Volleyball Returns Home, Set For Matches Against Georgia And LSU
Oct. 9, 2008
AUBURN - The Auburn volleyball team (5-12, 0-6 SEC) returns home for the first time in two weeks this weekend for matches against Georgia (9-9, 2-5 SEC) and LSU (8-6, 3-4 SEC). Action in the weekend series begins at 6 p.m., Friday against the Bulldogs in AU's Student Activities Center.
The Tigers are coming off a four-match road swing where they took on Alabama, Mississippi State, Tennessee and Kentucky. It is the first home series since Auburn opened its SEC schedule Sept. 19 and 21 against Arkansas and Ole Miss.
"It feels good to come home, it is always nice to come home and play on your own court," said head coach Wade Benson. "We have been playing very hard, had some good matches, and I really think we have improved. We are hoping for a big crowd with the Arkansas football game at home this weekend and I think everyone will be impressed with what they see out of our team."
The Tigers are coming off a pair of sweeps at Tennessee and Kentucky last weekend, but were able to keep the matches closer than the final scores showed - taking three of the six sets to extra points. Following the win over Auburn, Kentucky moved into the AVCA top-25 poll for the first time this season.
Auburn opens the weekend at 6 p.m., Friday against the Bulldogs, who earned their second SEC win of the season on Wednesday in a 3-0 sweep over LSU. UGA went 7-4 in non-conference matches, but hit a rough patch with five straight losses as the team transitioned into its SEC schedule. The Bulldogs have rebounded lately, winning two of their last three.
"Georgia is similar to us in some ways," said Benson. "They are more mature, but they do have some youth on their team. They have been struggling some, but they have played the tougher part of the SEC schedule.
"We have improved a lot recently and I am excited to see what we can do against Georgia."
Auburn continues its weekend at 1:30 p.m., Sunday against LSU, the preseason favorite in the SEC West.
LSU started out the season ranked in the AVCA top-25 poll, but fell out after falling to 5-5 after the first weekend of SEC play. The Tigers have been able to get back on track in the last couple weeks, winning two of their last three matches.
"LSU is a much bigger team that we are, similar to both Kentucky and Tennessee from last weekend," said Benson. "They were picked to be one of the better teams in the conference and they are starting to play like it. It should be a tough, physical match and we are going to have to be ready for them."
Both matches will be played in Auburn's Student Activities Center. For fans that cannot make it to the matches, GameTrack and a live video Webcast will be available at AuburnTigers.com.
Friday's match is "All Auburn, All Orange" night with the first 300 fans through the door getting Auburn Volleyball sweatbands, courtesy of Verizon Wireless. For Sunday's match, players that attended the 2008 Auburn volleyball camp will receive a prize by wearing their camp t-shirt. There will also be a chance to win an AU volleyball jersey autographed by the entire team.
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