SEC Rewind: Alabama, Missouri, Ole Miss Lead the Way in Wins

  0 Wendy Mayer | September 21st, 2018 | College - Women's Indoor, News, SEC

Florida and Kentucky typically battle it out for the SEC title and both were picked as favorites to do win it again in our VolleyMob preseason preview. Alabama is the surprise of the preseason, accumulating a league-best 12-1 non-conference record and sitting on the cusp of this week’s Top 25 Power Rankings.

Night one of the league season saw both home teams win in sweeps as Missouri topped Alabama and Texas A&M outdid Arkansas.

The rest of the conference takes the court beginning on Friday.

VolleyMob Rankings

#11 Florida

#22 Kentucky

(RV) Alabama

(RV) Georgia

Standings (as of 9/16)

School Overall Home Road Neutral
Alabama 12-1 6-1 2-0 4-0
South Carolina 9-1 4-0 1-1 4-0
Missouri 10-2 3-0 1-1 6-1
Georgia 9-2 3-0 2-1 6-1
Florida 9-3 5-1 2-1 2-1
Tennessee 9-3 6-0 1-3 2-0
Ole Miss 10-4 4-1 1-2 5-1
Auburn 7-3 2-1 3-0 2-2
Arkansas 6-4 3-1 1-2 2-1
Kentucky 6-4 4-0 2-2 0-2
Texas A&M 7-5 2-1 0-4 5-0
LSU 5-6 1-2 2-2 2-2
Mississippi State 4-9 1-3 1-2 2-4


Date Visitor Home Time TV
9/19 Arkansas Texas A&M 8 p.m. SECN
9/19 Alabama Missouri 9 p.m. ESPNU
9/21 Ole Miss Florida 7 p.m. SECN+
9/21 Mississippi State South Carolina 7 p.m. SECN
9/21 LSU Georgia 7 p.m. SECN+
9/21 Tennessee Auburn 8 p.m. SECN+
9/23 Kentucky Tennessee 1 p.m. SECN+
9/23 Mississippi State Florida 1:30 p.m. SECN+
9/23 LSU South Carolina 1:30 p.m. SECN+
9/23 Auburn Alabama 2 p.m. SECN+
9/23 Missouri Arkansas 2 p.m. SECN+
9/23 Georgia Texas A&M 3 p.m. SECN+

A Breakdown

Alabama – 12-1

  • Alabama was 12-0 heading into its Friday match with Purdue, its best start since becoming an NCAA program in 1989. The Crimson Tide lost via sweep, but bounced back with a 3-0 win over Southern Miss on Saturday.
  • Purdue is the only ranked opponent that Alabama has faced thus far in 2018.
  • Key Players
    • Ginger Perinar and Doris Carter pace the Crimson Tide with 3.40 and 3.23 kills per set respectively, while three other players chip in nearly 2.00 kills per set: Hayley McSparin (2.32), Mahalia Swink (2.23) and Cidavia Hall (1.77).
    • McSparin has put up a team-best 1.19 blocks per set, while Hall has chipped in 0.98 saves per set.
    • Meghan Neelon has served up a team-best 18 aces while dishing out 6.94 assists per set as part of the team’s 6-2 offense with Mylana Byrd (4.72 aps).
    • Quincy Gary lead the SEC in digs per set with 4.85.

Arkansas – 6-4

  • The Razorbacks will be looking to get back on the winning track after dropping its non-conference finale against Georgia Tech on Saturday.
  • Arkansas faced off against No. 3 Minnesota on the road in its lone ranked meeting.
  • Key Players
    • Hailey Dirrigl paces the team with 3.53 kills per set, while three other players added two or more kills: Logan Brown (2.86), Kelly O’Brien (2.43) and Elizabeth Pamphile (2.35).
    • Pamphile leads the way at the net with 1.05 blocks per set, while Maia Strip has chipped in 0.94 stuffs per set.
    • Okiana Valle has pulled up a 4.41 digs per set.

Auburn – 7-3

  • The Tigers bring a four-match win streak into SEC play on Friday, including Sunday’s win over Florida State.
  • Auburn has played just one ranked team, facing off with Michigan on opening weekend.
  • Key Players
    • Taylor Rowland (3.30) and Brenna McIlroy (3.17) lead the way for the Tigers offensively. McIlroy also boasts a team-best 16 aces.
    • Bella Rosenthall is tops defensively with 4.08 digs per set, while Chesney McClellan (0.85) and Shaina White (0.80) pace the team at the net.

Florida – 9-3

  • The Gators are riding a five-match win streak into Friday’s SEC opener vs. Ole Miss.
  • Florida started the season with matches against three Top 10 foes in Nebraska (W 3-1), Texas (L 2-3) and USC (L 1-3). The team also dropped a surprising five setter at Northern Arizona.
  • Key Players
    • Rookie Thayer Hall hit the ground running and has racked up a team-best 3.50 kills per set, while hitting .220 and served up a team-leading 11 aces.
    • Allie Gregory is tops in digs with 177 (3.69 per set)
    • Rachael Kramer paces the team at the net with 1.06 blocks per set (51), while Taelor Kellum follows with 47 (1.02 per set).

Georgia – 9-2

  • The Bulldogs started the season with seven straight wins, even topping No. 24 Colorado (3-1), but has stumbled twice in the last four matches, falling to Oklahoma and Georgia Tech in five sets.
  • Georgia opens the SEC slate at home vs. LSU.
  • Key Players
    • T’ara Ceasar has piled up 185 kills (4.51 per set) to go with 2.24 digs per set and 11 aces.
    • Rachel Ritchie (3.39) and Majesti Bass (2.52) also have put down more than 100 kills (139 and 106). Bass is hitting at a team-best .292 clip, while all of the team’s hitters boast an efficiency of .212 or better.
    • Kendall Glover has more than doubled the defensive output of her peers, pulling up 195 digs (4.64 per set).
    • Anna Kate Karstens is best at the net with 0.92 blocks per set (33).

