Oct. 8, 2009
AUBURN, Ala. - The Auburn volleyball team takes to the road for the first time in two weeks for a pair of SEC matches. The Tigers face No. 10 Kentucky at 6 p.m., Oct. 9, and concludes with a match against Tennessee at 12:30 p.m., Oct. 11.
"We're playing two very good teams on the road and that is always tough," Wade Benson, head volleyball coach, said. "With Kentucky being a top 10 team and Tennessee a NCAA tournament team, it's going to be a big weekend for our young squad.
"It will be interesting to see how we come off a big weekend last weekend, winning two tough matches at home," Benson added. "I'm anxious to see us play at a high level against these tough opponents."
TIGERS PICK UP TWO SEC WINS
Auburn improved to 11-5 overall and 3-2 in the SEC with two wins last weekend. The Tigers defeated Ole Miss, 3-1, on Friday and topped Arkansas, 3-2, on Sunday. Sophomore Kelly Fidero finished with 34 kills on the weekend, including a career-best 19 kills against Arkansas. Freshman Sarah Bullock tallied back-to-back double-doubles for her first of her career. The Allen, Texas, native recorded 15 kills and 13 digs against Ole Miss and 11 kills and 13 digs versus Arkansas.
Libero Liz Crouch led the Tigers in digs with 41 on the weekend, including a 27-dig performance against Ole Miss. Junior Lauren Mellor had a career day against Arkansas, tallying a personal-best 11 kills and tying her career-high with eight blocks.
TIGERS ON THE ATTACK
Auburn attackers enter the weekend as the fourth-best hitting squad in the Southeastern Conference and are 43rd in the country. As a team, the Tigers are hitting .248 with 737 kills on 1880 attacks and 270 errors.
Alyssa Davis continues to be among the conference's leaders in hitting, averaging a .348 attack percentage (88 kills, 21 errors, 178 attempts). Four Tigers have recorded over 100 kills on the season. Freshman Sarah Bullock leads the way 143 kills, while junior Morgan Johns has 127 kills. Sophomore Kelly Fidero and freshman Katherine Culwell have 123 and 121 kills on the season, respectively.
CROUCH REACHES MILESTONE
Junior libero Liz Crouch
reached a major milestone during Auburn's win over Arkansas, becoming the eighth Tiger to record 1,000 career digs. With a 14-dig performance, Crouch now has 1,007 digs in her career, ranking sixth all-time at Auburn.
Kentucky (15-1, 5-0 SEC) enters the weekend as the 10th-ranked team in the country. The Wildcats are coming off a big win, defeating then No. 5 Florida in Gainesville, 3-2, on Oct. 2. Kentucky concluded the weekend with a five-set victory over South Carolina.
Junior Sarah Mendoza was awarded SEC Player of the Week after putting together two 20-kill performances for the Wildcats last weekend. The outside hitter picked up 20 kills against Florida and finished with 21 at South Carolina. Setter Sarah Rumely leads the SEC in assists per set average of 11.50. The senior has tallied 690 assists on the season.
TENNESSEE LADY VOLUNTEERS
The Tennessee Lady Volunteers finished 2-1 last week, defeating Louisville (3-2) and South Carolina (3-1) and falling to Florida (0-3).
Senior Chloe Goldman earned SEC Defensive Player of the Week after tallying 60 digs in three contests. Goldman is second in the league with a 4.53 digs per set. A pair of hitters is in the conference's top 10 in Farren Powe and Leah Hinkey. Powe is sixth with a .342 attack percentage, while Hinkey is seventh with a .340 attack percentage.
Auburn returns to the Student Activity Center, hosting a pair of SEC matches. The Tigers take on No. 6 Florida at 6 p.m. on Oct. 16. and closes out the weekend with a 2:30 p.m. match against South Carolina on Oct. 18.