Nov. 20, 2009
FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. - The Auburn volleyball squad battled a tough five-set match with Arkansas, falling 3-2 (30-32, 25-22, 22-25, 25-20, 10-15) on Friday evening. The Tigers are now 15-14 overall and 7-11 in the SEC, while Arkansas improves to 13-16 and 7-11 in conference play.
"It is always hard to come back on road," Wade Benson, head volleyball coach, said. It is a disappointing loss, but we have to keep heads high move on."
Freshman Sarah Bullock led Auburn offensively, tallying a career-best 21 kills and finishing with 12 digs for her seventh double-double on the year. Junior Alyssa Davis recorded 11 kills and six blocks for Auburn, while classmate Morgan Johns finished with 12 kills.
Sophomore setter Christina Solverson picked up her seventh double-double of the season, recording a career-high 33 assists and tallying 13 digs. Junior Liz Crouch led the Auburn defense with 19 digs. That mark pushes her into third all-time at Auburn with 1,193 digs in her career.
Jasmine Norton led all attackers with 28 kills for Arkansas. She also finished with 12 digs. Amanda Anderson and Kelli Stipanovich tallied 15 kills each, while Kristin Seaton added 14 kills. Libero Phoebe Bautista had a match-high 33 digs.
The two squads proved to be an even match from the start, battling through the early parts of the first set. A kill from Jonelle Wallace gave Auburn the early 5-3 lead, but Arkansas came back and tied the set at six. A three-point run at 13 apiece gave the Tigers a slim advantage that they held until the Razorbacks fought to tie the set at 20. From that point on, the teams exchanged points and the lead until, locked at 30, Arkansas was able to rattle off the final two points to win the set 32-30.
A kill from Johns and a service ace by Lauren Mellor
pushed Auburn to an early 4-1 lead in the second set and a pair of Arkansas errors gave the Tigers a 10-6 advantage. The Razorbacks came within one at 11-10, but a kill from Bullock and another Arkansas error kept Auburn up at 13-10. The Tigers held on to their lead the rest of the set and a kill from Kelly Fidero
gave Auburn the 25-22 win.
The third set saw Arkansas go up 7-5 early, but a kill from Mellor triggered an Auburn 4-2 run to tie the set at nine. The Razorbacks, however, put together a rally of their own to jump out to a 17-13 advantage. A kill from Fidero and a pair of kills by Bullock brought the Tigers within one at 18-17, but Arkansas pulled ahead to take the 25-22 set three win.
Auburn found itself down early in the fourth set at 6-3, but a pair of kills by Fidero and another by Bullock tied the set at eight. At 12 apiece, the Tigers pushed a three-point run, highlighted by a service ace from Sara Shanks, to go up 15-12. Kills from Davis, Wallace and Mellor drove Auburn to a 19-15 advantage and a kill by Johns solidified the 25-20 Tiger set four victory.
In the deciding set, a pair of kills from Johns gave Auburn a quick 2-1 lead, but Arkansas answered with a 6-1 run to go ahead 7-3. A kill from Bullock brought Auburn with three at 8-5, but that is the closest the Tigers could get as the Razorbacks took the match with a 15-10 win.
Auburn travels to Ole Miss to take on the Rebels Sunday at 1 p.m. The match will be televised live by CSS.