Auburn Knocks Off Kentucky in SEC Volleyball, 3-1
September 26, 2004
LEXINGTON, Ky. -- The Auburn volleyball team succeeded in its bid to knock off Southeastern Conference foe Kentucky, downing the Wildcats 3-1 at UK’s Memorial Coliseum on Sunday afternoon. Ashlee Johns led the Tigers offensively, knocking down 24 kills while also digging nine UK attacks.
“This is a good win, I am really happy for the team and for the staff,” AU Coach Laura Farina said. “It is a big win coming to Kentucky and winning.”
In her first start of the season, Maira Mogollon hoisted 54 assists to go along with a career-best eight kills. Jennifer Amobi (12), Jelena Sekulic (11) and Whitney Jacob (11) added a combined 34 kills for the Tigers, who were in search of their first SEC road win in over three seasons. Libero Jennifer Buckert led the Tigers in digs with 19 while Jacob also had six blocks.
“I think Maira did a great job of handling the offense, especially in games one and two. She was diverse and had all of her hitters in rhythm,” Farina said. “I think Jennifer Buckert did a really good job of handling the ball in serve-receive. It sounds a little clich* to say it was a team effort, but it really was. We have limited personnel that have to fill a variety of roles and everyone did their role tonight.”
“We haven’t won on the road since I have been here,” junior captain Veit said. “This is really meaningful for us. I think Ashlee did an awesome job up front of hitting and Jennifer (Buckert) played great defense. This really feels like a team victory and feels really good.”
The match-clinching final game was the Tigers’ from start to finish with Johns’ kills book-ending the game. In between, the Tigers found themselves up by as many as nine points on two separate occasions and put down another 14 kills, four of which came off of Mogollon tips. The Tigers hit a collective .333 in the final game.
The Tigers scored the first point in all three games that they won. In games one and two, AU and UK found themselves knotted at 22-22 and both times the Tigers won the race to eight.
Johns’ tape-roll ace sealed the first game for the Tigers while a Sekulic kill iced the second game.
Game three saw the Tigers down by as many as seven points at 17-10 before rallying within a point at 20-19, though they could never swing the momentum back in their favor.
Auburn, which hit a season-high .340, improved to 6-4 on the season and 1-1 in the SEC. UK dropped to 9-4, 0-2 SEC.
The victory was the first SEC road win for the Tigers since November of 2000, snapping a string of 25-consecutive road losses.
The Tigers will play the third match of their four-match road trip on Friday night, Oct. 1 at No. 5-ranked Florida. First serve is set for 7 p.m. ET.
Auburn 30 30 27 30
Kentucky 27 28 30 25