Coach Joe Getzin's in his fifth season as head volleyball coach at Ole Miss. For the first time in his tenure, the Rebels will have a winning season.
But it's actually been 10 years since that happened. You have to go back to 1996 to find a winning season in volleyball at Ole Miss, and that was under former head coach John Blair.
The Rebels beat Georgia and South Carolina in Oxford over the weekend. Both were by scores of 3 games to none. More milestones for Getzin's Rebs.
Ole Miss hadn't swept an SEC weekend, winning two consecutive matches in league play over a three-day span, since 1994 when they beat Auburn and Alabama. You have to go back to 1989 to find two SEC weekend matches that Ole Miss won by 3-0 counts as they did this past weekend.
"It feels good to have a winning season locked up and to know that the kids have worked so hard for this and it has paid off," Getzin said. "It's been a long time coming. It's great to see what we've seen in practice come to the court on the weekends."
Ole Miss heads to Florida for a match Wednesday night; then it's on to Auburn for a match Sunday afternoon. The Rebels wrap up the regular season with home matches against Arkansas on Nov. 17 and LSU on Nov. 19.
There used to be an SEC Volleyball Tournament but not anymore. Vanderbilt does not have women's volleyball, so there are only 11 teams. The Rebels need more wins to have a shot at an NCAA Tournament bid.
No matter, though, it's still been a breakthrough year for Ole Miss volleyball in 2006.
Andy Kennedy's basketball Rebs are back on the court tonight, hosting Delta State in exhibition game No. 2. Friday night the Rebels got past Division II North Alabama 108-103. Tonight it's another D-II encounter.
I wouldn't read too much into the scores of these exhibitions, especially since some players are out and others are shuffling in and out so the coaches are better able to see who can and can‘t play.
Kennedy was short-handed Friday night with two of his three true big men out of the lineup and another fouling out quickly. Dwayne Curtis is injured, and Kenny Williams was suspended by Kennedy, who said he was just making sure he had Williams' – and maybe other players' – attention. Not sure if Williams will suit up tonight or not.
Curtis is awaiting word, perhaps later today, on the status of his stress fracture in his foot. Word from the weekend was that it is healing and looks to be progressing as hoped. But another reading of his latest MRI is supposed to take place anytime now, and we'll find out more soon – hopefully tonight at the game.
Some things were obvious from exhibition No. 1 for the Rebs. They'll definitely rip and run, as some have called it. I don't see any shot clock violations in their future.
Freshman guard Eniel Polynice can play. In 21 minutes he was 5-for-7, went 1-for-1 at the line, and scored 11 points while grabbing three rebounds and dishing out a team-high five assists. The 6-foot-5, 210-pound Polynice also had a block and a steal for good measure.
Sophomore forward Trey Hampton can also play. But we saw that last season. At 6-8, 225, Hampton put up some impressive numbers, scoring 19 points on 6-for-7 shooting and making 7-of-8 free throws. He pulled down nine boards, had two steals, and will be an important part of however far this year's team ultimately goes.
Senior guard Clarence Sanders has improved, both from a shooting standpoint and from a confidence standpoint. He had 14 points Friday night and was 4-for-4 from 3-point range. He had 35 points in an earlier intrasquad.
I asked Sanders what the difference had been. He said more freedom to shoot and as a result more confidence. He said he believes he can help the team because of the fresh start he feels he has, even though he's in his last year of college hoops.
I thought freshman forward Andy Ogide had the best performance I've seen from him in the preseason. Hopefully he's one of those that when the lights come on and the crowd fills the seats then he's at his best.
The 6-8, 215-pounder scored eight points in 14 minutes with six rebounds. He made some nice moves to make something happen on both ends of the court. He'll have to get tougher to compete in this league, and he will. He'll learn a lot his first time around the SEC.
Freshman guard Rodney Jones also had some bright moments in his 17 minutes, scoring eight points with an assist and a steal. Sophomore forward Xavier Hansbro was 6-for-9 for 12 points in 25 minutes with a team-high 10 rebounds.
Senior guard Bam Doyne led all scorers for the Rebs with 21 points in 19 minutes. Kennedy said all fall that he's been pleased with Doyne.
There were a couple of disappointments, and it will be interesting to see how things go for them tonight. Junior center Jermey Parnell, shouldering a lot of the inside action with Curtis and Williams out, fouled out in 12 minutes with four points and two rebounds. And sophomore guard Justin Cerasoli still isn't back to the form he should be following a broken wrist, surgery, and recovery. He was 2-for-10 from the floor, including 1-for-4 from 3-point range for five points with an assist and two steals.
On the women's side from Sunday, Armintie Price was her usual solid self in the Rebels' 78-76 win in exhibition action vs. a team called DT3. She was all over the court on both ends, leading her team and scoring 27 points with seven rebounds, four steals, and an assist.
Two Memphis Briarcrest players – senior forward Jada Mincy and freshman guard Alliesha Easley – were bright spots for the Rebs. Carol Ross always talks about the toughness of the Briarcrest players, and she attributes much of that to their former basketball coach, Hugh Freeze, now an Ole Miss football assistant.
Mincy scored seven points with seven rebounds, while Easley, in her first action at UM, was 4-for-5 shooting for eight points in 14 minutes.
Junior forward Danetra Forrest was second in scoring Sunday with 15 points and led in the rebounding department with 13. How well the Louisville native plays inside this season will be a big factor in how far the women's hoops team can go.
Volleyball, men's hoops, women's hoops
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