Culwell, Wroblicky Hit Milestones in Senior Day Win over Ole Miss

Nov. 24, 2013


 
Auburn
Auburn
(19-10, 10-7 SEC)
 Match 29
1
2
3
4
5
 Ole Miss
25
14
19
14
X
 Auburn
19
25
25
25
X
Ole Miss
Ole Miss
(13-17, 3-14 SEC)

AUBURN, Ala. - Katherine Culwell earned her 1,000th career kill, Sarah Wroblicky broke the Auburn single-season digs record, and the rest of Auburn's volleyball seniors contributed to a 3-1 win (19-25, 25-14, 25-19, 25-14) over Ole Miss on Sunday afternoon at Auburn Arena.

The Tigers (19-10, 10-7), meanwhile, earned their 10th SEC victory of the season, marking just the fourth time in program history for Auburn to hit double-digits in conference wins. It was also the Tigers' fifth win in the last six matches against Ole Miss (13-17, 3-14 SEC).

"Ole Miss has got a really good offensive game," Auburn head coach Rick Nold said. "We kept them in system early, and they were taking advantage of it. But we wanted to see how we would respond to that, and we stayed mentally tough and we came out and played hard in the last three games. They were a battle, back-and-forth, but we came out aggressive and kept them on their heels."

It was the final home match for six Auburn seniors - Culwell, Camila Jersonsky, Courtney McDonald, Kathia Rud, Chelsea Wintzinger and Wroblicky - and they all made major contributions to the victory, some with season- or career-best performances.

"That's what you expect from them," Nold said. "They've been showing that since they've been here, and you want to see them in that situation and how they respond. It was great to see, and obviously we're really happy they could go out with a win."

Culwell, with her fifth kill of the match - which came in the second set - became the 14th player in Auburn history to record 1,000 career kills. She finished the match with 11 kills, but set another career mark with 25 digs - her third time this year to top the 20-dig mark - and picked up her team-leading 13th double-double of the year.

"She's a huge part of what we do," Nold said of Culwell. "She's a rock for us. We go to her in a lot of situations. Her offense was really aggressive, and then her defense picked it up. They had a lot of stuff going at her, and she took care of business back there."

Wroblicky broke the Auburn single-season digs record in today's match, passing Liz Crouch with her 470th dig of the season on her first dig of the third set. She now has 481 for the year with one match to go. In today's match, she had 24 digs. She also moved up the all-time charts at Auburn, passing Sarah Bullock for fourth all-time.

Wintzinger contributed a season-high 35 assists and matched her season-high with three service aces, including two-straight late in the fourth set to set up match point. Jersonsky led the Auburn offense with 16 kills and a .538 hitting percentage, and Rud was one shy of a career-high with 15 kills along with 17 digs for her ninth double-double of the year. McDonald had six kills and a block in her final home match for the Tigers.

Ole Miss presented a tough defensive challenge for the Tigers, putting up 12 blocks on the day, including six in the first set. Nakeyta Clair led the Rebels with eight blocks along with 11 kills, and Ty Laporte finished with 12 kills and four blocks.

With the exception of blocking, Auburn controlled every statistical category in the match. The Tigers had 66 kills to the Rebels' 46, one more ace than Ole Miss (5-4), and 79 digs to the Rebels' 63. Auburn also hit for a .280 percentage while holding Ole Miss to .179.

Six Rebel blocks in the opening set led Ole Miss to a 25-19 win and an early lead in the match. Auburn jumped out to an early lead but was unable to generate any rallies thereafter with Ole Miss in system for much of the set and spreading their offense around well.

The rest of the match, though, was a different story. The Tigers were able to take Ole Miss out of system repeatedly, leading to easier chances on the offensive end. Culwell had six kills and eight digs in the second set alone as Ole Miss had just eight kills as a team. Set three was a closer affair as the teams mostly traded sideouts until late in the game. But from a 19-18 lead, Auburn ended the set on a 6-1 run, getting four kills from Jersonsky down the stretch and benefitting from a pair of Ole Miss errors to take a 25-19 win and a 2-1 lead in the match.

Set four saw Auburn jump out to a big early lead and never look back. After the Tigers pulled ahead 9-4, Ole Miss never got closer than four points the rest of the way as Auburn hit .368 with 16 kills in the final set. Auburn also got three service aces in the set, including two in the final three points. The match ended, appropriately, with three seniors touching the ball on the final rally - a dig from Wroblicky, a set from Wintzinger, and a kill from Jersonsky - to put the match away.

The Tigers will close out the 2013 regular season looking for their 20th win on Wednesday, Nov. 27, against the Georgia Bulldogs in Athens, Ga. The match is set for a 4 p.m. CT start at the Ramsey Student Center on the UGA campus, and admission is free.

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