Auburn Suffers 3-2 Defeat to Arkansas in SEC Home Opener
Audio | Box Score
October 8, 2004
AUBURN, Ala. -- The Auburn volleyball team fell just shy of knocking off Arkansas in front of a rambunctious crowd at the Student Activities Center on Friday night, falling to the Lady'Backs 3-2 in the Southeastern Conference home opener for the Tigers. After splitting the first four games, Arkansas used four blocks over the final five points to win game five, 15-10.
Ashlee Johns led the Tigers offensively, knocking down a career-best 30 kills to go along with 11 digs and five blocks. Jelena Sekulic also knocked down a career-high in kills for the Tigers, putting down 17. Bailey Veit had a team-best 14 digs.
Auburn scored the first point in game five courtesy of a Johns kill, only to see the Lady'Backs knot it at 1-1. The teams traded points up to a 3-3 tie before the Tigers pulled ahead, 6-3 thanks to two UA attack errors and a Johns ace.
Arkansas then rallied to knot the game at 6-6 and take a 7-6 lead on a Amanda Eskridge ace. But once again, AU responded, taking the lead at the side change, 8-7 on a Veit ace. A Sekulic kill put the Tigers up two, a lead the Tigers would take up to 10-9. That was when the Lady'Back blocking took over.
After squaring the game at 10-10 on a Denitza Koleva kill, Karla Crose combined with Koleva and Jessica Dorrell for two blocks each to take the 14-10 lead en route to the eventual game and match win.
The Tigers took game one, 30-27, hitting .243 (16 kills, 7 errors, 37 attacks) while limiting Arkansas to just a .054 attack percentage (12-10-37). Johns had six of her kills in the frame while Maira Mogollon had 15 of her match-high 65 assists.
After dropping game two, 30-24, the Tigers used a furious rally to take the third game, 32-30. Finding themselves down by three, 20-17, Auburn went to work, battling to a 21-21 tie. Again the Lady'Backs inched ahead, only to allow the Tigers to knot the score at 27-27.
With the match tied at 28-28, Mogollon tried to catch the Lady'Backs off guard with a second-ball kill, but her attempt found the net, putting UA in position to win with a point. However, a Johns kill kept the Tigers alive, squaring the game at 29-29. A UA attack error gave the Tigers the edge, but Koleva came through with a kill to again tie the score. Johns then put the Tigers up, 31-30, with her 17th kill of the night and the Tigers won on a Kele Brewer attack error.
Arkansas won game four, 30-25.
The Tigers welcomed home a host of former players and coaches for the homecoming weekend, recognizing among them former coaches Sandra Newkirk (1967-1979) and Liz Bitzer (1992-1997) and players Grace Boyd and Negin Azarbehi.
The Tigers return to the court on Sunday, Oct. 10, when LSU visits the Student Act. First serve is set for 1:30 p.m. CT.
Arkansas (6-8, 4-1 SEC) 27 30 30 30 15
Auburn (6-7, 1-4 SEC) 30 24 32 25 10