Oct. 6, 2013
FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. - Auburn's volleyball team couldn't hold onto early momentum Sunday afternoon in a 3-1 loss (25-21, 27-29, 12-25, 16-25) to the Arkansas Razorbacks at Barnhill Arena.
The Tigers (9-7, 0-4 SEC) dropped their sixth-straight match after a giant momentum swing for Arkansas (11-5, 4-1 SEC) late in the second set proved to be too much for Auburn to overcome.
"I think we came out strong in games one and two, and were really in control of our defensive system, put a lot of pressure on the with our serve. We got a couple of bad breaks, and at that point, we started backing off and expecting something bad to happen. Against a team like that, you've got to stay aggressive and keep them on their heels, and we just didn't do that today."
Auburn actually had more kills (51-50) and digs (56-53) than Arkansas, but 33 attack errors by Auburn - including 18 in the final two sets - gave the Razorbacks early advantages in sets that the Tigers could not overcome. Serve-receive was again a factor for the Tigers as Arkansas had six service aces and several more easy kills off overpasses. The Razorbacks also had 13 blocks, with eight of those coming in the final two sets.
Katherine Culwell had her sixth double-double of the season, leading Auburn with 13 kills along with 10 digs, but she also had 10 attack errors on the day. Camila Jersonsky hit a team-best .318 with 11 kills against four errors on 22 swings, and she also had a team-high five blocks on the day - all in the first two sets. Kathia Rud hit double-digits in kills for the sixth time this year with 10 on the day.
Sarah Wroblicky had a team-best 18 digs, leaving her with 996 for her career, four short of becoming Auburn's 10th all-time player with 1,000 digs. Chelsea Wintzinger had 18 assists, and Alyssa Ivey finished with 17.
Arkansas was led by Meredith Hays, who had 16 kills, and Breana Jones, who had 12. Jones also had five blocks on the day, and Summer Morgan was in on six blocks. Ashley Vazquez led the Razorback setters with 23 assists, and libero Emily Helm had 20 digs.
Auburn was clearly the better team in the first two sets, winning the first set 25-21 and jumping out to an 8-0 lead in set two, then having four chances at set point at 24-20. But an Arkansas rally, helped along by a few controversial calls, led to the Razorbacks taking the second set, 29-27, and securing all the momentum going forward.
Sets three and four were all Arkansas, all day - the Razorbacks hit .455 in the third and .583 in the fourth while Auburn was held to minus-.057 in the third and .280 in the fourth. The Razorbacks also had eight blocks in the last two sets while Auburn had none.
The Tigers will be back on the road next Sunday as they travel to Oxford, Miss., for a single match against the Ole Miss Rebels. Match time is set for 1:30 p.m. at the Gillom Sports Center.