Nov. 20, 2006
LEXINGTON, Ky. -
The Auburn University volleyball team dropped its fourth-straight five-game match as the Tigers fell to Kentucky, 3-2 (30-21, 24-30, 30-20, 25-30, 15-13) on Friday at Memorial Coliseum in Lexington. The loss splits the season series between the two teams. With the loss, AU drops to 13-17 overall and 5-14 in the SEC, while Kentucky improves to 18-9 overall and 11-8 in the conference.
Junior Rachel Shanks led the Tigers with 24 kills and 13 digs for her 19th double-double of the season and 11th-straight match with 10-plus kills. Her 13 digs makes her the new all-time single-season leader with 416. Playing in her first match at libero, junior Jelena Sekulic also made history as her 36 digs set a new single match record for AU. Sophomore Jessica Glover collected her 16th double-double with 10 kills and a career-high 27 digs. Senior Julie Bosler and junior Whitney Jacob each added 12 kills and four blocks on the night, while senior Dalia Naidzinaviciute chipped-in 10 kills.
"What a heartbreaking match," head coach Laura Farina said. "Despite the illnesses and crazy travel issues, the team didn't allow for any of that to be a distraction. Kentucky is a very good team and we were close to getting a road win. I am very happy for Jelena and Rachel because they have been consistent keys for us this season."
Auburn found itself down 9-3 before the Tigers were forced to use a timeout. AU scored three-straight points to pull back within three, but a 4-0 run by UK pushed the lead back to six. Kentucky continued to apply pressure as its lead grew to as many as 12, and the Wildcats won game one, 30-21.
It was the Tigers turn to take the early lead, holding an 11-4 lead to begin game two. AU stretched its lead to as many as eight before a 5-0 run cut its lead to three (14-11). Auburn responded with a run of its own (6-1), and led 20-12. The Tigers continued to stretch their lead to as many as 10, and evened the match at one apiece heading into the intermission with a 30-24 win.
The Tigers found themselves down 6-3 to begin game three, but cut the lead to one before a 4-0 run put the Wildcats ahead by five. AU fought back again, slicing the advantage to one, but UK separated again to lead by seven. Kentucky maintained the lead the rest of the third, and took the game 30-20.
The two teams battled back and forth to start game four, before UK took a two point lead into a timeout by the Tigers after three unanswered points. AU answered with four-straight of its own and regained the lead, causing a Kentucky timeout. Kentucky tied the game up at 16 and both sides exchanged points until Auburn grabbed a three point advantage (25-22). AU maintained the lead, and headed to the final game with a 30-25 win.
The fifth game turned out to be the most thrilling stanza of the match. The squads exchanged points, but tied at eight, Auburn was able to find two-straight, causing UK to call timeout. Out of the break, Kentucky answered with three consecutive points of its own and took the lead, 11-10, causing AU to take a timeout. The Wildcats scored another point, but a Knuth kill broke the streak. Down 14-12, the Tigers called their last timeout and scored the following point, but a service error on the next play gave Kentucky the game five win, 15-13.
The Tigers will travel to Knoxville to take on Tennessee at 12:30 p.m. CT on Sunday for their final match of the season.