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Ole Miss volleyball struggles in opening weekend

Two top 25 opponents out the gate mounted huge challenge

Courtesy Ole Miss Athletics

Ole Miss volleyball wanted all the smoke when it scheduled two top 25 opponents for its invitational in Oxford this past weekend.

The Rebels (0-2) got all it wanted with a close fought loss to No. 9 Georgia Tech and a four set loss to No. 17 Illinois. Ole Miss jumped out to a quick lead against the Yellow Jackets with a 25-13 first set with what seemed to be one of the best crowds I can remember at a volleyball game in recent memory. Or maybe it was just the magic of television, who knows?

From there, the Rebels and Georgia Tech played very, very competitive and close sets with a 26-24 and 28-26 second and third set respectively going to the Yellow Jackets. The fourth set was a constant back and forth as well and a couple late challenges went Georgia Tech’s way to seal the final 27-25 for the set and match.

The second match of the weekend came on Sunday with another close loss to top 25 Illinois. The Illini dominated the first set with a 25-16 decision and held on for a 26-24 second set decision as well.

Ole Miss rallied with a 25-18 third set win but fell in the fourth set 25-20 to lose the match. There’s a level of respect to open a season with very strong competition at home, but also this team competed and showed it can pretty much play with anyone in the Gillom Center.

Next up for the Lady Rebels is the Husker Invitational at the University of Nebraska. Ole Miss will face Loyola Marymount on Sept. 2 and then turn around for a match against the host Cornhuskers on Sept. 3.