Volleyball Improves To 13-8 With Sweep Over Rival Alabama
Oct. 23, 2009
AUBURN, Ala. - The Auburn volleyball team outplayed rival Alabama, sweeping the Crimson Tide, 3-0 (25-18, 25-22, 25-22), on Friday at the Student Activities Center. The win marks just the second time since 1999 that the Tigers have defeated their in-state foe.
"It was a good match and I thought we came out really prepared," Wade Benson, head volleyball coach, said. "You could see it in the energy level of the team. We let down in the third set for a little bit, which is fairly typical for our youth. We were able to come back and that's a positive thing for us."
With the win, Auburn improves to 13-8 overall and 5-5 in the Southeastern Conference. The last time the Tigers picked up 13 overall wins and five in the conference was 2006 when the squad finished 13-18 and 5-15 in the SEC. Auburn defeated Alabama that season, 3-0, at the Beard-Eaves Memorial Coliseum.
The Tigers were led by sophomore Kelly Fidero, who finished with 11 kills and hit .348 overall. Junior Morgan Johns and freshman Sarah Bullock each recorded nine kills, while sophomore setter Christina Solverson tallied a team-high nine digs and 19 assists.
"We've really worked hard up to this point and have grown up a lot this season," Johns said. "We showed maturity tonight. The team knew we could win and we pulled it off in front of a fun crowd."
Alabama (6-15, 4-7 SEC) was led by Alyssa Meuth and Brooks Webster. Meuth recorded nine kills and two blocks, while Webster finished with seven kills, nine digs and four blocks.
Kills from Johns and Katherine Culwell helped Auburn jump out to a 4-1 lead in the first set. Alabama rallied to tie the match at five apiece and the two squads battled to take a commanding lead. A kill from Fidero and a service ace from Culwell put the Tigers up 14-11 and a four-point run gave Auburn the 19-13 advantage. Another kill from Fidero and one from Bullock sealed the 25-18 win for the Tigers.
Auburn grabbed a commanding 8-3 lead in set two, highlighted by pair of kills from Bullock and a service ace from Culwell. A three-point Tiger run made the score 16-10 and a kill from Johns pushed Auburn up 17-12. The Crimson Tide rallied late in the set, coming with two at 22-20, but kills from Johns and Davis put Auburn up 24-20 and the Tigers went on to take the set, 25-22.
The two squads reversed rolls at the start of the third set, seeing Alabama grab a quick 5-0 advantage. A kill from Johns and a service ace from Lauren Mellor brought the Tigers within three at 5-2, but the Crimson Tide held on to their lead. Down three at 14-11, the Tigers rallied on a three-point run to tie the set at 14 apiece and the teams fought for points until the very end. A kill from Johns tied the set at 22 all and a kill from Davis and two from Culwell pushed Auburn to the 25-22 victory.
The Tigers continue their homestand, facing Mississippi State at 1:30 p.m. on Sunday. The match will be held in the Student Activities Center and admission is free.
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