Auburn Comes Up Short In 3-1 Loss To No. 11 Kentucky
Nov. 15, 2009
AUBURN, Ala. - The Auburn volleyball team struck first, but could not hold on as the Tigers fell 3-1 (25-22, 22-25, 11-25, 12-25) to No. 11 Kentucky at the Student Activities Center Sunday. Auburn is now 15-13 overall and 7-10 in the SEC.
"The scores do not show how the match went and I think we played really well," Wade Benson, head volleyball coach, said. "We accomplished a lot this weekend in beating Tennessee and really taking it to Kentucky. We've already exceeded our goal this year and we're going to keep pushing.
"We have three important matches from here on out, with two of them on the road. Our expectation is to win all three for a 10-10 finish in the SEC, which would be Auburn's best finish in a long time."
Freshman Sarah Bullock finished with 13 kills and eight digs to lead Auburn. Junior setter Sara Shanks picked up her second-consecutive double-double, recording 21 assists and 10 digs. Libero Liz Crouch led the Tigers with 17 digs on the day.
Blaire Hiler tallied a match-high 14 kills, while Sarah Mendoza finished with 11 kills and 13 digs for Kentucky (26-2, 16-1 SEC). Libero BriAnne Sauer had a match-best 19 digs and Sarah Rumely recorded 40 assists.
The Wildcats took a 6-3 lead at the start of the first set and pushed ahead to go up 12-7. Down seven at 15-8, a pair of kills from Bullock brought Auburn within five and at 17-12, a kill from Morgan Johns sparked a Tiger run. A kill by Kelly Fidero cut the Kentucky lead to one at 18-17 and a kill by Katherine Culwell tied the set at 21 apiece. The Tigers rattled off a 4-1 rally to win the set 25-22.
The teams battled through the beginning of the second set, seeing six ties and a pair of lead changes. At 6-6, the Wildcats pulled ahead on a pair of kills to take the 8-6 advantage. A kill from Alyssa Davis triggered an Auburn run and a Kentucky attack error gave the Tigers the 12-11 lead. A Wildcat rally put the visitors up 20-16, but a pair of kills from Culwell brought Auburn within one at 20-19. Kentucky, however, held on and took the set 25-22.
A kill from Jonelle Wallace tied set three at five, but Kentucky rebounded quickly and rattled off a seven-point rally to take a 12-5 advantage. A kill from Johns brought Auburn within six at 17-6, but another Wildcat run solidified the 25-11 win for Kentucky.
Kills by Courtney McDonald and MacKenzy Harper locked the score at two apiece early in the fourth set before Kentucky pushed a seven-point run to go up 9-2. A kill by Brittney Rhude stopped another Wildcat rally at 15-4, but Kentucky went on to win 25-12.
The Tigers head out on their last roadtrip of the regular season, traveling to Arkansas on Nov. 20 for a 7 p.m. match. Auburn then faces Ole Miss on Nov. 22 at 1:30 p.m. in Oxford, Miss.
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