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Recruiting Update: Rebels Look to Gain Momentum Following Dead Period

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Today’s sports roundup also features Ole Miss Volleyball Hires Tori Mellinger as Assistant Coach, Ole Miss Women’s Basketball Takes Down Tennessee at The Pavilion

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Ole Miss Volleyball Hires Tori Mellinger as Assistant Coach

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Photo courtesy of Joshua McCoy / Ole Miss Sports
Ole Miss volleyball head coach Steven McRoberts announced Texas native Tori Mellinger to the staff Friday as assistant coach/recruiting coordinator. Mellinger comes to Oxford with experience at the highest level both as a player and a coach.
“A lot of people applied for this job and Tori rose to the top from the beginning,” McRoberts said. “She brings good experience, as she has played and coached in the SEC. She understands winning. During the process I definitely picked up on Tori’s positive attitude and work ethic. She was ready to get started as soon as the job was offered. Tori comes to us with very good references and I am thankful that she will be a big part of our program moving forward.”
“I want to thank Coach McRoberts for the opportunity to coach at the University of Mississippi,” Mellinger said. “I am so excited to take the next step of my career at such a great institution, and can’t wait to get started in the gym and on the recruiting trail.”
In addition to announcing Mellinger to the staff, McRoberts elevated Ronaldo Pacheco to associate head coach.
“Ronnie has earned this title,” McRoberts said. “On the court, he is the best trainer that I’ve been around. I have enjoyed working with Ronnie the past six years, he is the most loyal assistant a head coach could ask for. I hope I can keep him with me at Ole Miss for a long time.”
Mellinger spent the past two seasons as an assistant coach at Arkansas State where she coached the outside hitters and handled the day-to-day operations of the office and travel as well as assisted in recruiting and scouting.
During her first year in 2015, Mellinger helped the team to a 28-2 record, a perfect 16-0 mark in Sunbelt Conference play, a conference tournament championship and its first trip to the NCAA Tournament since 1999. This past season, Arkansas State finished 25-8, 15-1 in SBC play, and advanced to the conference tournament championship match for the second year in a row.
In 2015, A-State’s outside hitters combined for 1,029 of the team’s 1,483 kills and also hit at a .259 clip. Additionally, Mellinger helped then-freshman Carlisa May earn Honorable Mention All-American honors from the AVCA and a bundle of other awards including SBC Freshman of the Year, First-Team All-SBC, AVCA Southwest Region Freshman of the Year, and Sun Belt Conference Tournament MVP in 2015. That same year, Mellinger also coached Darby Graff to Second-Team All-SBC honors and AVCA Southwest All-Region Honorable Mention accolades. Graff led the league with a .355 hitting percentage.
Prior to going to Arkansas State, Mellinger spent the 2014 season as a volunteer assistant at her alma mater, Texas A&M. Working on Laurie Corbelli’s staff, Mellinger helped Texas A&M to an overall record of 21-9 and 13-5 in the SEC along with an appearance in the NCAA Tournament.
As a player at A&M (2009-12), Mellinger finished her career with 1,480 digs, the second most in school history and most in the rally-scoring era. Her senior year, Mellinger helped lead the team to a 25-6 record, including a 16-4 mark in SEC play and an appearance in the NCAA second round.
After spending her first two years at libero, Mellinger moved to outside hitter before her junior season (2011) and helped the team to a 23-8 record and an appearance in the second round of the NCAA Tournament.
In 2009 as a freshman, Mellinger started at libero in all but the first four matches and made an immediate impact in A&M’s back row defense. She helped lead the Aggies to the NCAA Sweet Sixteen.
Mellinger graduated from Texas A&M in May 2013 with a degree in Sports Management with a minor in communications and coaching.
After graduation, Mellinger played a professional season for SCU Emlichheim in Emlichheim, Germany before starting her coaching career.
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 Women’s Basketball Takes Down Tennessee at The Pavilion

Photo courtesy Paul Keelaghan
Photo courtesy Paul Keelaghan
The Ole Miss women’s basketball team (13-4, 2-2 SEC) was on the right side of history in a 67-62 win over Tennessee (10-6, 2-2 SEC) on Thursday night a The Pavilion at Ole Miss. The win snapped a 28-game losing streak to the women’s basketball powerhouse and gave Ole Miss its 12th consecutive win on its home floor this season – the longest home winning streak in the last decade.
The fourth quarter was certainly a back-and-forth affair with neither team taking more than a two possession lead. Early in the fourth quarter Shequila Joseph (London, England) nailed two free throws to give Ole Miss its first lead since the 6:02 mark of the first quarter and from that point the teams matched each other bucket for bucket until the final minute of action in which Ole Miss went 7-of-8 from the line to seal the victory and remain perfect at The Pavilion.
Madinah Muhammad (Chicago, Ill.) recoded her fourth 20-point game with a team-best 21 points, while birthday girl Shandricka Sessom (Byhalia, Miss.) recorded her fourth double-double of the season with 14 points and team-best 11 rebounds. She was also a perfect 6-of-6 from the free throw line with four of those coming in the fourth quarter.
Trailing 32-27 out of the halftime break, Tennessee went on a 10-2 run to take a 42-29 lead forcing an early timeout by the home team. Ole Miss clawed back into it and used big buckets from Taylor Manuel (St. Louis, Mo.) and Erika Sisk (Oxford, Miss.) to get the lead to single digits behind an 11-2 run over the course of 3:46 late in the third quarter.
Muhammad played a heck of the third quarter with six crucial points in the third quarter, which got the Rebels all the way back into the game. Ole Miss tied the game at 47 at the 1:13 mark, putting them well within striking distance heading into the decisive fourth quarter.
Tennessee took an early 5-2 lead but the Rebels settled in and started to run some offense through Oxford native Erika Sisk, who had four early points, and at the first media timeout the Rebels held a 14-9 advantage. Muhammad was a spark in the opening minutes with seven early points including a triple just before the media timeout. Out of the break, Ole Miss kept the pedal to the metal and went on a 6-0 run over a 1:13 span and took a 21-11 lead, forcing Tennessee to call a timeout with under 30 seconds left in the quarter.
The Rebels kept their momentum in the second quarter opening with a long jumper from Manuel but Tennessee started to get into some rhythm and cut the once 10-point lead to one possession, 23-20, at the 6:31 mark forcing Insell to call a timeout. A triple from Jamie Nared, tied the game at 25 with 4:03 left and the Lady Vols took their first lead since the opening minutes with 3:50 remaining, a lead they would take into the break.
Courtesy of Ole Miss Sports


Ole Miss 2017 recruiting update: Rebels look to gain momentum following dead period

 Photo by Joshua McCoy/Ole Miss Athletics Twitter: @OleMissPix

Photo by Joshua McCoy/Ole Miss Athletics
Twitter: @OleMissPix
The dead period has finally come to an end and Ole Miss coaches hit the recruiting trail hard on Thursday with a brand-new staff.
Wide receivers coach Jacob Peeler is the latest addition to Hugh Freeze’s staff, which has plenty of work to do over the final three weeks of the recruiting season.
With so many new members of the staff, it will be no surprise to see numerous names pop up as potential targets for the Rebels in the countdown to National Signing Day on Feb. 1.
Let’s take a look at where things stoodon the recruiting trail as of Friday.
David Collier and to read the rest of this article go to SEC Country.com

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