Volleyball Position Preview: Middle Blockers

Published 2:13 pm Monday, August 22, 2022

OXFORD, Miss. – With 12 players returning from last season’s NCAA Tournament appearance, the Rebels are ready to run it back. As Ole Miss volleyball prepares for the first serve of 2022 on August 26, OleMissSports.com is back to take a look at the Rebel middle blockers.

The middle blocker group is led by a pair of juniors in Sasha Ratliff and Payton Brgoch, who are both coming off breakout seasons from a year ago. The duo was a force at the net all season long, helping the Rebels break single-season program records for block assists and total blocks.

Ratliff established herself as one of the top middle blockers in the conference last season. She was one of 15 student-athletes to pick up Preseason SEC honors heading into 2022. The Atlanta, Georgia, native paced the team with a school record 113 assisted blocks and was one shy of the single-season total block record with 129 last season.

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Brgoch was the second-leading blocker for Ole Miss last season. She tallied 1.12 blocks per set, the eighth-best mark in the conference and 103rd nationally. The Parker, Colorado, native looks to continue to elevate her game in year three with the Rebels.

Also factoring into the rotation are Long Beach State transfer Meauna Booth and sophomore Charlotte Rodgers. Booth spent two seasons in Long Beach but never saw the court after the Big West canceled the 2020 season, and she missed the 2021 season due to an injury and received a redshirt. Rodgers returns for her second season as a Rebel after appearing in one match last season.

Rounding out the middles is Prep Volleyball Top-150 recruit and 2021 AVCA Honorable Mention High School All-American Tessa Jones. In her four-year career at Seton High School in Cleves, Ohio, Jones tallied 606 kills and racked up 144 total blocks.

First serve of the 2022 season officially takes place on August 26 at 4 p.m. as the Rebels open the Ole Miss Invitational, hosting No. 9 Georgia Tech. The match will be available to stream on SECN+.

Follow the Rebels on Twitter at @OleMissVB, Facebook at Ole Miss Volleyball, and on Instagram at @olemissvb. You can also follow head coach Kayla Banwarth on Twitter @KaylaBanwarth2.