- Alabama Defeats Auburn (25-21, 19-25, 18-25, 25-20, 15-8)
- Team’s Record: Alabama (17-10, 6-8 SEC), Auburn (14-13, 8-6 SEC)
- Schedules: Alabama here, Auburn here
After dropping the second and third sets, Alabama came back to beat their longtime, in-state rival Auburn. On paper, it would appear Auburn won the match. Auburn tallied more points (77-76), kills (59-57), aces (8-4), assists (58-51) and digs (74-71) than their opponent. Alabama was, however, able to outblock Auburn 15 t0 10, and played a clean match, with only 19 errors compared to Auburn’s 28.
Alabama’s Krystal Rivers continues to be a near unstoppable force on offense. She again put up huge numbers in the kill department, with 28. She is just 33 kills shy of Alabama’s school record. Rivers also contributed on defense with 5 blocks.
Leah Lawrence (10 kills, 1 ace, 7 blocks) and Hayley McSparin (8 kills, 6 blocks) also put up solid numbers on both offense and defense.
Alabama’s Alexa Tomlak led the team in passing with 41 assists, while Natalie Murison had a match-high 28 digs.
Auburn had four players notch double-digit kills: Gwyn Jones (13), Brenna McIlroy (12), Macy Reece (11) and Courtney Crable (10). McIlroy (12 kills, 14 digs) and Alex Filley (49 assists, 15 digs) picked up double-doubles. Filley’s 49 assists were a match-high, while McIlroy contributed a match-high 3 service aces.
Alabama needed this win to carry some confidence into their next match against the No. 6 Florida Gators this Sunday, November 13th. The match is set to start at 1 p.m. CT and will air live on the SEC Network. Auburn, on the other hand, will have a few days off before traveling to SEC co-leader Missouri (tied with Florida) for a match to be played on November 18th.
Courtesy of Alabama Athletics:
TUSCALOOSA, Ala. – Alabama volleyball overcame a 2-1 match deficit over in-state rival Auburn Wednesday night in Foster Auditorium, persevering for a five-set victory.
Alabama (17-10, 6-8 SEC) won the opening set, 25-21, before Auburn (14-13, 8-6 SEC) came back to win set two, 19-25, and set three, 18-25, and take a 2-1 match lead. The Tide forced a deciding fifth set with a relatively narrow 25-20 decision in the fourth before the Alabama offense came out firing in the fifth with a decisive 15-8 victory to complete the comeback.
Krystal Rivers led the way with 28 kills, putting her 33 kills shy of the Alabama career record. Her 30.5 points in the match allowed her to move into first place on the Tide career record book, owning 2,396.0 which passes previous record-holder Erin Heffner (2001-04) at 2,391.5. Alabama saw strong offense from its middles, with Hayley McSparin earning eight kills with a .429 hitting percentage while Leah Lawrence finished with 10 kills and a .400 clip. In the back row, Natalie Murison dug a career-high 28 balls, one of three Tide players in double figures.
The score was tied 1-1 early in set one but Alabama scored back-to-back points to pull ahead by two and the Tide held on to its slim lead until the media timeout, up 15-12. Auburn fought back within one, down 17-16, but Alabama widened the gap slightly with a 3-1 run, holding a three-point lead at the 20-point mark as the Tigers took a timeout. Auburn took its second timeout trailing 22-18 and Alabama reached set point at 24-18 before the Tigers extended the set with three-straight points, forcing the Tide to take a timeout leading 24-21. A service error by Auburn on the next point gave Alabama the 25-21 win to take the first set of the match.
Alabama started the second set with three unanswered points and, leading by three later at 9-6, an Auburn attack error made it a four-point game as the Tigers took a timeout down 10-6. With Alabama leading 15-11, Auburn scored four-straight points to tie it and force the Tide to take a timeout at 15-15. The Tigers took its first lead at 18-17 and led 20-18 at the Tide’s second timeout. Auburn closed out the set with a 5-1 run to win, 25-19, and even the match at 1-1.
The Tide led 4-3 early in the third before Auburn scored four in a row to lead 7-4. The Tide came back to tie it at 11-11 but could not retake the lead before the media timeout as the Tigers held the slim 15-13 advantage. Three unanswered points out of the break by Auburn capped by a service ace made it 18-13, forcing Alabama to take its first timeout and the Tide took its second as the Tigers closed in on a set victory, leading 23-16. Each team would score two more points in the set with Auburn winning 25-18 to take a 2-1 match lead.
