Oct. 24, 2008
OXFORD, Miss. - Auburn took the early lead after a win in the first set, but the Ole Miss volleyball team rallied back to win three straight for a 3-1 (22-25, 25-21, 25-17, 25-17) win Friday night in Oxford, Miss., handing the Tigers their 12th-straight loss.
Senior Jessica Glover posted a double-double with 15 kills and 14 digs in the match, both team-highs, but could not carry Auburn (5-17, 0-11 SEC) to its first SEC win of the season. Ole Miss (10-10, 6-5 SEC) used three players hitting in double figures along with a .241 team hitting percentage to down the Tigers in the match.
"It is always tough playing on the road and even tougher when you take on a veteran team like Ole Miss," said Auburn head coach Wade Benson. "I was very happy with how we came out and took a win off of them on their home court in the first set, but we made some crucial errors in the next three sets that did us in."
For Auburn's young team, a squad that is made up almost entirely of freshmen and sophomores, playing on the road in the SEC is a good learning experience.
"We are so young this year and it is good for the team to get out there and see what it is like against other teams in the conference on the road," said Benson. "I thought we had some players respond very well to the situation and I was happy with how Jess Glover stepped up again to lead this team across the board, but we have to get some other people up there to be successful."
Glover, a regular as Auburn's offensive leader, also stepped up to lead the defensive attack Friday night. The senior from Converse, Texas, posted four blocks along with her 14 kills to lead the team. Sophomore libero Liz Crouch followed with 11 digs while Jonelle Wallace chipped in two blocks along with her six kills and seven digs.
Sophomore Alyssa Davis
trailed on the offensive end, posting seven kills to finish second to Glover. Wallace and freshman Kelly Fidero
added six kills each while sophomore setter Sara Shanks
tallied a career-high four kills along with her 31 assists.
Miranda Kitts and Katie Norris led the Rebels with 12 kills each in the match, followed by Regina Thomas with 10. Setter Rachel Kieckhaefer had five kills with no errors along with her 43 assists.
Defensively for Ole Miss, libero Allison Weber led the team with 13 digs while Kitts added six blocks. Kitts was one of seven Rebel players to pick up at least one block in the match.
Auburn jumped out to the early lead in the first set and did not give it up until the Rebels took the lead at the 19-18 mark. The Tigers bounced back, capitalizing off a Glover kill and Ole Miss errors for the 25-22 win.
The Tigers rode the momentum into the second set, building an early 8-1 lead. Ole Miss bounced back and took the lead at the 12-11 mark and eventually built the lead to six at 22-16. Kills from Davis and Fidero cut the lead to three, but it was too late as the Rebels took the 25-21 win to even the match at 1-1 heading into the break.
The third and fourth sets were almost identical for Auburn as Ole Miss stormed out to early lead the Tigers were not able to overcome. The Rebels held Auburn to only 18 kills in the final two sets, picking up back-to-back 25-17 wins en route to the 3-1 match win.
Auburn continues its weekend road trip on Sunday as the Tigers head to Arkansas for a 1:30 p.m. matchup with the Razorbacks at Barnhill Arena. For information on live stats and Web streaming, check out www.ArkansasRazorbacks.com.