Volleyball Set To Host Mississippi State And In-State Rival Alabama In Weekend Matches
Oct. 30, 2008
AUBURN - The Auburn volleyball team (5-18, 0-12 SEC) returns to its home court this weekend as the Tigers take on Mississippi State (6-17, 1-11 SEC) and in-state rival Alabama (11-10, 4-8 SEC) at the Student Activities Center. Action is set to begin at 6 p.m., Friday against the Bulldogs.
The Tigers are coming off a pair of close losses last weekend at Ole Miss (3-1) and Arkansas( 3-2). Auburn came within two points of picking up its first conference win of the season against the Razorbacks, but ended up falling in its sixth five-set match of the season.
The highlight of the weekend came from senior outside hitter Jessica Glover as she tallied the 1,000th kill of her Auburn career in the second set against the Razorbacks. She becomes the 12th Auburn player ever to reach that plateau and currently ranks 11th all-time at Auburn in career kills with 1,009.
For Auburn head coach Wade Benson, he is excited about the progress his team has made and is ready to showcase it on its home court.
"It is always great to come home," said Benson. "We are expecting some big crowds this weekend against Mississippi State and in the Iron Bowl of Volleyball on Sunday against Alabama. It should be a lot of fun and we hope a lot of people can make it out.
"We are playing some of our best volleyball of the season right now, coming real close to a couple wins last weekend. We have made some great strides, we are relatively healthy and it is time for us to get over the hump and get a couple wins."
Auburn opens the weekend with Mississippi State, a team it took to five sets earlier in the season in Starkville, Miss. The Bulldogs won the first two sets in the match, but the Tigers rallied back to win the next two for the decisive fifth set. MSu jumped out to an early lead Auburn could not overcome for the 3-2 win.
A team going through struggles of its own, the win over Auburn is the only SEC victory for Mississippi State as they come into the weekend on a nine-match losing streak.
"Mississippi State is a little banged up right now," said Benson. "But, they are playing hard and this should be a good matchup between a couple teams fighting for respect in the conference. This is also a big match for us to take one after we gave up the win in Starkville."
Following the Friday match against MSU, the Tigers remain at home for a 1:30 p.m., Sunday match against Alabama. The Crimson Tide was one of the hottest teams in the league in the first half of the season, but has struggled lately after losing four of their past five matches.
"Alabama is a physical team and just coming off a good win at Mississippi State," said Benson. "We can definitely play with them and did a good job earlier this season when we played at their place. Plus, this is a rivalry match on our home court, so we definitely have a shot."
Admission is free to both weekend matches. Kids are encouraged to come down to the court following Friday's match for Trick-or-Treating at the Student Act. Following Sunday's match, there will be an autograph session with members of the Tiger volleyball team.
Fans that cannot make it out to the matches can follow all the action live with GameTracker at AuburnTigers.com.
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