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Ole Miss Athletics Week in Review (Oct. 13-19)

Ole Miss Athletics Week in Review
Oct. 13-19, 2014

Football
- Ole Miss rode its dominant defense to a 34-3 homecoming win over Tennessee on Saturday to improve to 7-0 overall and 4-0 in Southeastern Conference play.
- The Rebels are 7-0 for just the second time in school history. The other time was in 1962 when the team went 10-0 and earned a share of the national title.
- The Rebel defense held Tennessee without a touchdown and limited the Vols to zero rushing yards in yet another impressive showing. The "Landshark" defense now leads the nation allowing just 10.6 points per outing.
- Senquez Golson intercepted two more passes to increase his SEC lead to seven interceptions, which ranks second nationally.
- Freshman DE Marquis Haynes had 2.5 sacks (of the team's seven total) and now ranks third in the conference and tied for 10th in the nation with 6.5 sacks this year.
- The Vaught-Hemingway Stadium crowd of 62,081 was third-largest in school history.

Volleyball
- Ole Miss went 2-0 last week, earning a 3-1 win at Auburn followed by a 3-2 win at Alabama to improve to 18-3 overall and 4-3 in the SEC.  
- The win at Auburn marked the Rebels' first SEC road win of the season and snapped a three-match losing streak to the Tigers.
- Ole Miss rallied from a 2-1 deficit to hand Alabama its first home loss of the season on Sunday. The Rebels have now won five of the last eight meetings against the Crimson Tide, which had an RPI of 29 coming into the match.
- Freshman Lexi Thompson notched a career-high 23 kills in the win against Auburn and then posted a double-double of 15 kills and 14 digs in the win at Alabama.
- Aubrey Edie tallied 48 assists at Auburn and then recorded 56 assists at Alabama, paving the way for four Ole Miss players to record double-digit kills, including Thompson, Nakeyta Clair, Melanie Crow and Ty Laporte.
- Clair tallied 13 kills and four blocks while hitting .333 at Auburn.  Against Alabama, she posted a team-high 17 kills, including the match clincher, and hit .560. She now has 13 matches with at least 10 kills and 17 matches with at least a .300 hitting percentage.
- The Rebels, winners of three in a row, are now the only conference team undefeated at home (9-0).  The Rebels currently own the best overall record in the league at 18-3 and moved up in the standings to fifth after the weekend wins.
- Aubrey Edie was named the SEC Offensive Player of the Week. That makes five of the first eight weeks for the Rebels to earn one of the league's weekly honors.  The Rebels lead the league with five different players recognized to date.

Men's Tennis
- The Rebels participated in the USTA/ITA Southern Regionals last weekend in Auburn, Alabama.  Junior Stefan Lindmark reached the semifinals in singles and senior William Kallberg and freshman Gustav Hansson reached the semifinals in doubles.
- It marked the third year in a row and the fourth year in the last five for the Rebels to have a singles semifinalist.  It also marked the fourth year in the last five for the Rebels to have a doubles semifinalist as well.
- Junior Joe Rogers and freshman Zvonimir Babic teamed up for the first time to reach the quarterfinals in doubles.

Cross Country - Men
- Against a field consisting of nine of the top 30 teams in the nation, the Ole Miss men's cross country team grabbed an eighth-place finish in the Pre-Nationals Invitational on Saturday.
- Freshman Sean Tobin led Ole Miss in his second meet by clocking a time of 25:03.4 in the 8K, good for 48th overall.
- Junior Wes Gallagher (25:12.7) and sophomore Robert Domanic (24:36.88) finished 55th and 61st, respectively, to round out the top three Rebels at the meet.

Cross Country - Women
- The Ole Miss women raced a young team in the 6K, consisting of four freshmen, two sophomores and a senior.
- Freshman Shelby Brown (22:46.4) recorded the best time for the Rebels for the second consecutive meet.

Soccer
- Ole Miss had an 0-2 weekend, dropping a pair of road matches at Kentucky and South Carolina.
- Ole Miss returns home to host Missouri on Friday night after an extended road swing that has seen the Rebels go almost a month without playing a home match.
- Senior goalkeeper Kelly McCormick will set the school record for shutout victories (23) with her next shutout this season, currently she is tied with Brittany Gillespie who set the mark in 2003.
- Two of the final three regular-season matches will be at home for the Rebels, which also host Tennessee on Oct. 30 to close out the regular season on Senior Day, honoring McCormick.

Women's Golf
- The Ole Miss women's golf team sent Alison Hovatter, Maria Toennessen and Sofia Idoyaga as individuals to the Mercedes Benz Championship over the weekend.
- Hovatter led the Rebels, finishing in a tie for 22nd-place with a three-day score of 224.
- Hovatter's 224 is a season-low 54-hole score and her second round score of 70 was a season-low for 18 holes.

Rebels To Compete Against Nation's Best

Eight women's teams and seven men's teams are ranked in the top 25 entering the Southeastern Conference Indoor Championships this weekend in College Station, Texas. Five women's teams are ranked in the top seven in the nation, paced by Florida, which is ranked No. 2. On the men's side, Arkansas, Florida and Texas A&M, in that order, are the top three teams in the nation.

