AUBURN, Ala. – The Auburn volleyball fell to visiting South Carolina, 3-1 (25-19, 27-25, 22-25, 25-19), Wednesday night in Auburn Arena. The Tigers dropped to 11-7 overall and 4-5 in the Southeastern Conference.
“Credit South Carolina for really passing the ball well tonight,” head coach Rick Nold said. “I thought that along with letting them capitalize on our poor serving was the difference in the match.”
Sophomore Gwyn Jones and junior Brenna McIlroy led the team with 13 kills, while sophomore Shaina White added 11. Senior setter Alexa Filley finished with a match-best 46 assists and chipped in six kills for the Tigers.
Senior libero Jesse Earl had a team-high 21 digs and sophomore Karis Beasley finished with 10. Freshman Anna Stevenson led the squad with three blocks, while a trio of Tigers had two service aces in Courtney Crable, Beasley, and Payton White.
South Carolina (10-9, 3-4) had two with 13 kills each in Mikayla Shields and Mikayla Robinson. Setter Courtney Koehler finished with 41 assists and 10 digs, while libero Aubrey Ezell totaled 25 digs.
The two teams exchanged points at the start of the first and reached the media timeout with the Gamecocks up 15-13. A pair of three-point runs lifted South Carolina to a 23-17 lead and the visitors took the set, 25-19.
South Carolina held momentum in set two and opened up with a 7-3 advantage. The Tigers battled back to lock the set at 12-all and again at 15-15. An ace from Beasley pushed Auburn up 18-17 and a kill by McIlroy gave the Tigers set point, 24-23. The Gamecocks, however, capitalized on AU service errors to take the set, 27-25, and go up 2-0 in the match.
Kills from Filley and Jones with an ace from Crable lifted the Tigers to an early 7-5 lead to kick off the third and a strike by McIlroy forced an early Gamecock timeout, 10-6. South Carolina slowly chipped away at the Auburn lead and eventually went ahead, 20-17, before a 6-1 AU run pushed the home squad to a 23-22 advantage. An ace from P. White sealed the stanza win for Auburn, 25-22.
The Tigers continued with energy in the fourth and pushed ahead at 6-2. The Gamecocks responded with a run to tie it up at 7-7 and the teams went back and forth before a kill from McIlroy sent the set to the media timeout with AU up 15-14. South Carolina, however, closed out the match with a pair of runs to win, 25-19.
Auburn remains at home in Auburn Arena as the Tigers welcome nationally-ranked Florida to The Plains. Auburn and the No. 4 Gators are set to square off at 1:30 p.m. CT and the match will be broadcast live on SEC Network+. The meeting will be Auburn's fifth contest against a nationally-ranked opponent this season and second against a Top 10 team.