Sept. 15, 2006
COLUMBIA, S.C. -
The Auburn University volleyball team fell to South Carolina, 3-2 (31-33, 30-25, 28-30, 30-23, 15-13) on Friday at the Volleyball Competition Facility in Columbia. The loss drops the Tigers to 8-4 overall and 0-1 in the SEC.
Junior Rachel Shanks led AU with 23 kills and 17 digs, while sophomore Jessica Glover added a career-high 20 kills and 15 digs. Junior Jelena Sekulic chipped in 10 kills and 13 digs, while sophomore Joanna Pappas came up with a career-high 16 digs to go along with 52 assists.
"I thought our kids worked really hard tonight," head coach Laura Farina said. "South Carolina was able to pick up those points in clutch situations and we weren't. We will bounce back and be ready for Sunday."
In game one, the Gamecocks came out to take an early 5-1 lead, but Auburn narrowed the gap with three straight points. USC maintained its lead, which got as a big a six (23-17), until AU tied it at 27-27. The two teams exchanged points until Auburn buried the final point to win 33-31. Glover led Auburn with six kills, while Pappas added seven digs.
The Tigers jumped out to a 7-3 lead in game two and maintained it until South Carolina tied the game at 18 and took its first lead on the next point. Auburn battled back to regain the advantage at 21-20, only to see USC tie it back up at 24 and make a 6-1 run to win the second frame. Shanks led the way with six kills in the game for AU.
Game three was a back-and-forth battle, with the Gamecocks holding a consistent 1-2 point advantage until Auburn grabbed a 15-14 lead. The squads exchanged points until AU was able to snatch back-to-back points to win game three and gain a 2-1 advantage.
Auburn took a small lead at the beginning of game four, but South Carolina went on an 11-1 run to take a commanding 19-13 lead. USC went on to win 30-23 to tie the match at 2-2.
Game five turned out to be just a thrilling as the rest of the match. Each team took turns holding the lead, neither getting up by more than a point. USC got up 14-12, but a block by Auburn kept its hopes alive until Shonda Cole buried a kill to win the game and the match.
The Tigers will head to Athens, Ga., for a match-up against the Bulldogs on Sunday. The match is set to begin at 1 p.m. CT.