AUBURN – The Auburn volleyball team recorded its second sweep in a row Friday night as the Tigers downed conference rival Arkansas, 3-0 (26-24, 25-16, 25-15) at the Student Activities Center. Auburn improves to 16-7 overall and 7-4 in the Southeastern Conference with the win. The seven conference victories are the most for the Tigers since 1999.
"Arkansas is a good team and I thought we made them not play so well tonight," said Auburn head coach Wade Benson. "We had a tough run in the first set, but we stuck with our starters and they showed a lot of maturity and were able to execute for the rest of the match."
Senior Morgan Johns led the Tigers on offense, tallying a team-high nine kills while hitting .333. Sarah Bullock added seven kills and Camilla Jersonsky came in with five with Christina Solverson accounting for a team-high 19 assists. Jersonsky started the second and third sets, connecting on five kills on six attempts for a .833 hitting percentage.
Defensively, senior libero Liz Crouch tallied 11 digs, followed by Katherine Culwell with nine and Bullock with eight. Jersonsky led the team with four blocks while Kelly Fidero and Lauren Mellor added three each.
Arkansas (9-13, 3-8 SEC) was led by Janeliss Torres with nine kills, followed by Kelli Stipanovich with seven and Jasmine Norton with five.
Auburn held the Razorbacks to a .075 team hitting percentage on the match. Raymariely Santos led the team with 26 assists while libero Brooke Fournier tallied 12 digs.
In the first set, the Tigers and Razorbacks traded the lead with Arkansas taking the largest lead of the set at 19-16. Auburn would tied the set four more times before pulling away for a 26-24 lead, capitalizing on a pair of attack errors by Arkansas' Jasmine Norton and Torres. Auburn's Johns picked up four of her team-high nine kills in the opening set.
The score remained close in the first half of the second set, but a kill by Culwell gave Auburn the serve and an 18-16 lead. Bullock would go on to serve out the remaining seven points of the set, closing it out with back-to-back service aces for the 24th and 25th points. Fidero had two of her three kills in the set in the last five points while Bullock led the Tigers with four kills.
Coming out of the intermission, Auburn took control early, racking up a 5-0 lead to start the set. Though Arkansas would come back to tie the set at 9-9, Auburn never trailed again, cruising to the 25-15 win.
Auburn closed out the set out-scoring Arkansas 12-3 with aces by Crouch and Chelsea Wintzinger. Johns tallied a team-high four kills in the set.
The Tigers return to the Student Activities Center Sunday afternoon for a 1:30 p.m. matchup with 17th-ranked LSU. The Bayou Bengals downed Georgia 3-2 Friday night, improving to 18-2, 9-2 SEC.
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