Oct. 1, 2009
Ole Miss/Arkansas Match Notes
AUBURN, Ala. - The Auburn volleyball team hosts a pair of SEC matches against Ole Miss and Arkansas this weekend. The Tigers take on the Rebels at 6 p.m. on Friday and close out the weekend with a Sunday face-off against the Razorbacks at 1:30 p.m. All matches are played at the Student Activities Center and admission is free.
"This weekend features two early season matches that will be very important for us," Wade Benson, head volleyball coach, said. "Both these teams have been dominant in the western standings and this will be a chance for us to show early in the season that we are looking to improve Auburn's status in the SEC West.
"Both teams present good challenges for our young team and offer experience levels that are the same as us," Benson added. "We are very similar to both teams, which will make for an interesting weekend."
Ole Miss holds a slim 19-18 series record over Auburn, while Arkansas is 28-3 against the Tigers.
The Tigers (9-5, 1-2 SEC) hosted SEC West rival LSU on Sept. 25, falling 3-0. Freshman Sarah Bullock recorded a career-best 16 kills, while a crowd of 1,215 filled the Student Activities Center, the largest ever. Other offensive leaders for Auburn were juniors Morgan Johns and Jonelle Wallace. Johns finished with 11 kills and a .562 attack percentage, while Wallace had six kills with a .500 attack percentage.
Ole Miss (6-8, 0-4 SEC) dropped a pair of straight-set matches to No. 17 Kentucky and Tennessee last weekend. Sophomore Kate Norris is second in the conference with a 4.24 kills per set average and leads the SEC with 216 total kills. Morgan Springer has a team-best 202 total digs and averages 3.96 digs per set.
Arkansas enters the weekend with a 7-8 overall record and is 1-3 in conference play and is coming off back-to-back losses to Tennessee and Kentucky. Leading the squad offensively is a pair of freshmen in Jasmine Norton and Amanda Anderson. Norton has a team-best 175 kills, while Anderson leads the Razorbacks with a .346 attack percentage. Libero Phoebe Bautista has a team-high 219 digs on the season.
Offensively for Auburn, junior Alyssa Davis continues to be among the conference's leaders in hitting, averaging a .340 attack percentage (73 kills, 19 errors, 159 attempts). Johns and Bullock have a team-best 117 total kills, while freshman Katherine Culwell has 109 kills on the season.
Culwell's average of 0.38 service aces per set puts her second in the league and she has a team-best 18 aces on the season. Other Tigers among the SEC's top 10 are Crouch and sophomore Christina Solverson. Crouch is fifth overall with a 4.02 digs per set average, while Solverson's 5.56 assists per set average is 10th in the conference.
The Tigers take to the road next weekend for a pair of SEC matches. Auburn faces Kentucky at 6 p.m., Oct. 9, and concludes with a match against No. 17 Tennessee at 12:30 p.m., Oct. 11.