AU Volleyball tops Troy in three sets

AUBURN, AL - "It was a very strong bench performance for us...," head coach Wade Benson said. "We had momentum-changing performances from athletes like Brittney Rhude, Alyssa Davis and Jonelle Wallace, which is very good to see. We still have things to work on in practice and we'll continue to develop as a team."

Junior Kelly Fidero finished with a match-high 10 kills and had a .421 attack percentage on the night. Davis, Kathia Rud and Sarah Bullock each tallied five kills for the Tigers, while Bullock had a match-best 15 digs. Senior libero Liz Crouch added 12 digs, while setters Chelsea Wintzinger and Christina Solverson tallied 15 and 14 assists, respectively.

Three Trojans led the Troy (3-5) offense as Kayla Giles, Natasha Kolunija and Brittany McClelland recorded six kills apiece. Megan Henderson had 22 assists, while libero Courtney Cohen had 12 digs.

A trio of Trojan errors and a kill from Katherine Culwell gave the Tigers a 4-0 lead to start set one, but a run by Troy tied the set at five. More Trojan errors gave Auburn a comfortable lead at 12-9. With the score in favor of the Tigers at 16-14, Auburn made another run highlighted by a kill and service ace from  Rud to take a 20-14 advantage. The Tigers finished the set with a 25-17 win.

Troy opened the second set with a 5-0 run and pushed ahead to take a 10-5 advantage. A kill from Fidero brought Auburn within two at 11-9, but another Trojan run put Troy up by five again at 15-10. With Troy holding a four-point lead at 17-13, a kill by Morgan Johns triggered a Tiger eight-point run to give Auburn its first lead at 21-17. A kill from Bullock and a block by Davis solidified the 25-18 set two win.

The third set opened just as the second with the Trojans jumping out to an early lead. Auburn, however, fought back right away and used a six-point run to take a 7-6 advantage. A pair of Trojan attack errors and service ace from Bullock put the Tigers up at 11-8. An Auburn 4-1 run put the Tigers up at 21-15 and the squad went on to close the match with a 25-21 set three victory.

The Tigers continue their road swing as Auburn heads to Charleston, S.C., for the final in-season tournament of the year. The Tigers face Oregon State Friday at 3:30 p.m. CT and then closes out the weekend Saturday with a 12 p.m. CT match against host College of Charleston and a 4:30 p.m. CT match with Cincinnati.