Auburn Volleyball Drops Hard-Fought Match at LSU, 3-1
Oct. 16, 2011
BATON ROUGE, La. - The Auburn volleyball team put up a strong fight on the road, but fell to SEC West-leading LSU 3-1 (17-25, 25-23, 21-25, 22-25) on Sunday afternoon at the Pete Maravich Assembly Center.
Auburn (9-11, 3-7 SEC) fell for just the second time all season when hitting .200 or better, and LSU (13-6, 6-3 SEC) extended its lead in the SEC Western Division as they look to win their seventh straight divisional crown.
Senior Kelly Fidero led the Tigers with a season-high 18 kills, falling one short of a career-high while notching her 14th match in double-figures this season; she also had three blocks and three digs. Junior Sarah Bullock was also a dominating presence for Auburn, recording her fifth consecutive double-double and sixth in 10 SEC matches with 14 kills and 14 digs; she also recorded three blocks and three assists.
Sophomore Chelsea Wintzinger led Auburn with 37 assists while added a kill and two blocks, and Sarah Wroblicky posted a team-high 16 digs along with a pair of assists from the libero position. Camila Jersonsky was also strong for Auburn with seven kills and a team-best .353 hitting percentage along with a team-best five blocks and one service ace. Courtney McDonald added four blocks of her own.
LSU was led by Madie Jones with 17 kills, while Michele Williams added 15 and Desiree Elliott had 14.
Auburn totaled 10 blocks as a team to LSU's seven, but LSU won every other statistical category, including an 82-61 margin in digs.
After the teams traded the first few points, LSU went on a 6-0 run to take an early 8-3 lead, forcing Auburn to call its first timeout. It would be no closer than four points the rest of the way as LSU hit .303 and held Auburn to a .143 percentage, recording 13 kills to Auburn's 11. Auburn did manage to fight off three set point attempts, but the LSU lead was too great by that point.
Set two looked to be going LSU's way as well after they jumped out to a 13-9 lead. But Auburn refused to give up, fighting hard throughout and finally retaking the lead at 17-16 on a kill from McDonald, forcing an LSU timeout. From there, Auburn would never trail again, getting a kill from Jersonsky to extend the lead to 22-20 and a big swing from Bullock to put the set away at 25-23. Auburn had just one attack error in the whole set against LSU's six, hitting at a .349 clip led by Bullock's seven kills and Fidero's five.
The third set was a back-and-forth affair that featured nine ties and saw the lead change hands seven times. But it was eventually LSU that would come out on top with a 25-21 win to take a 2-1 lead in the match. Neither team was sharp offensively as Auburn hit .108, and LSU was little better at .167. Auburn held a 15-12 lead at the media timeout, but LSU would score five of the next six points to take a 17-16 advantage on a kill from Elliott. A kill and then an ace from Jersonsky would give Auburn the lead back at 18-17, but LSU would roll off five of the next six to take a 21-19 edge. From there, a pair of Auburn service errors and an ace by LSU would prove to be the difference.
Set four was even closer with 12 ties and seven lead changes, but LSU would hold on in the closing rallies to take a 25-22 win. Auburn looked to be in good shape after taking a 19-16 lead and forcing an LSU timeout, but LSU would rally for four straight points and take a 20-19 lead on two kills from Jones and an error by Auburn. The teams traded the lead over the next four points before LSU finally took command at 23-22 on a kill from Williams. An Auburn error and a closing kill from Helen Boyle gave LSU the win in the set and the match. A total of 19 of LSU's 25 points in the closing set came on kills as LSU hit .304 in game four.
Auburn will next be in action Friday, Oct. 21, as the Tigers welcome the 18th-ranked Tennessee Lady Volunteers to the Student Activities Center. First serve is set for 7 p.m., and admission is free.
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