Oct. 23, 2005
Auburn, Ala. -
The Tiger volleyball got a second chance against Mississippi State on Sunday afternoon and its second attempt was successful as Auburn defeated the Bulldogs in four, 30-25, 22-30, 30-25, 30-23. Auburn was swept by MSU in the team's first meeting on Oct. 7 in Starkville, Miss., but showed great improvement over the two weeks.
The Tigers improved to 8-10, 2-8 (SEC) and the Bulldogs fell to 11-8, 2-7 (SEC) with less than a month until the SEC Championship and at a crucial point in the season when every conference win is critical for both AU and MSU.
"We haven't really been playing our game lately," senior captain Bailey Veit said. "We have been working on communication during practice this week and just getting back to the basics of what we were doing at the beginning of the season which proved successful for us today. Our defense was much improved and I think that was a big part of our win."
It proved to be one of the best four-game matches of the season, statistically, as three new team season high's were achieved and another tied. Auburn put up 65 digs, 13 total blocks and eight aces - all new high's, along with tying the season high for block assists with 18.
"This win feels good," head AU coach Laura Farina said. "It is never a lack of wanting to win, as we have gone through this tough road in the SEC we have had to re-learn how to win. With this win we hope the team will play more loosely and calmly from here on out. I think the team knows that they are good, it just putting all the pieces together at the times that you need to put it together. That is what tightens us up a bit and that is when we seem to get anxious in matches. After Wednesday's match with Alabama we talked about taking care of the opportunities that we are presented and I think we did that today."
Individually, five new season-high's were either met or tied with senior Jennifer Amobi leading the way on the offensive front. With 23 kills on 52 attempts (both season high's), she led the team in both categories. Sophomore Whitney Jacob posted five aces, to tie her career-high, and set a new season best for four-game matches. Jacob also turned in seven block assists (season high) and a solo block for eight total blocks - a new career best mark for her. Junior Julie Bosler also contributed in the blocking category as she posted three solo blocks to tie for a season best.
Three Tigers had double-digit digs with Veit leading the way for the second straight match with 21. Rachel Shanks
contributed 12 and Joanna Pappas
added another 10. For the game, Auburn hit .177 with 57 kills on 164 attempts and 28 errors. Game two proved to be the best for Auburn attack-wise, as the team hit .308 with 13 kills on 26 attempts and just five errors.
Auburn will travel to LSU (Oct. 28) and Arkansas (Oct. 30) this coming weekend before returning home for the final time this season against Georgia (Nov. 4) and Florida (Nov. 6).