Ole Miss is among the seven SEC teams on the men's side, entering the SEC Indoor Championships as the No. 20-ranked team in the nation.

"If you ask any of the coaches in this league, they would tell you that this is by far the best conference in the United States," head coach Brian O'Neal said. "Our young men and women are just looking forward to competing against the best."

The Ole Miss men have eight athletes ranked, highlighted by junior Sam Kendricks, who jumped 18-8.25 this past weekend at the Albuquerque Convention Center, which ranks him No. 1 in the NCAA, No. 1 among Americans and No. 13 in the world this year. The Ole Miss women have three athletes ranked, led by senior Fabia McDonald who is ranked No. 14 and No. 22 in the pentathlon and long jump, respectively.

The three-day SEC Indoor Championships from Thursday to Saturday in College Station, Texas will be the Rebels' last meet before the NCAA Indoor Championships (March 14-15) and then the start of the outdoor season.

"We're young in a lot of position areas," O'Neal said. "Our young men and women are excited to come in here and compete and see where we stack up against the best and get our feet wet as we compete against the best. The SEC Championship is the pinnacle for us, in terms of the regular season. We're trying to go out there, line up, represent the Red and Blue and compete to the best of our abilities."

SEC In The National Rankings:

MEN

1. Arkansas

2. Florida

3. Texas A&M

12. Alabama

15. LSU

20. Ole Miss

24. Georgia

WOMEN

2. Florida

3. Texas A&M

4. Arkansas

6. Kentucky

7. Georgia

14. LSU

23. Mississippi State

25. Missouri

Ole Miss Athletics Week In Review (Jan. 13-19)

Ole Miss Athletics Week In Review
Jan. 13-19, 2014

This is a new feature we're going to do each week on the blog. Each Monday we will recap everything that has happened in the past week in Ole Miss athletics, and we will also list a schedule of upcoming games, matches and meets.

Men's Basketball

- Senior guard Marshall Henderson was named SEC Player of the Week after posting 22.0 points and 3.5 assists in a pair of wins last week.
- Sophomore forward Anthony Perez scored a career-high 22 points in a road win at South Carolina. It was the Rebels' first win in Columbia since 2001.
- Freshman forward Sebastian Saiz scored a career-high 20 points and grabbed nine rebounds in the overtime win over LSU on Wednesday. Ole Miss outscored the Tigers 19-5 in the overtime period to blow past LSU.

Track & Field

- The No. 16 Ole Miss men and the Rebel women performed well against high-level indoor track & field competition at last weekend's Auburn Invitational in Birmingham, Ala., led by another meet record by pole vaulter Sam Kendricks.
- Kendricks set a meet record and bested the next closest vaulter by a foot and a half with his winning clearance of 18-0.5. It was the second straight weekend that he set a meet record, as he established the nation's best vault of the indoor season a week earlier with his school-record 18-4.75 at the UAB Blazer Invitational en route to SEC Men's Field Athlete of the Week honors.
- Other highlights included senior Phillip Young in the triple jump (52-2.5), freshman Jalen Miller in the 60 meters (6.67) and 200 meters (21.45), sophomore Onyi Afoaku in the weight throw (62-10.75), and freshman Robert Domanic in the mile (4:07.20), all of which rank highly in the NCAA this year.
- For the women, senior Fabia McDonald had a strong pentathlon score of 3,989 (just off her school record of 4,005) that ranks her second nationally this year.

Men's Tennis

- The No. 11 ranked Rebels participated in the MLK Invitational hosted by Georgia Tech Jan. 18-20.
- The round robin format included doubles and singles against Georgia Tech, No. 3 Georgia and No. 21 Memphis. No team scoring was in effect.
- Nik Scholtz, ranked No. 15 nationally, went 2-1 in singles to lead the Rebels. Scholtz also teamed up with Johan Backstrom in doubles for the first time − after two years with former All-American Jonas Lutjen − and the pair defeated 12th-ranked Hernus Pieters and Ben Wagland from Georgia.
- Ole Miss hosts the ITA Kickoff Weekend Jan. 25-26. The Rebels face No. 26 Michigan Saturday at 10 a.m. The regional also includes No. 22 Illinois and No. 23 Clemson.

Women's Tennis

- The Rebels participated in the Michigan Invitational Jan. 18-20 in Ann Arbor, Mich. The team played singles and doubles against No. 11 Michigan, No. 21 Georgia Tech and South Florida.
- Junior Julia Jones and sophomore Marija Milutinovic went 2-1 in singles. Jones improved to 11-4 on the year and Milutinovic improved to 8-4.
- Freshman Zalina Khairudinova made her debut for the Rebels, going 1-1 in singles and 2-0 in doubles with Julia Jones.
- The Rebels host Jackson State Wednesday, Jan. 22 at 2 p.m. at the Gillom Sports Center in their home and dual match opener. Admission is free and fans will receive an Ole Miss tennis t-shirt and enjoy popcorn between doubles and singles.

