Oct. 26, 2008
FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. - The Auburn volleyball team (5-18, 0-12 SEC) came within two points of its first SEC win Sunday, but a big Arkansas comeback gave the Razorbacks the 3-2 (13-25, 23-25, 25-23, 25-22, 15-9) win over the Tigers at the Barnhill Arena. Despite the loss, the match was a big one for senior Jessica Glover as she picked up the 1,000th kill of her Auburn career.
Glover, a native of Converse, Texas, picked up the first two kills of the second set for Auburn, giving her eight for the match and 1,000 on her career. She went on to lead the team with 17 kills in the five-set loss, fiving her a total of 1,009. By reaching the 1,000-kill plateau, Glover becomes the 12th Auburn player ever to reach the mark, joining Jaunelle Hamilton (1,848), Allyson Beecroft (1,727), Brooke McCarley (1,704), Gina Thomas (1,467), Rachel Shanks (1,319), Bridgitte Sims (1,149), Rani Whitson (1,102), Whitney Jacob (1,093), Jenifer Kleyn (1,070), Gretchen Thompson (1,062) and Laura Coakley (1,008).
"We are so proud of Jess and all she has accomplished in her four years at Auburn," said head coach Wade Benson. "She has been a great offensive leader for us this season and with all the young players on the team, she has set a good example by coming to play night-in and night-out."
Auburn could smell its first SEC win of the season, and the first for Benson as the Tigers' head coach, as they led 2-0 with 19-13 lead in the third set. But, Arkansas did not back down, instead defending its home court with a 9-2 run to take the lead en route to a 25-23 win. The Razorbacks went on to win the next two sets, including a 15-9 fifth-set victory, to pull out the 3-2 win.
Three Tigers finished with double-digit kills, led by Glover with her 17. Sophomore transfer Jonelle Wallace trailed with 15 kills, followed by freshman Kelly Fidero with 14. The Auburn offense also got help from setter Sara Shanks as she tallied a career-high five kills along with her 45 assists. Alyssa Davis came off the bench to add seven kills and a .455 attack percentage.
Wallace and Shanks also picked up their second double-doubles of the season. Wallace was second on the team with 11 digs to go along with her 15 kills while Shanks added 10 digs to her 45-assist tally.
Defensively, Auburn was led by sophomore libero Liz Crouch as she posted a season-high 23 digs - her second 20-dig match of the season. Glover led the team with five blocks, followed by a three-block effort from Fidero.
Auburn dominated in the first set, holding a steady lead to the 18-13 mark when a Glover kill allowed Shanks to serve six straight points for the 25-13 win. Glover stepped up big down the final stretch, accounting for three kills and two blocks among Auburn's final seven points.
The Tigers rolled the momentum into the second set, building a quick 12-6 lead. The Tigers maintained the lead throughout most of the set and were able to hold off a late Razorback run for the 25-23 win, giving AU a 2-0 lead in the match.
Arkansas fought back in the third set, scoring the first five points, but Auburn rallied back to tie the match at 9-9 and continue on to a 15-9 lead. Auburn held that lead until the 19-13 mark when Arkansas embarked on a 9-2 run to take the lead, stealing the 25-23 win.
The teams went point-for-point in the fourth set, ending when Auburn called a timeout at the 21-21 mark. The Razorbacks scored out of the timeout on a Tiger attack error and scored three of the next four points for the 25-22 win, tying the match at 2-2.
Auburn scored the first four points of the fifth set, but Arkansas came back on a 6-1 run of its own to take the lead. Auburn tied the match again at 6-6 and 8-8, but the Razorbacks were able to close out on a 7-1 run for the 15-9 win.
Christina Lawrence led Arkansas in the win with 22 kills, a .459 attack percentage and six blocks. Heather Royal followed with 19 kills while Kelli Stipanovich added 11. Mackenzie Rhea led the team in digs with nine.
Auburn is set to return to action Oct. 31 with the first of its final two home series. The Tigers return to the Student Activities Center for a 6 p.m., Friday matchup against SEC West foe Mississippi State. The weekend continues at 1:30 p.m., Nov. 2 as Auburn wraps up the series against in-state rival Alabama.