rotation player. Mulkey did not make an appearance on the court in North Dakota, but continues to make an impact from the sidelines.
“Leah is great. (She is) probably the best player on the team with shots, being able to move the ball around,” said McRoberts. “It’s just a matter of getting stronger, growing in the position, understanding the competition, catching up with the speed. Mulkey needs to catch up with the speed of the game a little more, and when she catches up with that, she’ll be right there in the mix with everybody else.”
North Dakota native Emily Stroup began her collegiate career this past weekend in front of her friends and family. McRoberts took to Stroup’s underdog mentality, coming from a smaller club (Summit Volleyball Club), and felt that she was a player who could make an impact right away. Stroup validated McRoberts’ thoughts when she contributed to the Rebels’ 3-1 win over Omaha, logging three kills and six digs.
“As freshman going in—and I put her in a couple of tough spots—I don’t know if there were really big expectations for her, but she did fine,” said McRoberts. “When you get through that weekend, it helps to know that she can come in and hold her own.”
The first weekend was a big success for Ole Miss volleyball, both on an individual and collective scale. The Rebels have high expectations going forward for the left side, as the bar was set and will continue to be raised throughout the remaining preseason matches.
For more information on Ole Miss Volleyball, follow the Rebels on Twitter, @OleMissVB, on Facebook at OleMissVolleyball and on Instagram at OleMissVB. Also follow Coach McRoberts on Twitter, @CoachMcRoberts.
Courtesy of Ole Miss Sports
Ole Miss-Memphis Men’s Hoops TV Info Announced
Ole Miss’ non-conference matchup against the Memphis Tigers Dec. 3 will be televised by ESPNU, the network announced Tuesday.
The Rebels and the Tigers will tip off at 9 p.m. CT at the Pavilion at Ole Miss. Ole Miss won last year’s meeting 85-79 in Memphis and have won two-straight games against the Tigers. This year’s meeting will be the 41st between the Mid-South rivals.
Season tickets for The Pavilion at Ole Miss are on sale now and feature an 18-game home schedule including nine SEC games. Fans can visit OleMissHoops.com for more information and to purchase tickets. Single game non-conference tickets will be made available for sale beginning Oct. 1.
Courtesy of Ole Miss Sports
With a new season having arrived, the Ole Miss football video production department has released its highly-anticipated hype video.
The Rebels, ranked No. 11 in the Associated Press Top 25, battle 4th-ranked Florida State in one of college football’s most anticipated opening-weekend games. Game time for the Camping World Kickoff is set for 7 p.m. CT next Monday night and will be televised on ESPN.
Courtesy of David Johnson and Olemiss.247Sports.com.