Sept. 28, 2012
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FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. - Auburn's volleyball team struggled offensively against a tough Arkansas squad, falling 3-0 (22-25, 18-25, 17-25) to the Razorbacks on Friday night at Barnhill Arena.
The Tigers (12-3, 3-2 SEC) were swept for the first time this season and had their lowest hitting percentage of the year (.118). Arkansas (12-3, 3-1) won their third straight SEC match and defeated the Tigers for the third straight time as well.
"We started off not passing and serving very well, and we let our frustration control who we were going to be," Auburn head coach Rick Nold said. "They're an athletic team, but a lot of what we did played right into what their strengths were."
The Razorbacks had four service aces and numerous other serves that kept the Tigers off-balance. Auburn did not have an ace and also committed five errors in the service game. Arkansas had 44 kills to Auburn's 31 and had a 10-4 advantage in blocks. The Razorbacks also hit .277 and had 37 digs to Auburn's 34.
Sarah Bullock led Auburn with nine kills and also had six digs in the contest. Courtney McDonald contributed six kills while Camila Jersonsky and Katherine Culwell had five apiece. McDonald, Jersonsky and Bullock had two blocks apiece. Chelsea Wintzinger had a team-high 16 assists.
Arkansas was led by Roslandy Acosta with 10 kills, while Jasmine Norton contributed six kills and 12 digs. Liz Fortado and Janeliss Torres each had six blocks. Setter Raymariely Santos was tough in all areas with seven kills, four digs and 28 assists.
Arkansas earned a win in the first set, 25-22, on the strength of six total blocks, holding the Tigers to a .135 hitting percentage. Auburn led several times in the set, including as late as 21-20, and the score was tied at 22 apiece before Auburn struggled with the Hogs' service game late. But the Arkansas block was the difference as the Razorbacks totaled six stuffs - Liz Fortado was involved in five and Janeliss Torres had four - to account for six of Auburn's nine hitting errors.
The Razorbacks made it 2-0 with a 25-18 win in the second set. Auburn had an early lead, moving ahead 15-13 as Arkansas struggled to find their offense in the first few rallies. But from there, the Razorbacks would end the game on a 12-3 run as Auburn struggled in the serve-receive game once again. Arkansas out-hit the Tigers .250 to .077 in the set and had 16 kills to Auburn's seven.
Arkansas then jumped out to a 14-5 lead in the third set and never looked back en route to a 25-17 win to clinch the match. The Tigers fought back and cut the deficit to as few as three points at 16-13 but could never get any closer. Arkansas hit a blistering .438 in the third set with 17 kills against just three errors.
The Tigers will conclude their weekend SEC road trip Sunday against the Kentucky Wildcats in Lexington, Ky. First serve is set for 12:30 p.m. CT at Memorial Coliseum, and AuburnTigers.com will provide live audio coverage. Fans can also follow @AUVolleyball on Twitter for updates during the match.