Aug. 25, 2012
@AUVolleyball on Twitter
| Auburn Volleyball on Facebook
GREEN BAY, Wis. - Auburn's volleyball team captured the Green Bay/Country Inn & Suites Tournament title, defeating host UW-Green Bay 3-0 (32-30, 28-26, 25-21) in a hard-fought match Saturday night at the Kress Events Center.
The Tigers (3-0) got strong play from the middle of the floor with a combined 30 kills from tournament MVP Camila Jersonsky and junior Courtney McDonald and were able to withstand their toughest fight yet from Green Bay (1-2).
"It was a battle tonight," Auburn head coach Rick Nold said. "I thought Green Bay played outstanding, great defense, very aggressive. In both the first and second game we were behind, and we battled back. We had talked about it before the game, what we wanted to see in terms of our intensity, and I thought that really showed at the end."
Jersonsky recorded a career-high 18 kills on 34 attacks with just two errors for a .471 hitting percentage, giving her 33 kills for the weekend. Nold said that he knew Jersonsky would have plenty of opportunities in the middle after watching Green Bay play its earlier matches this weekend.
"They had pretty much been blocking one-on-one in the middle the whole tournament, and we wanted to take advantage of that," Nold said. "Cam's a great hitter - same with Courtney - and it kept working, so we kept going to it."
Senior Sarah Bullock was named to the All-Tournament team with nine kills in tonight's match to give her 28 for the tournament; she also had 10 digs in tonight's match. Junior libero Sarah Wroblicky earned an All-Tournament nod with 25 digs in tonight's match; she had a total of 61 in the tournament.
McDonald finished one kill shy of a career-high with 12 tonight. Chelsea Wintzinger posted her first double-double of the year with 18 assists and 17 digs, and Katherine Culwell recorded seven kills along with 14 digs.
Auburn out-hit Green Bay .231 to .182 and had 56 kills to their opponents' 43. Auburn also won the digs battle by one, 76-75, but Green Bay had nine blocks to Auburn's three.
Auburn rallied from a seven-point deficit in the first set and fought off three set point attempts from Green Bay to outlast the Phoenix and take a 32-30 win. After falling behind early with five attack errors against just two kills, giving Green Bay a 12-5 lead, the Tigers would record 15 kills and just two errors the rest of the way. Auburn would finally tie the score at 21-all then take its first lead at 22-21 on a Kearney kill. Green Bay would have its first chance at set point at 24-23, but an error brought it back even. Another chance at 25-24 would go awry with a kill from McDonald, and Auburn got set point tries at 28-27, 29-28, and 30-29. All three times, Green Bay came through with a kill to even the score. Finally, at 31-30, Chloe Rowand and McDonald came through with a huge block to give Auburn the opening-set win.
The second set was more of the same. Auburn fell behind early, trailing by as many as six points at 20-14, before fighting back to eventually tie the score at 23-23 on the strength of big swings from Jersonsky, Culwell and Halle Kearney. Another Culwell kill gave Auburn a set point try at 24-23, and a McDonald kill gave them another chance at 25-24, but both times Green Bay's outside hitters came through with game-saving kills. A kill from Bullock gave the Tigers their fourth set point chance of the frame, and Jersonsky put down her 13th of the night to give Auburn a 28-26 win and a 2-0 lead in the match.
Set three saw Auburn jump out to an early lead, but Green Bay would not go away quietly. The lead changed hands five times and the score was tied on nine occasions in the third set, but Auburn would finally gain an advantage off two Phoenix errors, making it 17-15. Auburn ran off three more in a row to take a 20-15 lead, and the Tigers fought off a mini-rally by the Phoenix to have match point at 24-19. Green Bay would stave off match point twice, but not a third time as Jersonsky put down her 18th kill of the night to seal the deal and earn Auburn a tournament title.
Green Bay was led by Carmen Leitermann with 13 kills while Brittany Groth had 29 digs and Leah Poel recorded 31 assists. Katie Mroczenski was a force up front for the Phoenix with seven blocks.
Earlier Saturday, the Tigers claimed a three-set victory over Drake (25-16, 25-21, 25-19) to improve to 2-0 on the year. Culwell had a double-double for the Tigers with 10 kills and 12 digs, and Sarah Bullock added 10 kills to the Auburn effort as they held Drake to a .046 hitting percentage.
Auburn will play its next four matches in the state of Alabama. The Tigers will travel to Troy on Tuesday, Aug. 28, for a single match against the Troy Trojans, set for a 7 p.m. start. Starting Friday, the Tigers will host the two-day War Eagle Invitational, featuring matches against Georgia Southern, High Point and Jacksonville State. The Student Activities Center will play host to four matches Friday and two Saturday; visit AuburnTigers.com for full details.
Green Bay/Country Inn & Suites All-Tournament Team
Camila Jersonsky (Auburn) - MVP
Sarah Wroblicky (Auburn)
Sarah Bullock (Auburn)
Lindsay Dulude (Central Michigan)
Jenna Coates (Central Michigan)
Carmen Leitermann (Green Bay)
Cassie Effken (Drake)