Kentucky – 6-4

  • The Wildcats have been challenged by four ranked teams, falling to Creighton (3-2), USC (3-1), Northern Iowa (3-2) and Texas (3-1).
  • Kentucky brings a three-match win streak into Sunday’s opener at Tennessee.
  • Key Players
    • Leah Edmond have nearly doubled the offensive output of any of her teammates, notching 171 kills (4.28 per set), while hitting at a .302 clip.
    • Brooke Morgan (90, 2.25 kills per set), Alli Stumler (86, 2.26 per set) and Avery Skinner (75, 2.44 per set) follow Edmond. Morgan is hitting at a team-best .429 clip and has served up a team-leading 10 aces.
    • Gabby Curry leads the way defensively with 3.65 digs per set.

LSU – 5-6

  • The Tigers have played two ranked foes in 2018, falling to Baylor (3-1) in the season opener and to Michigan (3-0) on Sept. 7.
  • LSU brings a three-match win streak into conference play, including wins over Abilene Christian and SMU at the SMU Doubletree Classic last weekend.
  • Key Players
    • Taylor Bannister leads the Tigers’ attack with 4.60 kills per set (11th nationally) to go with 12 aces. Bannister is coming off a 36-kill effort against SMU last weekend en route to SEC Player of the Week nods.
    • Raigen Cianciulli paces the backcourt defense with 4.18 digs per set, while Jacqui Armer and Whitney Foreman lead the way at the net with 1.05 and 0.97 blocks per set respectively.

Mississippi State – 4-9

  • The Bulldogs have faced one ranked team in 2018, falling in straight sets to Cal Poly last weekend at the North Texas Challenge.
  • Mississippi State has lost its last three matches heading into Friday’s match at South Carolina.
  • Key Players:
    • Mississippi State has a lot of offensive options with six players averaging more than 1.70 kills per set. Amarrah Cooks (2.52), Khristian Carr (2.27), AJ Koele (2.25), Paige Shaw (2.11), Deja Robinson (1.98) and Taylor Haskins (1.70) make up the group.
    • Cooks leads the team in efficiency, hitting at a .302 clip and also has put up a team-best 0.79 blocks per set.
    • Kendall Murr has racked up 205 digs (4.27 per set).

Missouri – 11-2, 1-0 SEC

  • The Tigers played their first ranked foe of the season, taking on Alabama in Wednesday’s SEC opener. Mizzou won in a sweep, extending its current win streak to four matches.
  • Kylie Deberg (3.34) and Leketor Member-Meneh (3.15) lead Missouri offensively, while three other players have notched nearly two kills per set. Deberg also has served up 20 aces.
  • Alyssa Munlyn has put down 1.74 kills per set, while hitting at a team-best .377 clip. Munlyn also leads a group of three Tigers with more than a block per set (1.51).

Ole Miss – 10-4

  • The Rebels will face their second ranked opponent of the season, when they take on No. 11 Florida in Gainesville on Friday. Ole Miss took on Iowa State on opening weekend, falling 3-0.
  • Key Players:
    • Emily Stroup is the team’s go-to hitter and has pounded down 4.56 kills per set (246 kills) at a .236 clip. Stroup also lead the team in aces (14).
    • Aubrey Sultemeier has put up 47 blocks (0.94 per set) to lead the Rebel block.

South Carolina – 9-1

  • The Gamecocks come into Friday’s opener with Mississippi State after a weekend off as the team’s trip to Richmond, Virginia for the VCU Tournament was cancelled due to Hurricane Florence.
  • South Carolina, which has won its last five matches,  has yet to play a ranked opponent in 2018.
  • Key Players:
    • Mikayla Shields is the Gamecocks’ most productive and most efficient hitter, having turned in 3.22 kills per set (116 kills), while hitting at a .313 clip. Shields also has added 11 aces.
    • Aubrey Ezzell has served up 35 aces in the team’s 36 sets of action. Ezzell also leads the team in the back court with 3.78 digs per set.
    • Claire Edwards and Mikayla Robinson each have put up 34 blocks (0.94 per set).

Tennessee – 9-3

  • The Vols have played three ranked opponents thus far in 2018: Michigan State in the season opener (W 3-1) and San Diego twice on Week 3 (L 0-3, W 3-1).
  • Tennessee has won its last two matches heading into Friday’s match at Auburn.
  • Key Players:
    • Tessa Grubbs leads the Vols with 3.80 kills per set, while Lily Felts (2.77), Erica Treiber (2.65) and Raquel Perinar (2.37) follow.
    • Treiber has served up a team-best 16 aces, put up a team-leading 1.20 blocks per set and is hitting at a .407 clip.

Texas A&M – 8-5

  • The Aggies took on Penn State in University Park on Week 2, falling via sweep to the Top 10 foe. Texas A&M also faced off with traditional Missouri Valley powerhouse Missouri State, falling 3-2 on Week 3.
  • Key Players:
    • Hollann Hans has put down 4.25 kills per set and added 2.25 digs per set and a team-leading 17 aces.
    • Brookah Palmer is next on the team with 2.40 kills per set, 16 aces and 1.93 digs per set.
    • Amy Houser holds down the backcourt with 4.09 digs per set.

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About Wendy Mayer

Wendy Mayer

Wendy Mayer has worked in athletics media relations for the last 20 years. The Northwest Missouri State alumna is currently senior writer for after spending the last 15 years with Purdue athletics.

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