AUBURN, Ala. – The Auburn volleyball team opens the second half of its SEC schedule this weekend as the team welcomes a pair of SEC West rivals in Arkansas and No. 17 LSU to the Student Activities Center.
Auburn faces the Razorbacks on Friday at 7 p.m. and follows with a 1:30 p.m. match against the nationally-ranked LSU Tigers Sunday.
"We have two big matches coming up this weekend that both will play big factors in our possible postseason play," head coach Wade Benson said. "Arkansas is a team that we always seem to go to five with and is a team we are matched well with. LSU is a physical team but is also beatable. It is a huge weekend for us and we are anxious to see the support from the fans."
Live stats are available and can be found on Auburn volleyball's schedule website. Also, get in-match updates by following AUVolleyball on Twitter.
Friday's match against Arkansas is an "All Auburn, All Orange" match as fans are encouraged to come out and wear orange. Fans who bring their LSU football ticket will have a chance to win an autographed "All In" sign and there will also be a post-match autograph session. On Sunday, fans who bring their LSU football ticket will be entered for a chance to win an Under Armour prize pack.
The Tigers travel north east for a pair of SEC matches on the road.
Auburn faces nationally-ranked Tennessee Friday, Oct. 29, in Knoxville at 7 p.m. and then travels to Lexington, Ky., for a noon match against Kentucky on Oct. 31.
Arkansas enters Friday's match with a 9-12 overall mark and are 3-7 in the SEC. The squad is coming off a pair of SEC West losses last week, beginning with a 3-1 loss at nationally-ranked LSU on Oct. 13. The Razorbacks then traveled to Oxford, Miss., on Oct. 17 and fell to the Ole Miss rebels in four, 3-1.
The team is led by sophomore outside hitter Jasmine Norton, who has a SEC-leading 329 kills on the year and is second in the league with a 3.87 kills-per-set average. She is second on the team in digs with an average of 2.09 digs per set. Setter Cassie Clarke has a team-high 581 total assists and her 8.80 assists-per-set average is good for fifth in the conference. Sophomore Janeliss Torres is third in the SEC with an average of 1.20 blocks per set.
The Razorbacks leads the series with a 29-5 overall record over the Tigers. Friday's match marks the second meeting between the two teams this season as Auburn came away with a 3-2 victory on Sept. 19 in Fayatteville. Morgan Johns finished with 17 kills, while Sarah Bullock had 11 kills and 21 digs.
The No. 17 LSU Tigers enter the weekend at 17-2 overall and are 8-2 in the league. The team split its matches last week, opening with a four-set over Arkansas at home in Baton Rouge on Oct. 13. The Tigers headed to Oxford on Oct. 15 and fell to Ole Miss in three sets, 3-0.
Senior Angela Bensend leads the SEC with an average of 4.27 kills per set and has a team-leading 273 kills on the year. Junior Michele Williams is eighth in the conference with a .335 attack percentage and senior Brittney Johnson is 10th with a .326 attack percentage. Johnson leads the SEC in assists with a 10.78 assists-per-set average and has amassed 701 assists so far on the year.
LSU leads Auburn with a 32-11 overall series mark and hasn't lost to Auburn since the 2000 season. Sunday's match is the second meeting between the two teams as LSU topped the Tigers in four sets, 3-1, on Sept. 17 in Baton Rouge. Sarah Bullock had 14 kills and 12 digs to lead Auburn in the match. Liz Crouch had a season-best 26 digs, while Chelsea Wintzinger had a career-best 26 assists.