AUBURN, Ala. - The Auburn volleyball team closes out its non-conference competition this weekend as the Tigers travel to Charleston, S.C., for the C of C Classic hosted by the College of Charleston, Sept. 10-11.
Auburn will face Oregon State, host College of Charleston and Cincinnati during the two-day tournament.
"All three opponents are legit teams and all have the ability to beat us," head coach Wade Benson said. "However, if we play well and the way I know we can play, we can in turn beat all three. All are potential NCAA tournament teams that are very athletic. This weekend will be an indicator of where we are so far this season before conference competition starts next weekend."
Auburn (7-2) faces Oregon State in the Tigers' first match of the tournament Friday at 3:30 p.m. CT. The Tigers follow with a 12 p.m. CT match against host College of Charleston and close out the weekend with a 4:30 p.m. CT match with Cincinnati.
Live stats will be available all three matches and can be found at www.cofcsports.com.
The Tigers begin Southeastern Conference competition on the road as Auburn travels to SEC West foes LSU and Arkansas next weekend. Auburn takes on the 21st-ranked and defending SEC champion LSU Friday, Sept. 17, in Baton Rouge in a 7 p.m. match. The Tigers then travel to Fayetteville, Ark., for a 1:30 p.m. match against the Razorbacks on Sunday, Sept. 19.
THREE-SET WIN OVER TROY TUESDAY
The Auburn volleyball team traveled to Troy to take the Trojans in a mid-week match and came away with a 3-0 (25-17, 25-18, 25-21) victory to improve to 7-2 on the season. 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.
BLUE RAIDER BASH
The Auburn volleyball team went 2-2 this weekend at the Blue Raider Bash in Murfreesboro, Tenn., on the campus of Middle Tennessee State University. The Tigers opened the tournament with a 3-0 loss to Miami (Fla.) Sept. 3 and then followed with a 3-0 loss to Duke on Saturday, Sept. 4, afternoon. The Tigers turned it around that night as the team defeated host MTSU in a five-set thriller. Auburn closed out the weekend with a three-set sweep of Southern Miss on Sept. 5. Junior Kelly Fidero led the Tigers with 36 total kills and was second on the squad with 10 blocks. For her efforts, she was named to the all-tournament team.
Freshman Camila Jersonsky recorded a .571 attack percentage and finished with 20 kills on 28 attempts for Auburn.
SCOUTING OREGON STATE
The Oregon State Beavers will march into Charleston S.C. for the College of Charleston Classic with a 3-4 overall record. The Beavers are coming off a four-set loss to No. 19 Michigan. Oregon State started off the year losing to Portland, Sacramento State and Illinois State in the Corvallis Invitational, before winning their first game of the season against Portland State. They used that momentum to win the next two games against Florida Gulf Coast and UNLV before the loss to Michigan.
OSU will start the College of Charleston Classic on Friday against Auburn before facing off against Cincinnati and College of Charleston on Saturday. The team is led by senior Jill Sawatzky, who has a team high
115 kills, and sophomore Megan McBride, who leads the Pac-10 in assists with 269. This will be the second meeting between the Tigers and Beavers, with the Beavers winning the first match up in 2004 in three sets.
SCOUTING C OF C
Coming off a three-set victory over Presbyterian on Tuesday, the Cougars of College of Charleston will look to keep the winning streak going as they host the C of C Classic. The Cougars won their first three matches of the season against South Dakota, Chicago State, and Oakland in straight sets before losing to Northern Illinois in five-sets. In the team's next tournament at Winthrop, College of Charleston defeated Winthrop and South Carolina in five sets each, before a five-set loss to Clemson. College of Charleston is led by Whitney Russell, who leads the Southern Conference in kills with 117. CofC also leads the conference in hitting percentage with a .254 average. Saturday will feature the first matchup in history between the Auburn Tigers and College of Charleston.
The Bearcats of Cincinnati will be Auburn's final opponent in the C of C Classic. Cincinnati is 7-1 in the short season with its only blemish coming in the San Diego State Tournament. The Bearcats lost to host San Diego State after they defeated Northern Colorado and Cal State Northridge. The Bearcats haven't looked back since the loss, winning their next five games against UCSB, Kent State, James Madison, Murray State, and Kentucky. Among the arsenal of weapons that the Bearcats have, senior Stephanie Niemer leads the BIG EAST in points with 134, and is second in the conference in kills with 111, averaging 4.11 a set.
Also contributing in a big way for Coach Reed Sunahara's squad is senior Annie Fesl, who is second in the conference in assists with 328 assists and is averaging 12.15 assists per set. Saturday afternoon's matchup with be the fourth meeting in school history with Cincinnati holding a 2-1 advantage. Their last matchup, which was in 1996, was won by Auburn.