Women's Basketball

- Ole Miss went 0-2 on the week with an 80-74 loss to No. 24/25 Vanderbilt, and a heartbreaking 68-65 road loss to Arkansas. Ole Miss is now 9-10 on the year and 0-5 in SEC play.
- Valencia McFarland set a new career-high against Vanderbilt with 28 points, besting her previous mark of 25 set against Alabama in 2010-11
- Tia Faleru picked up her fifth game or 20 or more points with 20 points against Vanderbilt, she has reached the 20+ mark six times in her career.
- Faleru is nearing the 1,000-point mark, as she is just 245 points from the milestone. She would become Ole Miss' 17th 1,000-point scorer.
- Monique Jackson posted her first game in double-figures this season with a career-high 11 points and six rebounds, going 5-of-5 from the field against Arkansas.

Rifle

- After an almost two-month break, the Rebels began the spring season hosting No. 4 Jacksonville State and No. 5 Nebraska.
- The Rebels posted a season-high aggregate of 4637, falling to Nebraska (4643) by just six shots. Jacksonville State finished with a 4655.
- Senior Alivia Yeager shot a season-high 577 in smallbore to lead the Rebels. She finished with a season-high aggregate of 1157.
- Freshman Alison Weisz tied her season-best with a 591 in air rifle. Weisz, with a 567 in smallbore, eclipsed her season average in aggregate with a season-high total of 1158.
- Senior Abbey Stanec scored above her average in total aggregate with an 1165.

Upcoming Schedule

Monday
Men's tennis - Georgia Tech Invitational - All Day
Women's tennis - Michigan Invitational - All Day

Wednesday
Women's tennis vs. Jackson State - 2:00 p.m.
Men's basketball at Vanderbilt - 8:00 p.m.

Thursday
Women's basketball vs. Mississippi State - 6:00 p.m.

Friday
Track & Field - Vanderbilt Indoor Invitational - All Day

Saturday
Men's tennis vs. Michigan - 10:00 a.m.
Women's tennis vs. Oklahoma - 2:00 p.m. (Tuscaloosa, Ala.)
Men's basketball vs. Mississippi State - 3:00 p.m.
Track & Field - Vanderbilt Indoor Invitational - All Day

Sunday
Rifle - Withrow Invitational - 8:00 a.m. (Murray, Ky.)
Women's basketball vs. LSU - 1:00 p.m.
Men's tennis vs. Clemson/Illinois - TBA (Oxford, Miss.)
Women's tennis vs. Alabama/William & Mary - TBA (Tuscaloosa, Ala.)
Kendricks_060513c_JM.JPG
You've seen the photo. Now here's the story behind the picture from the man himself.



The photo above, courtesy of Josh McCoy, came on his winning pole vault at a height of 18-8.25 feet.

"The funny thing about that moment -- that picture -- is that I went through about five different emotions as I came dwon," Kendricks said. "Josh McCoy snapped that one picture where I was like this, but I was only like that for an instant. And so I was celebrating, and then I was relieved, and then I hit the mat, and it was over."

"With all my friends there and all the coaches, I really still don't know how to feel. I'm excited. I feel proud to be a Rebel. I feel accomplished that I have done this. But at the same time, who can be fully satisfied with something like this. I went there and did what I knew I could do. I just happened to come out victorious in the competition. And right now, I'm looking toward the future."

Kendricks said he never envisioned when he first started vaulting that all this was even a possibility, even to come to Ole Miss, even to jump higher than 14 feet. His grandfather, also Sam, has a flag pole in his front yard, and he moved it up from height to height while Sam jumped in high school, eventually to his highest jump, 17 feet.  Sam said the flag pole didn't go any higher, and his grandfather didn't want to buy a new one. When he arrived home yesterday, he said he saw something that reminded him of the flag pole.

"I see a big banner that says, 'Congratulations, Sam,' and I see all my family standing in the front yard, but I also see something along the column next to the front door, and it's a tape measure," Kendricks said.

"And it goes up and up and up and up, over the balcony, over the second story, and onto our roof, and I realized my mom had climbed on the outside of the balcony and taped it at 18-8.25 feet, way above the second story of our roof."

The immediate future Kendricks talked about is the USA Outdoor Track & Field Championships, which will be held June 20-23 in Des Moines, Iowa, where the top qualifiers will advance to the 2013 World Championships in Moscow, Russia, Aug. 10-18. There's also the 2016 Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, which Kendricks said he also thinks about. He is currently ranked second among Americans and seventh in the world this year with a mark of of 19-0.75 feet. 

"I've never done anything on that scale before," he said of representing his country. "Coming to college has been new experience after new experience. And just the possibility that I might be able to put USA on my chest is fulfilling."

"I think every guy need to allow himself those dreams," he said of Rio 2016. "And I hope that in the future I can still be a competitive vaulter, be healthy and be able to represent my country the best I can. The Olympic dream is always out there for a lot of guys, and for me, and I would be really happy if that came to fruition."








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