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Volleyball Closes Out Regular Season Wednesday Against Georgia

Nov. 23, 2009

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AUBURN, Ala. - The Auburn volleyball team looks to lock in its second-place finish in the SEC West on Wednesday when the Tigers host Georgia. The match is set for 4 p.m. in the Student Activities Center and admission is free.

"This is a match we have been looking forward to because it features two very even teams," Wade Benson, head volleyball coach, said. "Georgia is a good team and we'll be looking forward to a tough battle. With a win, we could make a case for the NCAA and that is very exciting."

The two teams will battle for fifth-place in the final SEC overall standings. Auburn currently sits in fifth-place at 8-11 in the conference with a 16-14 overall record. Georgia is also 16-14 overall with a 7-12 SEC mark. The Bulldogs hold the advantage over the Tigers, having won the first meeting between the two teams on Oct. 28.

Free Auburn aprons will be given to the first 100 fans on Wednesday for the Thanksgiving holiday. Also, fans who attend the match will receive free admission to the men's basketball game against High Point, starting at 6 p.m. at the Beard-Eaves-Memorial Coliseum. Vouchers will be available for all fans in attendance.

Standing at 16-14 overall and 8-11 in the SEC, the Tigers are having their most successful season since 1999 when Auburn finished 19-11 overall and 8-7 in the SEC. Currently, the Tigers are second in the SEC West and with a win on Wednesday, will secure the team's best finish in the conference since 1999.

Outside hitter Sarah Bullock was named the SEC Freshman of the Week for the second time this season on Monday. Bullock's weekly award marks the fifth time this season that a Tiger has been honored by the SEC, the most ever for an Auburn team. Last time Auburn has had more than one weekly honor was in 1997 when Jaunelle Hamilton earned two Player of the Week nods.

Coming into the end of the regular season, Auburn stands as a bubble team for the 64-team NCAA Tournament that begins in early December. Among the many criteria for selection, the primary includes a team's RPI, head-to-head competition, results versus common opponents and significant wins and losses.

Auburn ranks No. 73 in the current RPI standings, the fifth-highest ranked team in the SEC. The Tigers have key wins over Tennessee (No. 19) and George Washington (No. 88).

The Auburn volleyball team split its matches this weekend on the road, falling in five-set to Arkansas and topping Ole Miss, 3-1. On Friday, the Tigers battled a tough five-set match with Arkansas, falling 3-2. Bullock led Auburn offensively, tallying a career-best 21 kills and finishing with 12 digs for her seventh double-double on the year. Junior Alyssa Davis recorded 11 kills and six blocks for Auburn, while classmate Morgan Johns finished with 12 kills. Sophomore setter Christina Solverson picked up her seventh double-double of the season, recording a career-high 33 assists and tallying 13 digs. Junior Liz Crouch led the Auburn defense with 19 digs. That mark pushes her into third all-time at Auburn with 1,193 digs in her career.

After dropping the first set, the Auburn volleyball team fought back to defeat Ole Miss, 3-1, Sunday afternoon. Bullock led the way for Auburn again, finishing with 14 kills and seven digs. Johns tallied 12 kills, while Crouch had a match-high 24 digs. Kelly Fidero added nine kills, Davis had four blocks and Lauren Mellor finished with seven kills and three blocks. Auburn closes out the regular season, hosting a 4 p.m. match with Georgia on Wednesday at the Student Activities Center.

The Bulldogs are led by Valentina Gonzalez, who has a team-best .356 attack percentage and averages 2.56 kills per set. Erika Clark leads the squad with 332 total kills, while Carla Tietz has a team-high 438 digs with a 4.02 digs per set average.

Auburn volleyball fought Georgia to five sets but couldn't pull away with the win, falling 3-2 (25-18, 17-25, 25-22, 17-25, 10-15) to the Bulldogs on Oct. 28. Morgan Johns had 14 kills, while Katherine Culwell finished with 12 kills and seven digs. Liz Crouch had a match-high 20 digs and Sarah Bullock tallied 10 kills and 10 digs. Sara Shanks picked up 20 assists and 15 digs, while Alyssa Davis led the squad with six blocks.



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