Auburn Volleyball Sprints Past Tennessee, 3-0

Nov. 22, 2013


 
Auburn
Auburn
(18-10, 9-7 SEC)
 Match 28
1
2
3
4
5
 Tennessee
14
7
16
X
X
 Auburn
25
25
25
X
X
Tennessee
Tennessee
(9-21, 1-15 SEC)

AUBURN, Ala. - Auburn hit for its second-best percentage in an SEC match this year and used a strong service game to earn a 3-0 sweep of Tennessee (25-14, 25-7, 25-16) Friday night at Auburn Arena.

The Tigers (18-10, 9-7 SEC), with their ninth SEC win, guaranteed a .500 or better record in league play for the second time in the last four years. It also marked Auburn's first time to beat Tennessee (9-21, 1-15 SEC) twice in the same season since 1994.

"I think we did a great job keeping them off-balance with our serve and maintaining our defensive system," Auburn head coach Rick Nold said. "We were able to get some good opportunities in transition and took advanage of them."

Katherine Culwell led the way for the Tigers with 10 kills, 11 digs and a career-high seven service aces on the night. It marked the most aces in a single match for Auburn since Maira Mogollon had seven against Delaware State in 2003 and ties the Auburn rally scoring-era record.

"Kat played well in a lot of different areas," Nold said. "I thought we passed the ball well and had a good balance offensively. Courtney (McDonald) stepped up and had a big night, too."

McDonald had eight kills on 12 error-free swings for a .667 hitting percentage, one kill shy of her season-high. Auburn's other middle, Camila Jersonsky, was strong on the defensive end with a team-best six blocks along with five kills. Kathia Rud also added eight kills.

Chelsea Wintzinger and Alyssa Ivey shared the team lead with 16 assists each, and Wintzinger picked up her 11th double-double of the year with 11 digs as well.

Tennessee was led by Jamie Lea, Raina Hembry and Ashley Mariani with five kills each.

Auburn outhit Tennessee .311 to .019, the lowest hitting percentage by an Auburn opponent this season. The Tigers had 43 kills to the Lady Vols' 23, nine service aces to Tennessee's one, and out-blocked the Lady Vols, 8-3.

The Tigers went on big runs in each of the first two sets and never trailed after the opening point of the match. Auburn jumped out to a 17-4 lead in the first set before Tennessee closed the gap, but UT never got closer than eight points the rest of the way as Auburn won the opening game, 25-14. Set two saw Auburn hold the Lady Vols to a -.154 hitting percentage and put together four runs of four-straight points or more, sprinting to a 25-7 win.

Tennessee hung closer in the third set, but a 6-0 run midway through the set that included three aces from Culwell gave Auburn a 19-9 lead, all but sealing the victory.

The Tigers will wrap up the 2013 home schedule Sunday afternoon at 1:30 p.m. as the Ole Miss Rebels visit Auburn Arena. Admission is free for all home Auburn volleyball matches. Auburn's six seniors - Katherine Culwell, Camila Jersonsky, Courtney McDonald, Kathia Rud, Chelsea Wintzinger and Sarah Wroblicky - will be honored prior to the match.

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