AUBURN, Ala. – The Auburn volleyball team closed out its 2017 home schedule Sunday with a 3-0 (25-13, 25-21, 25-14) win over Mississippi State in Auburn Arena. With the victory, the Tigers improved to 15-10 overall and 8-8 in the Southeastern Conference.
“The goal is to always send out your seniors the right way and the team really prioritized today to do just that,” head coach Rick Nold said. “I thought we did a great job sticking to the game plan and getting Mississippi State out of system both with our offense and with our serving.
“The significance of this group’s impact on the program is evident with both their performances on the court and in the classroom,” Nold said. “We still have a stretch to go and we’ll be relying on them to make big plays toward the end of the season. We’re going to miss this group for sure.”
Sophomore Gwyn Jones had a match-high 11 kills on the day with a .588 hitting percentage. The hitting clip set a career best. Junior Brenna McIlroy added 10 kills, while Reece finished with eight and freshman Anna Stevenson had six.
Filley notched her 18th double-double of the year with 34 assists and 11 digs. Earl led the match with 18 digs on the day and a season-high eight assists. Sophomore Shaina White finished with four blocks, while Reece had three.
The Tigers were successful from the service line, having a season-best nine service aces as a team. Earl led the way three, while Payton White and Karis Beasley each had two. Reece and McIlroy added one a piece.
The Bulldogs (9-22, 0-16) were led by Sara Maddox with eight kills and Jelena Vujcin with seven. Setter Morgan Kath had 23 assists, while libero Payton Harris had nine digs.
Auburn kicked off the match with a 5-3 lead and a kill from Reece triggered a 7-1 run to force a MSU timeout at 12-5. More strikes from Reece and McIlroy made it 19-9 and a pair of Crable kills guided the Tigers to a 25-13 win.
The Bulldogs came out with a 7-5 lead in set two before a kill from Stevenson sent AU on a run for a 9-8 advantage. A pair of Earl aces brought the teams to the media timeout with the Tigers up 15-12 and kills from McIlroy and Jones made it 21-16. Another Earl ace gave Auburn set point and Reece sealed the win, 25-21.
The Tigers came out with momentum in the final stanza and used tough serving to go up 7-2. Big AU blocks and a McIlroy ace made it 13-4, while another Crable kill pushed the Tigers to a 17-7 advantage. Stevenson gave the home squad match point on a solid swing from the middle and Reece closed out the day with a kill, 25-14.
Auburn caps the 2017 regular season on the road, facing No. 3 Florida and Arkansas. The Tigers will take on the Gators Wednesday, Nov. 22, in Gainesville before traveling to Fayetteville for a Saturday match vs. the Razorbacks, Nov. 25.