Volleyball Caps Off Non-Conference Schedule At Michigan Pepsi Challenge
Sept. 10, 2008
AUBURN - The Auburn volleyball team (4-4) wraps up the non-conference portion of its schedule this weekend as the Tigers travel to Ann Arbor, Mich., for the Pepsi Challenge.
Auburn will take on Toledo (3-3), Oakland (3-4) and No. 25 Michigan (6-0) at the two-day tournament. Action opens at 5 p.m., Friday with Toledo and continues Saturday with a 1:30 p.m. meeting with Oakland and a 7:30 p.m. match against the nationally-ranked Wolverines.
"We are excited to get out there and play again and see what we need to do, what we need to work on before we start SEC play," said head coach Wade Benson. "I see some bright spots across the board from our players and coaching staff, it is a growth year and to me this is all very exciting."
After losing their first four matches of the season, the Tigers are currently riding a four-match winning streak with wins over Bethune-Cookman (3-0), Presbyterian (3-0), Georgia Southern (3-2) and Troy (3-1).
Most recently, Auburn went to four sets to pull out the 3-1 win over in-state rival Troy. Competing in front of a record crowd of 1,523, sophomore Alyssa Davis lit up the Trojans with 12 kills and a .381 attack percentage. Senior Jessica Glover followed with a double-double, posting 11 kills and 12 digs in the win.
The victory was also special in that it marked the 200th of Benson's career. He now holds a career record of 200-66 as a head coach at both the NCAA and NAIA level. His NCAA Division I record currently stands at 158-59.
The match with Toledo will be the third time in Auburn's history the Tigers and Rockets have met. First playing in 1987, Toledo pulled out the 3-2 win, but Auburn came back in 1990 to take the 3-0 sweep over the Mid-American Conference member. Toledo is coached by Kent Miller, who is in his 12th season with the team and holds a 125-211.
Following with Oakland, it will mark the first time for Auburn to play the Golden Grizzlies. Oakland is a member of the Summit League. Oakland is led by head coach Rob Beam, who is in his second season with the team after going 8-21 last season.
The meeting with Michigan is the second all-time with the Wolverines holding a 1-0 series advantage after the 3-0 sweep in 1987. Michigan is the first nationally-ranked team on Auburn's 2008 schedule and are coached by 10th-year head coach Mark Rosen. He currently holds a 169-123 record at Michigan and a 378-160 career record.
"It is time for us to see where we stack up," said Benson. "Playing Michigan will be a great evaluator for us right before we get into conference as we are going to see many teams equal to Michigan here in the short future."
Fans can follow all the action with live stats on Michigan's Website, www.MGoBlue.com. A radio feed will also be available for the Auburn-Michigan match on Saturday.
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