Volleyball Earns Sweep Over Boston College, 3-0
Aug. 27, 2011
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GAINESVILLE, Fla. - Rick Nold earned his first victory as Auburn's head volleyball coach on Saturday afternoon as the Tigers defeated Boston College 3-0 (25-17, 25-23, 25-18) at the Stephen C. O'Connell Center in the team's final game of the Active Ankle Challenge.
The Tigers (1-1) led virtually the entire match and outhit Boston College (0-2) by a .309-.012 margin. It was a stark contrast from Auburn's match against North Carolina on Friday when the Tigers managed only a .048 hitting percentage.
"We were inconsistent in a lot of areas, but I thought we did a good job of not letting that get us down," Nold said. "Not everything is going to go your way. But you have to keep your head on straight and stay together, and good things will happen."
Auburn was led by sophomore outside hitter Vesela Zapryanova, who tied a career high with nine digs and shattered a previous career-best with eight kills in the contest as she hit .353 on the day. But the best hitting percentage belonged to fellow sophomore Chloe Rowand, who hit .750 (9 kills on 12 attacks with no errors), setting a career-high in kills for the second straight match.
Senior Kelly Fidero fell just short of double-digit kills with nine on the day, hitting .316 (9-4-16), and sophomore Kathia Rud set a career-high with nine digs in the match. MacKenzy Harper, starting at libero for the first time, had seven digs and a pair of service aces. Senior setter Christina Solverson had 21 assists on the day.
Auburn came out hitting much better in today's match, swinging at a .357 clip in the first set as they took a 25-15 win to open the match. The Tigers took the first three points and never trailed, increasing their lead to 15-10 after MacKenzy Harper served up two straight aces, forcing an Eagle timeout. The Tigers then scored four more straight points to make it a 7-0 run, forcing another Boston College timeout. After having set point at 24-14, the Eagles rolled off three in a row before a setter dump from Chelsea Wintzinger ended the set at 25-17.
Game two was much more closely contested, but the Tigers held the Eagles to a negative hitting percentage and overcame six service errors to win 25-23. Auburn jumped out to an early 4-0 lead, but saw that evaporate as Boston College went on a 5-1 run to tie the score at 6-6. It would again be tied at 14-14 before Auburn went on a 7-3 run, forcing a pair of Eagle timeouts and taking a 21-17 lead. However, the Eagles would fight their way back and tie things up at 23-23. But a kill from Rowand gave the Tigers a chance at set point, and a hitting error by the Eagles gave Auburn the set win and a 2-0 lead.
Boston College put up a big fight early in the third set, taking the lead for the first time in the match at 7-6. The Eagles still led at 11-10 when a Fidero kill swung the momentum back Auburn's way. From there, the Tigers went on a 10-3 run to take a 21-14 lead, then put the match away with a pair of Fidero kills and a service ace from Zapryanova to clinch the win.
Auburn won the dig battle 38-30, and the two teams had six total blocks apiece. Rowand, Fidero and Courtney McDonald had three blocks each for the Tigers. Neither team served particularly well, with Auburn amassing 17 service errors and Boston College erring on 14 serve attempts.
The Tigers will return home tonight and begin preparations for their home opener, set for 7 p.m. Tuesday against Alabama A&M. Admission is free to all Auburn home volleyball matches at the Student Activities Center.
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