Sept. 16, 2010
AUBURN, Ala. - The Auburn volleyball team kicks of its Southeastern Conference schedule this weekend, traveling to a pair of SEC West foes in LSU and Arkansas. The Tigers (9-3) take on the nationally-ranked and defending SEC champion LSU Friday for a 7 p.m. match in Baton Rouge and then travel to Fayetteville for a 1:30 p.m. match against the Razorbacks on Sunday.
"Our goal this season is to win the West and we're opening the conference schedule on the road against two of the toughest opponents in our division," head coach Wade Benson said. "Despite being on the road for the last two weeks, we're rested and ready to go. These are two big-time teams and it is going to take a monstrous team effort for us, but we are ready to do that."
Live stats are available and can be found on Auburn volleyball's schedule website. Also, get in-match updates by following AUVolleyball on Twitter.
Auburn returns home to the Student Activities Center for the first time in three weeks Sept. 24 for a 7 p.m. match against Kentucky. The Tigers conclude the weekend Sunday, Sept. 26, with a 1:30 p.m. match against the Tennessee Volunteers, who were picked to win the conference this season.
C OF C CLASSIC
The Auburn volleyball team concluded its non-conference schedule at the College of Charleston for the C of C Classic this past weekend and came away with the tournament title. The Tigers opened with a three-set sweep over Oregon State Friday, Sept. 10, and followed with a three-set sweep over host College of Charleston Saturday. Auburn concluded the weekend with a 3-1 loss to Cincinnati, but despite the loss, the Tigers finished the weekend on top with the title. Senior libero Liz Crouch was named the tournament's Most Valuable Player after finishing with a 5.60 digs-per-set average and being the overall leader on the court for the team. Senior Morgan Johns and freshman Camila Jersonsky were also named to the all-tournament team.
The defending SEC champion LSU enters conference competition with a 9-0 overall mark and are the 19th-ranked team in the country. The Tigers concluded their non-conference schedule with wins over North Carolina, Rice and New Mexico State at home for the Tiger Classic. Michele Willians was named tournament MVP and Angela Bensend and Madie Jones were named to the all-tournament team. LSU is led by senior Bensend, who leads the SEC with a 4.23 kills-per-set average and has 127 total kills on the season. Williams has a team-best .371 attack percentage, while senior setter Brittney Johnson is second in the league with a 10.35 assists-per-set average. LSU holds a 31-11 series record over Auburn and in the two squads' last meeting, LSU came away with the 3-0 win at home.
The Arkansas Razorbacks (6-5) enter the SEC season on a four-match losing streak against tough competition. The Razorbacks opened last week with a five-set loss to Oklahoma and then traveled to Murfreesboro, Tenn., for a tournament at Middle Tennessee State. Arkansas fell to the host MTSU in four sets and then followed with a three-set loss to Albany and a five-set loss to UAB. Sophomore Jasmine Norton leads the Razorback offense, averaging 4.12 digs per set and having a league-leading 173 total kills on the year. Sophomore Amanda Anderson is ninth in the conference with a .346 attack percentage and classmate Cassie Clarke is fifth in the SEC with a 9.44 assists-per-set average. The Razorbacks hold a 29-4 series record over the Tigers with the last meeting going to Arkansas at home in five sets.