Sept. 26, 2010
AUBURN, Ala. - The Auburn volleyball team faced its second-straight nationally-ranked opponent in No. 20 Tennessee Sunday afternoon, but fell to the Lady Volunteers, 3-1 (15-25, 25-21, 22-25, 19-25), at the Student Activities Center.
The loss brings the Tigers to 11-5 on the season and 2-2 in Southeastern Conference play. Tennessee improves to 10-3 overall and 2-2 in the league.
"We had a couple of chances to makes some plays and come away with the win, but Tennessee played very well down the stretch," Auburn head coach Wade Benson said. "Our team showed a lot of toughness this weekend, but we need to focus on executing in every situation we face. We're looking forward to another weekend at home next week."
Sophomore Sarah Bullock recorded her fifth double-double of the season with 16 kills and 10 digs on the day. Senior Morgan Johns finished with 15 kills for the Tigers, while junior setter Christina Solverson had a match-high 29 assists.
Nikki Fowler led the way for the Lady Vols as she finished with a match-high 18 kills. Kayla Jeter tallied 15 kills, while DeeDee Harrison had 12 kills for Tennessee. Libero Ellen Mullins recorded 10 digs and setters Emily Steinbeck and Kylann Scheidt each finished with 27 assists.
The Lady Vols kicked off set one with a quick 3-1 advantage and capitalized on a 4-0 run to take a 13-8 lead. A kill by Bullock cut the Tennessee lead to three at 13-10, but another four-point rally pushed the Lady Vols to a 19-11 lead. Tennessee finished out the set with a 25-15 win.
Auburn battled back in set two as the Tigers opened with a 6-2 lead highlighted by a trio of kills from Johns. A pair of Tennessee errors gave Auburn a 10-5 advantage and the Tigers held on to the five-point lead throughout the middle of the set. A late 4-0 run by the Lady Vols brought the visitors within two at 17-15, but it wasn't enough as Auburn went on to win the set, 25-21.
Kills by Johns and Bullock triggered a 5-1 Auburn run at to start set three, and a service ace from Katherine Culwell and another kill by Bullock gave the Tigers a 12-8 advantage. The Lady Vols, however, tied the set at 12 apiece and then capitalized on a pair of Auburn errors to take their first lead of the set at 17-16. Tennessee closed the set with a 25-22 win.
In the final set of the match, the Lady Vols opened on a 6-3 run and pushed to take a 10-5 lead. Auburn came within three at 12-9 on a service ace by Solverson, but Tennessee rallied back to hold a four-point advantage at 14-10. A kill by Bullock made the score 17-14 in favor of Tennessee, but the Lady Vols held on in the end to win the set, 25-19.
Auburn remains at home next week as the Tigers welcome Mississippi State on Oct. 1 for a 7 p.m. match at the Student Activities Center. The Tigers follow with a 1:30 p.m. match on Oct. 3 against in-state rival Alabama.