- Auburn (7-7, 1-0 SEC) holds off LSU (5-7, 0-1 SEC) in thrilling five set match (25-22, 25-22, 23-25, 23-25, 15-9)
Brenna McIlroy posted a career-high 20 kills for Auburn, she also picked up 13 digs making it her fifth double-double of the season. Jesse Earl picked up 28 digs to lead all players in the category. Alexa Filley posted 50 assists also adding nine kills and nine digs.
LSU’s Sydney Mukes hit a career-high 13 kills, while Gina Tillis put down 15 kills and picked up 21 digs for her sixth double-double of the season. LSU posted their season-high 12 blocks in the match.
Courtesy of Auburn Athletics
AUBURN, Ala. – The Auburn volleyball team kicked off Southeastern Conference play against LSU Friday night and held off a late run by the visiting Tigers, capturing a 3-2 (25-22, 25-22, 23-25, 23-25, 15-9) win in Auburn Arena.
“We really stepped up and played tough in the fifth set,” head coach Rick Nold said. “We had LSU on its heels at the end and played some great defense. That is what really made the difference throughout the match. LSU was defending extremely well, but in the end, it turned back into our favor.”
The two Tiger teams are no strangers to five-set matches. In the last five meetings, Auburn and LSU have battled to five sets four times.
“There is just good defense on both sides of the court,” Nold said. “LSU always plays good defense and it has typically come down to who can stay on their toes at the end.”
Auburn (7-7, 0-1) had a trio of student-athletes finish with double-digit kills. Sophomore Brenna McIlroy set a career-high, leading all players with 20 kills in the match. She added 13 digs for her fifth double-double of the season. Senior Breanna Barksdale reached a season-best with 13 kills, while freshman Gwyn Jones finished with 11.
Defensively, junior libero Jesse Earl led all student-athletes with 28 digs and classmate Kelly Stewart finished with 14. Junior setter Alexa Filley had 50 assists along with nine kills and nine digs. Junior Macy Reece chipped in nine kills and two solo blocks.
LSU’s Gina Hillis had 15 kills and 21 digs for the Bayou Bengals, while Sydney Mukes finished with 13 kills and setter Anna Zwiebel totaled 34 assists and 10 digs. Libero Cheyenne Wood led the team with 23 digs.
Kills from Filley and Jones led to an early 9-5 lead in the opening stanza for Auburn before another kill from Jones sent the Tigers on a four-point run to make it 15-8. LSU regrouped after a timeout and began to chip away at the Auburn lead. The visitors came within a point at 22-21, but a service ace by Earl gave Auburn set point and McIlroy sealed the set with a kill, 25-22.
Set two opened with Auburn capitalizing on LSU errors and taking a 7-3 advantage. The pesky, visiting Tigers wouldn’t go away and tied the set at 10. Auburn used another run to push to a 17-13 lead, but once again, LSU responded and locked it up at 17-17. The teams exchanged points before a pair of LSU errors gave Auburn set point and a McIlroy kill sent the match into intermission with a 25-22 victory.
Hard hitting from Auburn led to a 7-4 lead in the third. LSU errors put the Tigers up 12-9 before the Bayou Bengals came back with a 7-2 run to go up 16-14. The two teams went back and forth until a trio of Auburn errors lifted LSU to a 25-23 win.
It was once again a back-and-forth affair in set four until a run halfway through the stanza put LSU up 14-12. The visitors pressed ahead at 19-14, forcing an Auburn timeout. A LSU error followed by a Barksdale kill cut the LSU lead at 22-21, but the Purple and Gold held on to force a fifth with a 25-23 victory.
Auburn forced the momentum to swing at the start of the final set, taking a 5-0 lead thanks to a pair of kills and solo block from Reece. Back-to-back kills from McIlroy made it 7-2 and a kill from Filley sent Auburn on a run to go ahead 12-6. A strong swing by junior Courtney Crable gave the Tigers match point, 14-9, and McIlroy closed it out with her 20th kill, 15-9.
The Tigers travel to No. 19 Texas A&M to cap the SEC opening weekend, taking on the Aggies Sunday, Sept. 25, in College Station, Texas. The 2 p.m. CT match will be aired on ESPNU from Reed Arena.
Courtesy of LSU Athletics
AUBURN, Ala. – After falling into a hole and dropping the first two sets, the LSU volleyball team (5-7, 0-1 SEC) fought back to push the match to a fifth set but ultimately lost its Southeastern Conference opener to Auburn (7-7, 1-0 SEC) 22-25, 22-25, 25-23, 25-23, 9-15 Friday evening at the Auburn Arena.
LSU out-blocked Auburn 12-3, but the Tigers weren’t able to take advantage of the home team’s 27 attacking errors and 15 service errors. LSU as a team hit .187 to Auburn’s .231 and finished with 24 attacking errors.
“We showed great fight and heart to come back from two sets down. I am proud of the fight they showed in that regard.”
“Overall though, we just have to be a more disciplined team. When we are able to put that effort with discipline to do the little things consistently then our results will change.”
LSU returns to the Maravich Center for its first home conference match at 1 p.m. Sunday against Arkansas at the Maravich Center. The matchup between Tigers and Razorbacks will be aired live on SECNetwork+ through watchespn.com and the Watch ESPN app with Lyn Rollins and Yvette Girouard on the call. Fans are reminded that admission to all home matches is FREE and of the new Geaux Clear policy.
LSU was behind by as many as eight points in the opening set but fought back to close the match to one point at 21-22. Auburn went on to win three of the final four points to take the opening set. LSU and Auburn were even with four errors each as well as a .355 hitting percentage for both sides. The home team had three service aces in the frame.
In the second frame, LSU couldn’t get over the hump and take a lead as the set featured 10 tie scores and zero lead changes. The teams were tied five times after the media timeout. After the Tigers were tied at 21, Auburn won four of the final five points on three LSU errors and just one kill of their own. The visiting Tigers hit .146 in the second set and committed seven errors.
Both teams hit poor with LSU finishing with a .146 hitting percentage and Auburn at .182. LSU showed grit after halftime in a set that featured 12 tie scores and eight lead changes. After the teams tied at 12, neither squad could garner more than a two-point advantage. LSU took advantage of a pair of attacking errors by Auburn to get on the board.
LSU out-hit Auburn .310-.158 but neither team could take advantage at the service line with each team committing six errors. Tiara Gibson returned to the court and fired off five kills on as many attempts. LSU led by as many as five points in the frame after the media timeout but Auburn slowly chipped away. After Flory took a timeout with the lead at 22-21, LSU held control and pushed the match to five.
The home team was unfazed by the five-set match and got out to a 5-0 lead for control of the match. LSU was able to get it to as close as three points at 9-6 but the Tigers closed the match on a 6-3 run. Auburn put away 11 balls away in the final frame and LSU had four kills and four errors.
>> Sydney Mukes hit a career-high13 kills to finish second on the team in the category.
>> Gina Tillis led the way for LSU with 15 kills and 21 digs. It marked Tillis’ sixth double-double of the season.
>> Khourtni Fears reached double-digit kills for the fifth time this season and consecutive match with 10. Fears added a season-best eight blocks for the Tigers in the five-set match.
>> Cheyenne Wood (23), Tillis (21), Kelly Quinn (11) and Anna Zwiebel (10) paced LSU on the defensive end all reaching double-digit kills.
>> Zwiebel finished her first conference match 34 assists as well to capture her fourth double-double.
>> LSU finished with a season-high 12 blocks on the night. It was the most blocks for the Tigers in a match since October 2015.
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