Sept. 2, 2008
JACKSONVILLE, Ala. - The Auburn volleyball team was close enough to smell its first victory of the season Tuesday against Jacksonville State, but the Gamecocks were able to pull away in the fifth and final set to take the 3-2 (20-25, 25-17, 18-25, 25-22, 13-15) victory.
Auburn (0-4) was led by three players with double-figure kills in the team's first five-set match of the season. Senior Jessica Glover led with a double-double, picking up a team-high 15 kills and 16 digs. Sophomore transfer Jonelle Wallace also posted a double-double, turning in 11 kills and 11 digs in the match.
Freshman Olympia Haney rounded out the trio with 10 kills and a team-best .316 hitting percentage.
Auburn's newcomers provided a big offensive help in the match, accounting for 37 of the team's 58 kills.
"All of our newcomers performed better," said head coach Wade Benson. "Jonelle Wallace is coming along, had her best match on the right side. Kelly Brugger came off the bench and gave us a boost. We took some big steps tonight, have our first five-set match and just some good things to take away."
Defensively for the Tigers, Glover's 16 digs led all along with her four block assists. Libero Liz Crouch followed with 14 digs in the match.
Jacksonville State (2-2) was led by junior Brittney Whitten and senior Caitlin Vorbeck with 15 kills apiece. Libero Lauren Harkins led the team with 17 digs.
The win was the first for Jacksonville State against Auburn, but the Tigers still hold a 4-1 all-time series advantage.
Auburn returns to action this weekend at the Mercer Bear Brawl in Macon, Ga. The Tigers will take on Bethune-Cookman on Friday at 10 a.m., followed by Presbyterian at 4 p.m. Auburn will wrap up the tournament Saturday at 12 p.m. against Georgia Southern.
Auburn fell into an early hole in the first set as Jacksonville State built a 3-0 lead. The Tigers bounced back and tied the match at 8-8 and again at 10-10. But, the Gamecocks went on a 6-0 run, building a lead Auburn would not be able to overcome.
Auburn was able to cut the lead to as few as three at the 22-19 mark, but JSU pulled away for the 25-20 win in the opening set. Haney and Glover led the Tigers in the set with three kills each, accounting for six of Auburn's eight kills.
The Tigers turned around in the second set and got their biggest set win of the season, pulling out a 25-17 victory. Glover and Wallace led the Tigers with three kills each in the set, leading Auburn to a .385 team hitting percentage.
Auburn took the lead out of the gate on a kill by freshman Kelly Brugger. Jacksonville State came right back and led up to the 4-3 point of the match, but the Tigers took the lead for good after that, building it to a 10-point advantage at one point of the set.
The Gamecocks turned the table on the Tigers in the third set, posting a blazing .306 attack percentage to AU's .116 for the 25-18 win. The teams were neck-and-neck through the first portion of the match, but after a 9-9 tie JSU rattled off three-straight points to take the first significant lead of the match.
Auburn cut the lead back to one, but the Gamecocks returned with an 8-2 run to give the team a seven-point lead and within four points of the eventual victory.
Fidero led Auburn in the set with four kills, followed by fellow freshman Brugger with three.
Auburn came out on fire in the fourth set, hitting .414 as a team with freshman Haney leading the way with seven kills. Sophomore transfer Wallace followed with four kills in the set. The 25-22 Auburn victory sent the Tigers to their first fifth set of the season.
The Tigers took the lead out of the gate and never gave it up, quickly building a 7-2 lead that would blossom to an eventual 18-10 advantage. Jacksonville State battled back late, cutting the lead to as few as two but Auburn was able to hold on for the win. Fittingly, it was Haney sending home the deciding 25th point for the win.
JSU scored the first three points of the fifth set and never looked back en route to a 15-13 set and match win. Glover had five of Auburn's nine kills in the fifth session to lead the team.