Tigers Battle But Fall To No. 9 Florida, 3-0
Oct. 16, 2009
AUBURN, Ala. - The Auburn volleyball team put ninth-ranked Florida to the test, but could not pull out the win in the 3-0 (19-25, 22-25, 21-25) loss on Friday at the Student Activities Center. With the loss, the Tigers fell to 11-8 overall and 3-5 in the SEC, while the Gators improved to 13-3 and 7-2 in conference play.
"This match was really anybody's match and we did some good things tonight," Wade Benson, head volleyball coach, said. "We are definitely in these tough matches, but we're young and just not at that point where we can confidently come away with the win.
"Other teams are now seeing that it isn't easy to come to Auburn anymore. We're going to put up a fight and that is a major positive for our team."
Freshman Sarah Bullock recorded her third double-double of the season, finishing with a team-high 10 kills and 11 digs. Junior Morgan Johns added nine kills, while sophomore Kelly Fidero and freshman Katherine Culwell finished with eight and seven kills, respectively.
Florida's Colleen Ward led all attackers with 12 kills and libero Elyse Cusack had a match-best 14 digs. Kelly Murphy recorded a triple-double for the Gators, finishing with 11 kills, 19 assists and 12 digs.
The two squads battled back and forth for points through most of the first set. Auburn picked up an early 4-2 lead on kills from Johns and Alyssa Davis, but the Gators fought back and tied the set at five apiece. At 11-11, Florida pushed ahead to get its first lead at 12-11. A four-point run gave the Gators a 17-14 advantage and Florida went on to take set one 25-19.
In set two, the Tigers quickly grabbed a 7-2 advantage, highlighted by a pair of kills and a service ace from Johns. A 4-0 Gator run brought Florida within two at 7-5 and another big run later in the set gave Florida the 14-12 lead. Two kills from Fidero tied the set at 17, but another Florida rally solidified the Gator 25-22 victory.
The third set saw Auburn grab another early lead, going up 6-2. Kills from Johns and Fidero pushed the Tigers lead to six at 12-6 before a four-point Florida rally cut the Tiger lead by two at 14-12. Another run gave Florida its first lead of the set at 18-17, pushing the Gators to close out the match with a 25-21 set three win.
Auburn concludes the weekend with a Sunday afternoon match-up against South Carolina at the Student Activities Center. First serve is set for 2:30 p.m. and admission is free.
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