Sept. 7, 2007
SAN ANTONIO, Texas - Despite being out-hit by Louisiana Tech, the Auburn University volleyball team (7-2) capitalized on key errors by the Lady Techsters (5-5) to pull out the 3-1 win in the team's first match of the UTSA Classic in San Antonio.
"We were good enough to win today and sometimes you have those matches when you have to be better at just the right moments to win. Fortunately, we were able to do that," said head coach Laura Farina. "We are still working to find a chemistry that consistently clicks and we have another opportunity to do that tonight against UTSA."
Three Tigers tallied double-doubles in the match. Senior Jelena Sekulic led the way for Auburn with 16 kills and 18 digs, also assisting on a pair of blocks. Fellow senior Rachel Shanks posted her fifth double-double of the season as she finished with 15 kills and 13 digs.
Freshman setter Nicki Gerig tallied her third double-double of the season with 47 assists and 12 digs. Two other Tigers, Jessica Glover and Liz Crouch, added to the balanced defensive attack by finishing the match with double-digit digs. Glover had 17 while Crouch finished with 12.
Auburn also finished with 7.5 team blocks with Whitney Jacob and Lauren Mellor picking up three apiece.
Auburn streaked out to a 10-2 lead in the first game against the Lady Techsters, a margin that proved too large for Louisiana Tech to recover from.
Twice in the match, Louisiana Tech cut the lead to, but the Tigers were able to recover each time and built the lead up to as much as 10 at 29-19, allowing Auburn to cruise to the 30-21 win.
Shanks led Auburn with four kills in the opening game with Sekulic and Glover contributing three each. Sekulic also led the Tigers with seven digs in the game.
Auburn's middle blockers got the job done in the second game as Whitney Jacob and Lauren Mellor combined for 10 of Auburn's 19 kills en route to the 30-23 win. Jacob had six in the game, followed by Mellor with four. Shanks stayed consisted from her four-kill performance in the first game, adding in another four in the second.
The Tigers took a quick 4-0 lead in the game, only to see the Lady Techsters come back and tie it up at 4-4. Auburn slowly built the lead up to seven at the 18-11 mark, but the resilient Louisiana Tech squad came back as the Tigers led by only one at 24-23.
That would be the last point that Tech would score in the game though as Auburn took control after a service ace and maintained control for the rest of the game. Mellor served out the win, even chipping in a kill and an ace in the last five points.
It was Louisiana Tech coming out ready to play after the break, scoring the first two points of the game to take its first lead of the match to eventually take an early four-point lead.
Auburn rebounded and trailed by as few as two points at 14-16, but a 12-2 Lady Techster run sealed the fate of the game as Louisiana Tech went on to win, 30-17. Sekulic led the Tigers with four kills in the game.
The Tigers were back and ready to play in the fourth and final game, taking an early 4-0 lead, building it to as many as seven points en route to the 30-27 game and match win.
Sekulic again led Auburn with five digs in the game, followed by Shanks with four. The fourth game was also the best hitting game of the match for Auburn as the team hit .200 in the deciding game.
NOTES: - The win against Louisiana Tech is head coach Laura Farina's 50th as Auburn's head coach.