Volleyball Hosts SEC West Rival LSU Friday
Sept. 24, 2009
AUBURN, Ala. - After three straight weeks on the road, the Auburn volleyball team returns to the Student Activities Center to face SEC Western Division opponent LSU at 6 p.m., Friday. The match will be an "All Auburn All Orange" event and admission is free.
"It will be nice to play in front of our home crowd again and I'm hoping that, with football being home, to get a great crowd from the Auburn faithful," Wade Benson, head volleyball coach, said. "LSU is a tough team that has been picked to finish in the top of the conference. Our youth will definitely be tested and we will have to be ready for the competitiveness that LSU plays with."
The Tigers (9-4, 1-1 SEC) opened the conference schedule with a 3-0 win over Mississippi State on Sept. 18. Junior Liz Crouch, the SEC Defensive Player of the Week, finished the match with a career-best 31 digs. On Sept. 20, Auburn was handed its first loss in the conference, falling 3-1 to in-state rival Alabama.
LSU (7-4, 1-1 SEC) split last weekend, defeating Tennessee (3-2) and losing to No. 16 Kentucky in three sets. Leading the way offensively are Brittnee Cooper and Marina Skender. Cooper has a team-best 148 kills and averages 3.44 kills per set, while Skender has 121 total kills and a 2.81 kills per set average. Setter Sam Dabbs is second in the conference with a 10.20 assist per set average.
A trio of Tigers have recorded more than 100 kills this season in freshmen Katherine Culwell and Sarah Bullock and junior Morgan Johns. Culwell leads the squad with 108, trailed by Johns (106) and Bullock (101).
Two Auburn players are among the top 10 hitters in the conference. Junior Alyssa Davis is third in the SEC with a .373 attack percentage (71 kills, 150 attacks, 15 errors) and sophomore Kelly Fidero's .311 percentage is 10th (85 kills, 183 attacks, 28 errors).
With the help of her 31-dig performance, Crouch is fifth overall in the conference with a 4.00 digs per set average. Other conference leaders are sophomore setter Christina Solverson and Culwell. Solverson ranks 10th with a 5.51 assists per set average, while Culwell's 0.38 service aces per set is fourth overall.
Up next for Auburn is a pair of home conference matches, beginning with a match against Ole Miss at 6 p.m., Oct. 2. The Tigers conclude the weekend with a 1:30 p.m. match against Arkansas on Oct. 4.
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