Nov. 21, 2010
STARKVILLE, Miss. - The Auburn volleyball team pulled off another come-from-behind victory and pulled off a 3-1 (23-25, 25-17, 25-22, 25-22) win over Mississippi State Sunday afternoon at the Newell-Grissom Building.
With the win, Auburn improved to 19-12 on the season and 10-9 in the SEC. The 19 wins mark the first time since 1999 that the Tigers have reached that amount of victories and the 10 conference wins are the most since 1997.
"It was a very successful road trip for us," head coach Wade Benson said. "Winning two in a row on the road in this conference is a very hard task. We know what is on the line for us and this win continues to give us a chance. We're excited for our next road test and to see what we can continue to achieve this season."
Senior Morgan Johns finished the day with 13 kills to lead the Tigers. Junior Kelly Fidero tallied the first double-double of her career, recording 12 kills and 12 digs. Freshman setter Chelsea Wintzinger picked up her third double-double of the season as she finished with 19 assists and 10 digs.
Senior libero Liz Crouch had a match-high 25 digs, while classmate Lauren Mellor had a team-best four blocks for the Auburn defense. Freshman Kathia Rud had eight kills and six digs, while sophomore Sarah Bullock also finished with eight kills.
Mississippi State (11-19, 3-16 SEC) was led by Caitlin Rance with 14 kills and 11 digs. Libero Kayla Woodard had 22 digs for the Bulldogs, while setter Paris Perret recorded 34 assists.
A trio of Bulldog attack errors pushed Auburn to a 4-1 advantage at the start of the first set, but the home team regrouped to push a five-point rally and take a 6-4 lead. A Bulldog error and a service ace by Crouch triggered an Auburn run to give the Tigers a 20-17 lead. Mississippi State, however, used a 7-2 final run to take the set 25-23.
In the second set, Mississippi State took a quick 3-0 lead and pressed on to go up five at 7-2. At 10-7 Mississippi State, a kill by Rud set off a four-point Auburn rally to give the Tigers an 11-10 advantage. A kill by Johns led to a 6-0 run to put the Tigers up 18-12 and Auburn pushed to finish with a 25-17 set win.
Kills by Rud and Camila Jersonsky along with a pair of Bulldog attack errors gave Auburn a 4-1 lead to open the third set. Mississippi State locked the score at five apiece and the two squads battled back and forth throughout the middle of the set. A trio of kills by Fidero put Auburn ahead at 16-12 and a kill by Rud set the score 20-14 in favor of the Tigers. The Bulldogs cut the score to two at 22-20, but Auburn held on to win 25-22.
The fourth set proved to be a battle as the two squads fought for points at the start of the set. A kill by Fidero gave the Tigers a 12-11 advantage and kills by Bullock and Mellor pushed Auburn ahead three at 14-11. The Bulldogs came back to come within a point at 15-14 and eventually locked the set up at 22 apiece. A kill by Fidero and another by Bullock solidified the Tiger victory as Auburn went on to take the 25-22 win.
Auburn closes out the regular season on the road as the Tigers travel to Athens, Ga., for a 6 p.m. CT match on November 24 against the Georgia Bulldogs.