Oct. 15, 2006
AUBURN, Ala. -
The Auburn University volleyball team snapped its three-match losing streak as the Tigers defeated Arkansas, 3-2 (17-30, 30-28, 34-32, 24-30, 17-15) on Sunday at Beard-Eaves-Memorial Coliseum. The victory moved the Tigers to 12-9 overall and 4-6 in the SEC, while the Lady Razorbacks fell to 10-8 overall and 3-7 in the conference. The victory over Arkansas was the first for AU since Nov. 1, 1996 and snapped a streak of 18-straight losses to the Lady 'Backs.
Junior Rachel Shanks led the Tigers' offense with 17 kills, while adding 13 digs. Sophomore Jessica Glover added 13 kills and 11 digs and sophomore Joanna Pappas dished out 56 assists and dug out 14 balls. Junior Whitney Jacob had a career-high six aces, which was also a season-high by a Tiger this year. The Coppell, Texas native also chipped-in 11 kills and 12 digs on the afternoon. Senior Julie Bosler added 10 kills and seven blocks, while freshman Whitney Hobbs dug a career-high 10 balls.
"We started out pretty poorly in game one," head coach Laura Farina said. "I think Arkansas started to play not to lose, and we were able to capitalize on that."
In game one, Arkansas jumped out to a 9-3 lead, and stretched it to 10 on a setting error by Pappas (19-9). The Lady Razorbacks continued to build the lead up to 14, before winning the opening game, 30-17.
Jacob single handedly got the Tigers off to a 7-0 start in game two with six-straight aces and forcing Arkansas to scramble for a bad set on the seventh point. Another ace by Pappas bumped the AU lead to eight, and Auburn led by nine before an 11-2 run by the Lady Razorbacks evened the score. Arkansas took the lead at 15-14, and held it until Auburn was able grab it back at 28-27. A kill by Hobbs ended game two with the Tigers earning a 30-28 win.
"Whitney's serving was a great confidence booster for us," Farina said. "It made us believe in ourselves that we could win this match."
With the game tied at seven in game three, Arkansas took the lead and held it until 29-22. Auburn would not roll over and chipped away at the lead, forcing the Lady Razorbacks to call a timeout at 29-26. AU recorded the next three points to complete its 7-0 run to tie the game at 29. After exchanging points, kills by Jacob and Glover gave Auburn the incredible 34-32 comeback win in the third.
The two teams continued to battle early in game four, until Arkansas took a 7-6 lead. The Tigers would never catch up, as Arkansas pulled away for the 30-24 victory in the fourth.
In the deciding game five, Auburn took the lead at 7-6 and maintained it until Arkansas tied it at 14. But back-to-back attacking errors by the visitors gave Auburn the 17-15 win, and match, 3-2.
The Tigers will remain home as a part of their five-game homestand, as they take on Georgia on Friday, Oct. 20 at 7 p.m., at the Student Activities Center. AU will then face South Carolina at 1:30 p.m. at Beard-Eaves-Memorial Coliseum on Sunday.