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Volleyball Position Preview: Middle Blockers

Ole Miss Volleyball vs Texas A&M on September 21, 2022 in Oxford, MS Photo by Kiana Dale/Ole Miss Athletics Instagram and Twitter: @OleMissPix Buy Photos at RebelWallArt.com

ust 10 days away from the season opener, excitement is building for head coach Bre Henry‘s first full year at the helm. As Ole Miss volleyball prepares for the first serve of 2023, OleMissSports.com is back to take a look at the Rebel’s roster, starting with the middle blockers.

The middle blocker group is led by a pair of standout seniors in Sasha Ratliff and Payton Brgoch. The duo was a force at the net last season, contributing on both offense and defense. They are joined by redshirt freshman Tessa Jones, who looks to mix in and see her first collegiate action.

Ratliff is coming off another exceptional season for the Rebels in which she earned All-SEC and AVCA All-Region honors. The Atlanta, Georgia, native capped off her 2023 campaign with 106 total blocks, moving her into fifth all-time at Ole Miss with 291.0 in her career. Ratliff was also an offensive weapon for the Rebels, tallying the second most kills on the team with 277 kills while hitting at a blistering .343 clip that ranked fifth in the SEC. Coaches across the league have their eyes on the senior, selecting her as one of 15 student-athletes to the Preseason All-SEC Team. 

Brgoch is fresh off her best season ever in an Ole Miss uniform. The Parker, Colorado, led the team with 123 total blocks, the third most in a single season in program history. She also was a major contributor on offense, tallying the fourth most kills on the team with 213 and doing so at a blistering .344 clip that paced the Rebels and ranked second in the SEC. 

Jones, a Prep Volleyball Top-150 recruit and 2021 AVCA Honorable Mention High School All-American, rounds out the middles. In her four-year career at Seton High School in Cleves, Ohio, she tallied 606 kills and racked up 144 total blocks.

Fans will have their first chance to catch Ole Miss in action this preseason in an exhibition against Arkansas State on Saturday, August 19, at 1 p.m. The match, like all events at the Gillom Center, is free and open to the public.

First serve of the 2023 season officially takes place on August 25 at 3 p.m. as the Rebels open play at the FGCU Homewood Suites Invitational in Fort Meyers, Florida, taking on St. John’s.

Courtesy of Ole Miss Athletics

Adam Brown
Adam Brown
Sports Editor

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