AUBURN, Ala. -- The Auburn volleyball team closed out a full weekend in Auburn Arena with a 3-0 (25-23, 25-22, 26-24) sweep of Arkansas Sunday afternoon. The Tigers improved to 10-3 overall with a 3-1 mark in Southeastern Conference play.
"I'm very happy with the aggressiveness we played with today," head coach Rick Nold said. "We are a team that will make mistakes here and there, but I'm proud with how we handled ourselves today and stayed aggressive in every aspect on the court."
Junior Brenna McIlroy picked up her fourth double-double of the season, totaling match-high 12 kills with 13 digs. Senior setter Alexa Filley also had a double-double, having 35 assists and 13 digs. Sophomore Gwyn Jones and freshman Anna Stevenson added nine kills apiece.
Senior libero Jesse Earl recorded her fourth 20+-dig performance in the last five matches, upping her season average to 5.10/set with 20 digs against Arkansas.
The Tigers limited Razorback Pilar Victoria, the nation's leader in kills/set, to just seven on the day by not only having solid defense, but also keeping Arkansas out of system most of the match.
"We were able to get two blocks up on the outside thanks to our tough serving and aggressive play offensively," Nold said. "Getting Arkansas out of system was big for us today."
Arkansas (11-5, 1-3) was led by Hailey Dirrigl with 11 kills. Setter Rachel Rippee had 25 assists, while Victoria finished with 15 digs. Elizabeth Pamphile and Victoria each chipped in four blocks.
A trio of kills from McIlroy highlighted the opening part of the first for Auburn as the Tigers jumped ahead early at 7-4. A handful of two-point pushes lifted Auburn to a 19-14 lead, forcing a Razorback timeout. Arkansas regrouped and cut the Tiger lead at 21-19, but a kill from McIlroy followed by one from Shaina White gave AU the set, 25-23.
The Razorbacks came out firing in the second and went up 8-2. Kills from S. White and Macy Reece followed by strong play from Stevenson locked the set at nine-all. More kills by Stevenson gave the Tigers the lead at 12-11 and the squad held its slim margin throughout the rest of the set. Jones made it set point on a kill and Payton White sealed the set with an ace, 25-22.
Set three saw eight ties and three lead changes as the two teams battled back and forth. Razorback errors made it 6-4 early, but a pair of two-point runs lifted Arkansas to a 15-14 advantage at the media timeout. Razorback errors late in the set gave Auburn a 22-18 lead and kill from Stevenson pushed match point, 24-21. Arkansas responded to tie it at 24, but a kill by Courtney Crable followed by one from McIlroy gave Auburn the 26-24 victory.
Auburn takes to the road next week starting with a Wednesday night match at Tennessee, Oct. 4, at 7 p.m. CT. The Tigers then head to No. 10 Kentucky Sunday, Oct. 8, for a 1 p.m. CT showdown. Auburn's match vs. the Vols will be aired on SEC Network, while the tilt with the Wildcats is slated to be broadcast on ESPNU.