Oct. 11, 2009
AUBURN, Ala. - The Auburn volleyball team battled Tennessee, but dropped a hard-fought match, 3-0 (23-25, 23-25, 20-25). The Tigers are now 11-7 overall with a 3-4 record in the Southeastern Conference. Tennessee improved to 12-5 and 4-2 in conference play.
"There were some very encouraging signs from this team on the road," Wade Benson, head volleyball coach, said. "We had our chances to win sets one and two, but just couldn't pull it off. Our practice habits need to mature and with that, those loses will become wins."
Junior Lauren Mellor led the way for Auburn, tying a career-high with 11 kills and having six digs. Junior setter Sara Shanks picked up her first double-double of the season, finishing with 24 assists and 10 digs. Freshman Sarah Bullock and junior Liz Crouch also picked up 10 digs on the day.
Kayla Jeter led the Lady Vols with match-high 12 kills. Nikki Fowler tallied 10 kills and 10 digs, while Kylie Marshall and Chloe Goldman finished with a match-high 14 digs.
Auburn grabbed a quick 4-2 lead in set one, highlighted by a pair of kills from junior Alyssa Davis and another from Bullock. With the set tied at seven apiece, the Tigers pushed a 7-1 run to go up 14-8. Auburn held its lead throughout the set, but a Tennessee 7-1 run tied the match at 19. The squads battled for the final points, but the Lady Vols came out on top with a 25-23 win.
The second set started just as the first, seeing Auburn take an early advantage at 5-2. However, the Lady Vols fought back and tied the set at 10. A Tennessee six-point run pushed the Lady Vols up 18-15 and Tennessee went on to take the set, 25-23.
The two teams battled through the first parts of the third set until a kill from Mellor and a Tennessee hitting error gave Auburn the 12-10 lead. A Tennessee five-point rally put the Lady Vols up 15-12 and the home team continued to push, going up 21-16. The Tigers battled back on a 4-1 run to close the gap by two at 22-20 to Tennessee, but it wasn't enough as the Lady Vols took the match with a 25-20 win.
Auburn returns to the Student Activity Center, hosting a pair of SEC matches. The Tigers take on No. 6 Florida at 6 p.m. on Friday and closes out the weekend with a 2:30 p.m. match against South Carolina, Sunday.