Sept. 1, 2007
DENVER - The Auburn University volleyball team took its first loss of the season Friday night at the Denver Invitational, falling to host Denver, 3-1 (24-30, 20-30, 33-31, 26-30).
The Tigers (4-1) struggled hitting against a Denver team (2-2) that was playing in its home opener. Auburn hit .153 for the match while the Pioneers hit .232.
"Denver executed their game plan a lot better than we executed our game plan," said head coach Laura Farina. "The players didn't make the adjustments that we asked them to make quick enough against a team on the road, a team playing in their first home match. Our response wasn't competitive enough."
Auburn returns to action at 11 a.m. CT on Saturday with a match against Wichita State (2-2). The Tigers follow up with a 6 p.m. CT match against DePaul (0-3). Wichita State and DePaul met in the early match Friday with the Shockers taking the 3-0 sweep over the Blue Demons (30-19, 30-19, 30-19).
Jessica Glover and Rachel Shanks finished with double-doubles in the match for Auburn, the third of the season for each of them. Shanks finished with a team-high 15 kills and 11 digs while Glover finished with 12 kills and 11 digs.
Middle blockers Whitney Jacob and Lauren Mellor were the most effective hitters for Auburn. Mellor led the team, hitting .500 with eight kills and an error on 14 attempts while Jacob hit .444 with 14 kills and two errors on 27 attempts.
Sara Shanks came off the bench to replace Nicki Gerig and led the team in assists with 32. Gerig finished with 17.
In the first game, Denver hit .286 and capitalized on five Auburn serving errors to win 30-24 and take the 1-0 lead in the match. Shanks led the Tigers in hitting in the opening game, picking up five kills on nine attempts with only one error.
The Pioneers too the early lead in the game, but Auburn was able to fight back and tie the game up at 10-10. Denver was then able to break away and maintain a steady lead to eventually pull out the win.
Denver came right back at Auburn in the second game, scorching the Tigers with a .344 attack percentage while Auburn hit .000 with 11 kills and 11 errors.
The Pioneers led from the start of the game as the closest that Auburn would get was a 4-4 tie. Kerry Porter and Kim Mueller led Denver with four kills each in the game.
The loss in game two was not only Auburn's worst single-game loss of the season, but it also put the Tigers in a 0-2 situation for the first time in 2007.
In the third game, Auburn hit the best it had so far in the match with a .208 attack percentage. The Tigers were led by Glover and Jacob in the match with five kills each.
Auburn had to take the game down to the wire to get the win as the teams went blow-for-blow, trading the lead early in the game. The Tigers trailed by as many as four late in the game, but battled back and eventually tied the game at 29-29. The teams went back and forth a couple times before Auburn was able to pull away for the 33-31 win.
In the fourth game, Denver jumped out to a quick 4-0 lead, but Auburn was able to bounce back and tie it up at 7-7. The Pioneers did not stay back for long, building up to a six-point lead at 16-10, a margin that the Tigers could not overcome as Denver held on to win the game, 30-26, and the match, 3-1.
Rachel Shanks and Jacob led Auburn in the final game, recording five and four kills, respectively.