Alabama got off to a hot start in set four, leading 6-1 after a 4-0 run capped by a Brittany Thomas service ace as Auburn took an early timeout. Leading by the same margin later, 14-9, Alabama saw its lead cut in half as the Tide was forced to take a timeout and stop the Tigers’ momentum with the score 14-12. Holding a slim 16-15 lead, back-to-back blocks up the middle by Leah Lawrence gave Alabama a three-point lead as Auburn took a timeout down 18-15. Alabama would hold on to win the set, 25-20, to force a deciding fifth set.
After a close start to the fifth, Alabama stretched ahead to a four-point lead at the mid-set switch, 8-4. The Tigers narrowed the deficit to just one point, scoring three-straight after the switch as the Tide took a timeout up 8-7. A 4-1 run for Alabama, including a kill and block by Thomas, made it 12-8 as Auburn took its final timeout and the Tide closed out the frame with three-straight kills to win, 15-8, and complete the five-set comeback.
Next up, Alabama travels to Gainesville to face the No. 6 Florida Gators (22-2, 12-1 SEC) on Sunday, Nov. 13. The match is set to start at 1 p.m. CT and will air live on SEC Network.
Courtesy of Auburn Athletics:
TUSCALOOSA, Ala. – The Auburn volleyball team dropped a tough 3-2 (25-21, 19-25, 18-25, 25-20, 15-8) match at Alabama Wednesday night in Foster Auditorium.
Auburn (14-13, 8-6) was led by junior setter Alexa Filley, picking up her 17th double-double of the season with 49 assists and 15 digs. Sophomore Brenna McIlroy had her 10th double, finishing with 12 kills and 14 digs.
Freshman Gwyn Jones led the Tigers offensively, having 13 kills on the night. Junior Macy Reecechipped in 11 kills and classmate Courtney Crablehad 10.
Defensively, junior libero Jesse Earl led the team with 18 digs, while junior Kelly Stewart finished with 10. Reece led the Tigers with seven blocks, tying a career high. Sophomore Abigail Miller and McIlroy each finished with three service aces, marking a career high for Miller.
Krystal Rivers led Alabama (17-10, 6-8) with 28 kills. Leah Lawrence added 10 kills and seven blocks, while libero Natalie Murison finished with 28 digs. Setter Alexa Tomlak had 41 assists and 10 digs.
The Tide grabbed an early 5-2 advantage in the first and pushed ahead 10-6. Kills from Jones and McIlroy guided the Tigers on a run, bringing the visitors within one at 17-16. But Alabama pushed to set point at 24-19 and held for a 25-21 win.
Set two opened similarly to the first as the Tide found themselves ahead at 6-3. Back-to-back Auburn blocks made it 10-9 Alabama before another UA run set the score at 14-10. A kill from Breanna Barksdale sent the Tigers on a 4-0 run to tie it up at 15-all and a kill from Crable jump started an 8-1 Auburn run, giving AU a 23-18 lead. Kills from Reece and Jones sealed the set, 25-19.
An ace from Barksdale and two straight kills by Filley made it 7-4 Auburn in the third. Alabama battled back to tie the set at 11, but the Tigers regrouped and pushed a five-point run to go up 19-13. A service ace from Earl set the scoring 23-16 and AU took the set with a 25-18 win.
The fourth set was one of long runs with Alabama opening with a 6-1 lead. The Tigers responded with a pair of 3-0 rallies to make it 7-7, but the Tide followed with a push to go ahead 13-8. Auburn battled back and tied it up again at 14-all before Alabama regrouped following a timeout and found themselves up 22-16. The Tide forced the fifth with a 25-20 win.
Alabama took the lead to start the final stanza and held it throughout the rest of the set. The Tide forced an Auburn timeout with a 7-4 lead and a pair of long runs gave Bama the win, 15-8.
After a busy SEC schedule, Auburn takes few days off before traveling to nationally-ranked Missouri for a 6:30 p.m. CT match, Nov. 18. Auburn returns to The Plains for a Sunday after tilt vs. South Carolina, Nov. 20.
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