Volleyball Battles At LSU, But Falls In Four Sets
Sept. 17, 2010
BATON ROUGE, La. - The Auburn volleyball team opened the Southeastern Conference season on the road Friday night as the Tigers traveled to No. 19 LSU, falling to the defending SEC champions, 3-1 (25-22, 20-25, 17-25, 20-25). Auburn drops to 9-4 overall and 0-1 in the SEC, while LSU improves to 10-0 and 1-0 on the year.
"The team had a good, fighting spirit compared to last year's match here in Baton Rouge," head coach Wade Benson said. "We didn't play quite at our highest level, but we hung around and gave ourselves a chance, which shows a lot of toughness and pride. We look forward to our next match with LSU at home and feel the outcome could be different."
Sophomore Sarah Bullock recorded her second double-double of the season, finishing with 14 kills and 12 digs to lead Auburn. Senior libero Liz Crouch had a season-best 26 digs, while freshman setter Chelsea Wintzinger had a career-high 26 assists.
Sophomore Katherine Culwell finished with nine kills and nine digs for Auburn and senior Morgan Johns tallied eight kills on the night. Senior middle blocker Lauren Mellor tallied a team-best four blocks, while freshman Camila Jersonsky and junior Kelly Fidero had three blocks for Auburn.
Angela Bensend finished with 22 kills and 18 digs for LSU, while Madie Jones and Michele Williams tallied 13 and 11 kills, respectively. Libero Lauren Waclawczyk had 19 digs and setter Brittney Johns had 52 assists.
Auburn opened the first set with a quick 3-1 lead on kills by Jersonsky and Johns, but the home squad battled to tie the set at four and the two teams fought back and forth for a significant advantage. At 12-12, Auburn pushed a two-point run on a kill by Fidero and by Bullock to go up 14-12 and another Auburn rally gave the visiting Tigers a 22-18 lead. AU went on to take the 25-22 first-set win.
LSU started the second set on a 4-1 run and held on to the lead throughout the middle parts of the set. Auburn tied the set at 10 and then took its first lead at 12-11. Tied at 14 apiece, LSU pushed a four-point run to take an 18-14 lead. A kill by Jonelle Wallace brought Auburn within three at 23-20, but LSU held on for a 25-20 win.
The third set opened with a 6-3 run by LSU and the home Tigers fought ahead to take an 11-6 advantage. Auburn came within two at 14-12, but another LSU rally pushed the home team up at 17-12. LSU continued on to take a 25-17 victory in the third set.
The two Tiger squads fought for a substantial lead at the start of set four until LSU used a four-point rally to take its largest lead of the set at 12-8. LSU held on to the slim lead throughout the middle part of the set. A kill by Jersonsky brought Auburn within two at 17-15, but LSU closed out the match with a 25-20 victory.
Auburn finishes its first SEC weekend in Fayetteville, Ark., against the Arkansas Razorbacks with a 1:30 p.m. match Sunday.
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