Aug. 28, 2007
ATLANTA - With a 3-0 sweep over Georgia State Tuesday in Atlanta, the Auburn University volleyball team improves to 4-0 in its 2007 campaign, its best start since 1994. The Tigers earn their second sweep of the season with game scores of 30-23, 30-25 and 30-16.
The mark is only the fourth time in the team's history that it has started out 4-0. Others are 1990, 1991 and 1994.
Head coach Laura Farina was pleased with the team's performance, especially with the match being the squad's first test on the road this season.
"We talked earlier in the week about the challenge of what kind of team we are when we play on the road. I thought in games one and two Georgia State challenged us, but we challenged ourselves too," said Farina. "We made some adjustments and looked a lot better in game three."
Auburn returns to action this weekend with the University of Denver Inivitational in Denver, Colo. The Tigers take on host Denver on Friday, Aug. 31 at 8:30 p.m. CT. Auburn returns to action on Saturday with matches against Wichita State (11 a.m. CT) and DePaul (6 p.m. CT).
"It's a tough weekend. It's a flight and three competitive teams playing back-to-back. Our physical conditioning that we did during the summer and preseason needs to help carry us through," said Farina.
Auburn dominated at the net against the Panthers, racking up 52 kills and hitting .462 as a team, compared to 34 from the Panthers. Auburn also posted 11 team blocks to GSU's four.
Auburn spread the offense as four Tigers finished with double-digit kills. Jessica Glover finished with 14, followed by Jelena Sekulic with 13. Rachel Shanks and Whitney Jacob finished with 10 each.
Freshman Lauren Mellor led the team in blocking with an impressive eight, two solo and six assists.
"Whitney (Jacob) had no errors in attacking and I thought Lauren Mellor
had a solid match in the middle and I would like to see her get set more," said Farina. "I also thought Jess (Glover) had a solid match offensively."
In the first game, Georgia State hung tight with the Tigers for the first part of the match, even leading 9-6 at one point, but Auburn fought back and held a 16-12 lead when junior Jessica Glover stepped back to serve.
Glover, who also led the Tigers with eight kills in the first game, served four straight points, including two service aces, to extend the lead to 20-13 before the Panthers won the ball back. Auburn maintained the seven-point lead to win the opening game 30-23.
Auburn came out on fire in the second game, quickly building a 6-1 lead with Lauren Mellor serving four of those six points, but Georgia State came right back and eventually tied the game at 9-9. From there, the match stayed close with Auburn remaining in the lead. The largest lead the Tigers would hold would be six at the 25-19 mark.
Defense was definitely the key in the game with Auburn coming up with six team blocks. Mellor, Jelena Sekulic and Whitney Jacob posted three block assists apeice in the game. Sekulic and Jacob also led the Tigers offensively in the second game, tallying four and five kills, respectively.
In the third game, Auburn took a quick 2-0 lead and never looked back as the Tigers eventually won the game, 30-16. Sekulic led the team with five kills while Mellor chipped in two solo blocks and two assists.