Nov. 23, 2012
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AUBURN - Auburn's 2012 volleyball season ended Friday afternoon on a disappointing note as the Tigers dropped a 3-0 decision (23-25, 14-25, 16-25) to the Kentucky Wildcats on Senior Day at the Student Activities Center.
The Tigers finish the season with an overall record of 17-13 overall, 8-12 in Southeastern Conference play. Kentucky improved to 20-10 overall, 14-6 in the SEC.
Poor play by Auburn in the serving and passing game was the biggest difference in the match. Kentucky recorded eight service aces and were able to regularly take Auburn out of system, while the Tigers had just one service ace while committing four errors.
"Kentucky's a very good team, and we needed to be on top of our serving and passing game to beat them," Auburn head coach Rick Nold said. "And we just weren't. They served tough and took us out of system quite a bit. For us to be able to play at the level we need to, everybody's got to be involved in the offense, and we just couldn't make that happen."
Friday marked the final home match for Auburn's four seniors. Sarah Bullock, Chloe Rowand, Brittney Rhude and MacKenzy Harper were honored in pregame ceremonies. In their four years at Auburn, the Tigers have won 62 total matches, making this year's group of seniors the most successful graduating class from the Auburn volleyball program since the 2000 season.
"They've been a huge part of the success," Nold said. "Over the last three or four years, the program has made some huge strides, and they've been a huge part of that. They've got a lot to be proud of from their time here. Nobody wants it to end, but it has to happen. A big part of that is them setting an example for the future, and we keep moving forward."
Junior Katherine Culwell led Auburn's offense in today's match with 12 of the Tigers' 32 kills. Bullock added eight kills in her final match as a Tiger. Defensively, the Tigers struggled with Kentucky's attack as no player reached double-digit digs. Chelsea Wintzinger and Harper were the Auburn leaders with seven apiece.
Kentucky was led by Whitney Billings with 12 kills and 12 digs. Libero Stephanie Klefot added 15 digs to lead the Wildcat defense, and Alexandra Morgan posted nine kills along with seven blocks.
The Wildcats hit for a .326 percentage, the highest by an Auburn opponent this year, while Auburn swung at a .147 clip. Kentucky had 42 kills to Auburn's 32, 42 digs to Auburn's 37, and eight blocks to Auburn's three.
Bullock finished the season as Auburn's leader in kills with 371 (3.50/set), while Culwell was close behind at 330 kills (3.03/set). Sarah Wroblicky was the Tigers' digs leader with 431 (3.99/set), the third-highest dig total in a single season in Auburn history. Camila Jersonsky was the top Tiger blocker with 11 solo stuffs and 108 block assists for 119 total blocks (1.09/set), the ninth-best single-season total and season average in program history.
Wintzinger was the team leader in assists with 680 (6.24/set) while freshman Ciara Richards contributed 541 helpers (4.96/set). Richards was the team's top server with 26 aces (0.24/set) on the season.
As a team, Auburn hit .216 on the year, tying for the eighth-best hitting percentage in program history. The Tigers averaged 13.43 kills per set and 16.60 digs per set, the latter being the fourth-best all-time season average by an Auburn team.