Sept. 2, 2009
AUBURN, Ala. - The Auburn volleyball team topped in-state rival Troy with a 3-0 (25-17, 25-22, 25-17) sweep Wednesday night at the Student Activities Center. The Tigers remain undefeated and have yet to lose a set this season.
"I'm happy we came away with the win, but it was a very average performance for us," Wade Benson, head volleyball coach, said. "We're going to need to pick it up a lot and we still have a lot to learn and improve on."
The Tigers hitting continued to be a major factor, posting a .325 hitting percentage. The Auburn defense stifled Troy to just a .087 attack percentage.
Freshmen Sarah Bullock and Katherine Culwell led the Tigers with seven kills apiece, seeing Culwell finish with a match-best .429 attack percentage. Junior Sara Shanks had a team-high 18 assists, while sophomore setter Christina Solverson contributed 15. Sophomore Chanelle Clark finished with 10 kills and junior Lauren Mellor had three blocks, including two solos, to lead Auburn.
Troy's Meghan Gilroy led all attackers with 12 kills, while setter Megan Henderson had 25 assists.
Auburn jumped out to an early 4-1 lead, featuring a kill and service ace from Culwell in the first set. Troy fought back and brought the score close at 8-6. The score remained close, but at the 12-10 mark, the Tigers went on 11-3 run to close out the set with a 25-17 win.
The two squads went back and forth in the second set, seeing the Trojans hold the lead at the 7-5 mark. However, the Tigers broke open a 9-2 run triggered by a kill from Mellor to go up 14-9. Troy came back and tied the score, 15-15, but a kill from junior Morgan Johns put Auburn up for good, seeing the Tigers pull away with a 25-22 win.
In the final set, the two teams once again kept it close, with a handful of ties up to the 6-6 mark. A kill from Bullock and a service ace from Clark put Auburn up 9-6. A kill from Johns ignited a 4-0 run that put Auburn up 18-14 as the Tigers cruised to the 25-17 victory.
Up next, the Tigers travel to Minneapolis, Minn., for the Diet Coke Classic. Auburn plays No. 13 Minnesota at 8 p.m., Friday and follows with a 1 p.m. match against No. 12 Iowa State on Saturday. The Tigers finish the tournament Saturday evening facing George Washington at 5:30 p.m.