Oct. 28, 2009
ATHENS, Ga. - Auburn volleyball fought Georgia to five sets but couldn't pull away with the win, falling 3-2 (25-18, 17-25, 25-22, 17-25, 10-15) to the Bulldogs on Wednesday night. The Tigers dropped to 14-9 on the season and 6-6 in the SEC, while Georgia improved to 14-9 and 5-7 in conference play.
"It was a very good match between two similar teams," Wade Benson, head volleyball coach, said, "We had poor consistency in practice and it came through tonight. We have to get back to the gym and prepare for a tough LSU team."
Junior Morgan Johns tied a season-best with 14 kills, while freshman Katherine Culwell finished with 12 kills and seven digs. Libero Liz Crouch had 20 digs on the night, while Sarah Bullock recorded her fifth double-double on the season with 10 kills and 10 kills.
Setter Sara Shanks picked up her second double-double of the year, finishing with 20 assists and a season-best 15 digs. Junior Alyssa Davis led the squad with six blocks.
Erika Clark led Georgia with 17 kills and 17 digs, while Valentina Gonzalez finished with 14 kills. Carla Tietz had 15 digs and Kathleen Gates finished with 50 assists and 11 digs.
The two squads battled back and forth through the early parts of the first set, exchanging points and the lead. Tied at eight, the Tigers pushed a 5-1 run to take the 13-9 advantage and a pair of Culwell kills put Auburn up 16-10. A three-point Bulldog run brought Georgia within five but the Tigers came away with the 25-18 win.
Georgia took a quick 5-2 lead in set two, but a Bulldog error and kills from Kelly Fidero and Davis tied the set at six. Georgia, however, followed with a five-point run to take an 11-6 lead and continued on to go up 14-8. Auburn rallied to cut the Bulldog lead to four at 19-15, but Georgia finished on a 6-2 run to take set two 25-17.
Down two at 5-3, the Tigers pushed a 4-0 run to go up 7-5 in the third set. The Bulldogs tied the match at seven and the teams fought for a solid lead through the middle of the set. Auburn capitalized on a trio of Georgia errors to go up 13-10, but the Bulldogs came back and tied the set at 18. Down 22-21, pair of kills by Johns and Culwell solidified the 25-22 Auburn win.
The fourth set started just as the first, seeing a battle for points between to two teams. The Bulldogs went ahead at 9-7 and continued to push their lead to take a 13-9 advantage. A Fidero kill and Culwell service ace cut Georgia's lead to three at 16-13, but the Bulldogs held on to their lead and took the set 25-18.
Georgia opened the final set with a quick 2-0 lead, but a Culwell kill and a Bulldog error tied the set at three. A Mellor service ace and a block by Davis and Johns pushed Auburn up 5-3, but Georgia went on a 4-0 run to go up 8-6. Kills from Bullock and Jonelle Wallace tied the set at nine, but the Bulldogs went on another run to take the set 15-10.
Auburn travels to Baton Rouge, La., for a Sunday match at LSU on Nov. 1. Match time is set for 1 p.m. and will be broadcast by Cox Sports Television.