Oct. 21, 2012
Box Score |
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AUBURN - In a match where the Auburn volleyball team controlled every statistical category, visiting Missouri still found a way to leave the Student Activities Center with a 3-2 win (25-14, 16-25, 21-25, 25-19, 13-15) Sunday afternoon in the first SEC meeting between the schools.
Auburn (13-8, 4-7 SEC) had more kills, digs, blocks, service aces and a higher hitting percentage than Missouri (15-6, 7-4 SEC), but the visitors managed to come up with two huge plays late in the fifth set to break a 13-13 tie and send Auburn to its fourth straight defeat.
"We fought, and I like seeing that," Auburn head coach Rick Nold said. "I don't think we played our best by any means. For the first half of the match, we didn't really pass the ball well. But once we (started passing), we did a great job of pushing the ball into the middle. We thought we had an advantage there. But it just came down to a play or two at the end of the match. I was happy how we fought back.
"If we could have had our passing here from Friday night, we would have a good chance to win. And if we could have had the energy we had today in Friday's match, we would have had a good chance to win. Again, you've got to put together a full match. We add a few things in here and there, it's just a matter of putting it all together."
Auburn had 69 kills to Missouri's 56, won the digs battle 81-65, out-blocked the SEC's top blocking team 14-12, and had five service aces to Missouri's four. The homestanding Tigers also hit at a .225 clip against Missouri's .205, marking Auburn's first loss this season and just the second under Nold when out-hitting an opponent. Today was the second straight match where Auburn had more kills than its opponent but came up short. But Auburn had 29 attack errors to Missouri's 22 and committed six service errors against Missouri's three.
Leading the offensive charge today were senior Sarah Bullock and junior Camila Jersonsky, both with 18 kills. Jersonsky's 18 kills on .469 hitting matched a career-high, and she also contributed five blocks to the effort. Bullock hit at a .268 clip and tied for the team high in digs with 19; she also added three solo blocks and a pair of service aces.
Junior Katherine Culwell picked up her fourth double-double of the year with 15 kills and 11 digs; she also added a pair of blocks. Both Auburn setters had double-doubles as well - junior Chelsea Wintzinger had 34 assists and 10 digs, and freshman Ciara Richards also had 10 digs along with 25 helpers. Libero Sarah Wroblicky matched Bullock's output defensively with 19 digs, and she posted two service aces of her own. And junior Courtney McDonald had six blocks to lead Auburn, along with 10 kills and seven digs.
Missouri's Lisa Henning led all hitters with 27 kills, and she hit .310 with just five errors on an astounding 71 attempts. Whitney Little had 12 kills and seven blocks, and setter Molly Kreklow fell two kills shy of a triple-double as she had eight kills, 42 assists and 10 digs.
Auburn could do no wrong in the first set, amassing 17 kills with just two errors for a .395 percentage en route to a 25-14 win. Missouri hit just .143 and was victimized by a tough-serving Auburn team which had two aces, both from Wroblicky. Mizzou jumped out to a 6-4 lead, but Auburn went on an 8-0 run during Wroblicky's term of service to take an 11-6 lead. From there, Mizzou would get no closer than four points the rest of the way. Bullock had eight kills with no errors in the opening set, hitting .533.
The second set was almost a mirror image for Missouri as they hit .400 and controlled the service game to take a 25-16 win and tie the match. Henning came alive with eight kills, and Auburn's passing was lacking as sideouts were difficult to come by.
Set three saw Auburn keep it close despite a woeful .093 hitting percentage, but Missouri eventually came away with a 25-21 win to take a 2-1 advantage. Auburn had 12 of its 29 attack errors for the match in the third set, but a tough defense that recorded 24 digs and three blocks kept the score close. Auburn trailed by five late but rallied behind a pair of blocks to get within two points at 23-21. But big swings from Little and Henning put the set away for Mizzou.
The fourth set saw 13 ties and four lead changes, but Auburn turned the tables on Missouri late to send the match to a deciding set with a 25-19 win. Auburn had 17 kills and a .324 hitting percentage in the fourth while Missouri was barely above water at .029 (eight kills, seven errors). Neither team led by more than two points until Auburn went on a 3-0 run behind two kills from Bullock and a block from Jersonsky and Kathia Rud to take an 18-15 lead. Mizzou got back within a point, but Jersonsky had four of her seven kills in the frame in the last nine points as Auburn ended the set on a 7-2 run.
Much like the fourth, neither team could gain a clear advantage in the fifth set. Mizzou was the first to eight points, taking an 8-6 lead as the teams switched sides, but a kill and a block from Jersonsky knotted the score at nine apiece. After an Auburn timeout, Missouri reclaimed the lead at 12-10, but a kill from Bullock and a service ace from freshman Mary Hannah Arrington gave Auburn a 13-12 lead. But Mizzou would score the final three points, getting a kill from Henning after an outstanding defensive play from libero Sarah Meister, and two straight blocks by Lydia Ely and Emliy Wilson ended the match with a 15-13 win for Missouri.
Auburn will hit the road next weekend for its next-to-last road trip of the season; five of Auburn's final seven matches will be at home. The Tigers will look for a season sweep of South Carolina next Friday, Oct. 26, in Columbia, before traveling back across four states to face Ole Miss in Oxford on Sunday, Oct. 28.