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Morgan makes a difference for Rebel volleyball

Alex Edwards/The Daily Mississippian

Sophomore Kara Morgan is no stranger to the sport of volleyball. Standing at 6’1,’ Morgan’s presence on the floor intimidates players game in, game out. The Pickens, S.C., native lettered all four years of high school and also earned Class 3A State Player of the Year in 2008.

“I’ve been playing volleyball since about fifth grade,” Morgan said. “My whole family is really athletic at any kind of sport.”

Morgan’s talents immediately transferred to the collegiate level for Ole Miss last season. In her freshman season, Morgan played all 30 matches and started in 22 of them.

“It was tough; it was really exciting just to step on the floor as a freshman,” she said. “It was really tough to get acclimated to the whole new system and things like that.”

Morgan is a versatile player who can often be seen putting up big numbers in both the kill and dig categories. At her outside hitter position last season, Morgan was credited with five double-digit dig performances. Her game, however, is not limited to big numbers on the floor. Morgan is also known to bring intangibles to the game, which is a hard quality to find.

“I think I bring a lot of energy to the floor,” she said. “Just a lot of excitement and things like that, so I think that’s a big thing for our team.”

This season Morgan has stepped up for the Rebels, including a season-high 15 kills in a match against Mississippi State. She has continued her play as a consistent starter. She is third on the team in both kills (120) and digs (95) through 14 games this season. Looking ahead, she also has high hopes for the remainder of her collegiate career.

“I definitely hope to bring my team to the SEC West Division title,” Morgan said. “Doing things like that and to (get to) the NCAA tournament.”

However, this is proving to be a tough task for the Rebel team so far this season. The Rebels sit at 5-9 overall and 1-5 in SEC play, so turning things around is a must for Morgan and her teammates. Morgan personally looks to help carry the load as the season progresses.

“Making sure I come in the gym every day and getting a lot of reps,” she said. “Making sure that I’m doing what I can to help the team.”

Those kinds of things, along with solid team play from her teammates, could be just what the Rebels need to catch a break and turn the season around.

“I think just a lot of hard work, a lot of focus (and) a lot of dedication to the sport itself will help us,” she said.

Morgan and the Rebels will look to get their second conference win this Friday in Lexington as they take on Kentucky. Ole Miss wraps up the weekend Sunday at No. 19 Tennessee in Knoxville.