By Adam Brown
Ole Miss volleyball is headed to Omaha, Neb., to take on the No. 14 Creighton Bluejays in the NCAA Tournament. The match is set for Thursday at 7 p.m. and can be seen on ESPN+.
Ole Miss comes into their fourth at-large bid to the NCAA Tournament in program history. The Rebels finished the regular season with a 21-8 overall record and a 10-8 mark inside the SEC under head coach Kayla Banwarth.
“We are excited to compete,” Banwarth said. “Excited to show the rest of the country what we have been building here at Ole Miss. How special our team is.
Banwarth added that the turnaround from last season has been incredible.
“I am very proud of our players,” Banwarth said. “For the work they have put in and they have earned this moment.”
After the season, the SEC released postseason awards as the Rebels’ Kylee McLaughlin and Sasha Ratliff received to the All-SEC Team. It marks the first time Ole Miss has had two student-athletes tabbed All-SEC.
Creighton had four women earn All-BIG EAST honors, including seniors Abby Bottomley (4.87 dps., 0.39 saps.) and Jaela Zimmerman (3.66 kps., 3.27 dps.) and freshmen Kendra Wait (10.43 aps., 3.05 dps., 0.88 bps., 1.20 kps., .331%) and Norah Sis (3.69 kps., 2.96 dps.). Sis was named BIG EAST Freshman of the Year last Wednesday before being named Most Outstanding Player of the 2021 BIG EAST Championship on Saturday.
The Bluejays lead the nation in match victories (30), set victories (93), road wins (12), wins away from home (19) and opponents hitting percentage (.117).
Thursday’s First Round matchup between Ole Miss and Creighton will be the second-ever meeting between the two schools. It will also mark the Rebels’ fourth appearance in the NCAA Tournament (2006, 2007, 2010, 2021). Ole Miss is 0-3 in the Big Dance, while No. 14 Creighton boasts a 10-11 record in the national tournament, including an 8-2 mark in the First Round.