Oct. 16, 2008
Florida and South Carolina Match Notes
AUBURN - The Auburn volleyball team wraps up its two-week homestand this weekend against nationally-ranked Florida and South Carolina. Action in the weekend series begins at 6 p.m., Friday against the Gators in "Dig for the Cure" night with fans encouraged to wear to wear pink to the match.
The Tigers (5-14, 0-8) are coming off a tough weekend against Georgia and LSU. Auburn took the Bulldogs to five sets before losing 3-2 and followed up with three close sets in a 3-0 loss to the Gamecocks.
Riding a nine-match losing streak, Auburn will open the weekend at 6 p.m., Friday against No. 8 Florida (15-1, 9-0 SEC), the hottest team in the Southeastern Conference. Undefeated in the SEC, the Gators cruise into Auburn on a nine-match winning streak.
"Florida is a young team, but brought in the No. 1-ranked recruiting class in the country this year," said Auburn head coach Wade Benson. "I'm hoping our team responds to the Florida hype knowing that we are a good, gutsy team, too. We have been right there with every team we have played and there is no reason we cannot give Florida a run."
Kristy Jaeckel leads the Florida offensive attack with 3.51 kills per set while freshman setter Kelly Murphy averages 5.89 assists per set along with her team-best .360 attack percentage. Libero Elyse Cusak leads the team in both digs (4.32 p/s) and aces (0.35 p/s) while Kelsey Bowers posts a team-best 0.86 blocks per set.
The series wraps up at 1:30 p.m., Sunday against South Carolina. The Gamecocks are coming off one of their best non-conference starts ever, going 8-1 outside of league play. USC has posted a 6-3 record since the start of SEC play, picking up wins over LSU (3-0), Georgia (3-0), Arkansas (3-2), Mississippi State (3-0), Alabama (3-0) and Tennessee (3-0).
"South Carolina is a young, gritty team like we are and I think we will match up well against them," said Benson. "It is going to be a much better match than some people may think, we just need to come out strong and defend our home court."
Ivana Kujundzic leads the team in kills per set with 3.69 and aces with 0.30 per set. Belita Salters leads the blocking attack with 0.70 blocks per set and is the team's most efficient attacker with a .419 hitting percentage. Bridgett Denson-Dorman is the primary setter with 10.53 assists per set while libero Sara Cline leads the defensive effort with 3.94 digs per set.
GameTracker is available for both matches at AuburnTigers.com, as well as video Webcasts as part of the Auburn All-Access package.