After falling behind two games to none, Auburn roared back to defeat Jacksonville 3-2 (23-25, 21-25, 25-17, 25-22, 15-10) on Saturday, Aug. 29, at Auburn Arena.
The Tigers appeared to be in control early, reeling off a 5-0 run to take a 12-6 lead in the first game. Auburn led 21-17, but Jacksonville closed with a run of its own, taking the first set, 25-23.
View Full Gallery
Auburn also led early in the second set, but Jacksonville responded after a timeout to take control and win the game, 25-21.
Coach Rick Nold said Jacksonville’s consistency made them a tough matchup.
“They don’t make a lot of mistakes,” Nold said. “I think for us, we were pressing it a little too much. As the match went along, we kind of calmed down.”
Brenna McIlroy, who led the Tigers with 18 kills in the match, said the team was rattled and out of rhythm in the first two sets.
“When we start getting down, we get very frantic,” McIlroy said. “We’re trying to get energy but it just gets very hectic … Our main focus was making sure we stayed calm and collected, obviously still being aggressive.”
Auburn rebounded to take the third set, 25-17. The game remained close in the beginning, but Auburn closed on a 10-3 run to bring the match score to 2-1.
The Tigers came out firing in the fourth set, jumping out to a 17-8 lead. Jacksonville responded with an 8-2 run, but Auburn held on to win, 25-22.
The fifth and deciding set was a competitive one, but Auburn edged out the Dolphins, 15-10, to take the match.
Nold said winning close games early in the season will be key for the Tigers when they get into conference play later in the season.
“We struggled early,” Nold said. “But it’s a big thing, two matches in a row where you win in five [sets]. I think that says a lot about your team, to get in a tough position and battle back.”
Alexa Filley led Auburn with 56 assists, while Kelly Stewart added 23 digs in the match.
The Tigers will return to action against Samford at 7:30 p.m. on Saturday at Auburn Arena.