Oct. 18, 2009
AUBURN, Ala. - Behind 18-kill performances from Katherine Culwell and Kelly Fidero, the Auburn volleyball team topped South Carolina, 3-1 (28-26, 18-25, 25-13, 25-17), on Sunday at the Student Activities Center.
"We played very composed today despite starting a little slow," Wade Benson, head volleyball coach, said. "South Carolina is a smart team that does not make many errors and we were able to match them in that area. It was a great win for this squad."
With the win, the Tigers improve to 12-8 overall and 4-5 in the SEC. The 12 wins are the most Auburn has had since the 2006 season when the team finished the year with 13 total victories. South Carolina fell to 11-8 and 3-7 in conference play.
Along with her 18 kills, Culwell picked up 12 digs to record the third double-double of her career. Freshman Sarah Bullock tallied her third double-double with a 10 kill, 10 dig performance, while Christina Solverson finished with 22 assists and 12 digs. Junior Alyssa Davis finished with nine kills and a match-high seven blocks.
Auburn libero Liz Crouch finished the day with a match-best 23 digs. Combined with her seven digs against Florida on Friday, Crouch now has 1,059 career digs, which places her fourth all-time at Auburn.
South Carolina's Ivana Kujundzic tallied 16 kills and 17 digs to lead the Gamecocks. Megan Laughlin had 13 kills and libero Sarah Cline recorded 15 digs.
After battling through the early parts of the first set, South Carolina broke open on a 5-0 run to take a 11-7 advantage. Down three at 18-15, a kill from Davis and a pair of Gamecock hitting errors tied the set at 18 apiece. A three-point Auburn run put the Tigers up 22-20, but South Carolina battled to tie the set at 24 all. At 26-26, a kill from Davis and a Gamecock attack error gave Auburn the 28-26 win.
South Carolina opened set two with a 5-1 run, but a Tiger rally tied the set at seven. Kills from Culwell and Davis locked the score at 14 apiece, but an 8-0 Gamecock run gave the visitors the 23-16 lead. South Carolina went on to win the set, 25-18.
The Tigers grabbed a quick 5-2 lead in set three, highlighted by a pair of kills from Fidero. Auburn continued to push, going on a big 13-3 run to take the 17-8 advantage. Another kill from Fidero and one from Bullock solidified the 25-13 Auburn victory.
The two squads kept the fourth set tight, fighting for points and the lead. With the set tied at five, a 7-2 Auburn run put the Tigers up 12-7 and a Brittney Rhude service ace gave Auburn a seven-point lead at 17-10. A pair of kills from Fidero gave the Tigers the 19-11 advantage and Auburn went on to take the match with a 25-17 win in set four.
Auburn continues its homestand next weekend, hosting in-state rival Alabama on Friday at 6 p.m. The Tigers close out the weekend with a 1:30 p.m. match against Mississippi State on Sunday. Both matches will be held at the Student Activities Center and admission is free.