AUBURN, Ala. – The Auburn volleyball team hits the road for a pair of SEC matches this weekend, opening with a 6 p.m. match against No. 22 Tennessee in Knoxville Friday. The Tigers close out the weekend Sunday in Lexington, Ky., for a 12 p.m. match against Kentucky. Sunday's match is set to be aired live on Fox Sports South.
"We want to play good volleyball this weekend and we are going to have to because we have tough opponents in Tennessee and Kentucky," head coach Wade Benson said. "We need to play better on our side of the net, believe that we should and can win and have great team unity to be successful this weekend."
Live stats are available and can be found on Auburn volleyball's schedule website. Also, get in-match updates by following AUVolleyball on Twitter.
Auburn returns home to host a pair of SEC East opponents in South Carolina and No. 1 Florida. The Tigers take on the Gamecocks at 7 p.m.
on Nov. 5 and follow with a 1 p.m. match against the top-ranked Gators on Nov. 7. Both matches will be played at the Student Activities Center and admission is free.
The No. 22 Tennessee Lady Volunteers stand at 17-5 on the season and are
8-4 in SEC play. The team is coming off a non-conference win over Louisville, defeating the Cardinals in four sets in Knoxville. The Lady Vols split last weekend's SEC matches, losing to top-ranked Florida and defeating South Carolina.
Tennessee has a trio of weapons in Nikki Fowler, Leah Hinkey and Kelsey Mahoney. Fowler ranks third in the SEC with a 3.81 kills-per-set average, while Hinkey is sixth in the conference with a .366 attack percentage. Mahoney leads the team with a 6.38 assists-per-set average, which is good for eighth in the conference.
The Lady Vols hold a 22-11 series record over the Tigers. The two teams last met on Sept. 26 in Auburn and Tennessee came away with a 3-1 win.
Auburn's Sarah Bullock finished with 16 kills and 10 digs, while Morgan Johns had 15 kills and Christina Solverson had 29 assists.
The Kentucky Wildcats enter the weekend at 11-11 overall and are 5-7 in the conference. The team looks to bounce back this weekend after a tough road trip last week. The Wildcats fell to South Carolina in three sets and followed with a three-set loss to top-ranked Florida.
Setter Christine Hartmann leads the squad and is fourth in the conference with a 9.29 assists-per-set average. Redshirt freshman Whitney Billings has a team-best 215 kills on the season, while senior Lauren Rapp has a 2.60 kills-per-set average.
The Wildcats lead Auburn with a 24-10 series record over the Tigers. The squads battled in Auburn on Sept. 24 and the Tigers came away with a 3-2 upset over then-24th ranked Kentucky to mark Auburn's first-ever win over a nationally-ranked opponent. Katherine Culwell and Sarah Bullock each finished with double-doubles on the night as Culwell recorded 12 kills and 11 digs and Bullock finished with 11 kills and 12 digs.