AUBURN, Ala. – The Auburn volleyball opened the 2016 season hosting the War Eagle Invitational Friday, Aug. 26, and fell to Georgia Tech, 3-1 (21-25, 25-22, 25-18, 25-18), in Auburn Arena.
Sophomore Brenna McIlroy led the Tigers (0-1) with 11 kills and 15 digs, while freshman middle blocker Gwyn Jones finished with 10 kills and a .318 attack percentage. Libero Jesse Earl had a match-high 24 digs and setter Alexa Filley finished with 39 assists and eight kills.
Georgia Tech (1-0) had three finish with double-digit kills in Teegan Van Gunst (12), Annika Van Gunst (10), and Sydney Wilson (10). Libero London Ackermann had 22 digs and the Yellow Jackets had five blocks as a team.
Set one opened as a back-and-forth battle for the lead. The Jackets used a three-point run to jump ahead 8-6 and held their slim margin throughout the middle of the set. A handful of GT errors locked the set at 15 and a kill from McIlroy set the score at 16-15. Tied at 21, a kill from Jones and a Jones/McIlroy block gave the Tigers the momentum to take the set, 25-21.
Tech responded in set two and grabbed an early 9-5 advantage to force an Auburn timeout. A kill from Courtney Crable followed by a pair of aces from McIlroy tied the set at 10, but another long run for GT led to a 19-14 lead for the visitors. The Jackets closed out the set with a 25-22 win.
GT came out of intermission with momentum and took a 7-5 advantage to start the third set. Auburn errors gave the Jackets a 14-10 lead and the visiting team used a six-point run to go up 21-13. Tech took set three by a score of 25-18.
The Jackets continued their trend and used a handful of two-point runs to take a 14-7 lead in set four. A couple Tech kills led to an 18-12 advantage and Georgia Tech finished the match with a 25-18 victory.
The War Eagle Invitational continues Saturday, Aug. 27, with four matches in Auburn Arena. Georgia Tech and Pacific square off at 9:30 a.m., while Auburn returns to competition with a contest against Furman at noon. GT and Furman conclude their weekend with a match at 5 p.m. and the invitational closes out with a 7:30 p.m. faceoff between Auburn and Pacific.