The Auburn volleyball team kicked off conference action Friday night, topping Ole Miss on the road in the Gillom Sports Center, 3-1 (25-21, 19-25, 25-17, 28-26).
“I’m really happy with the resiliency we showed tonight,” head coach Rick Nold said. “I thought we adjusted well throughout the match to beat a really good Ole Miss team. We had some timely blocks and kills out of the middle that gave us a big boost and we took advantage of that.”
The Tigers (8-2, 1-0 SEC) had three finish with double-digit kills. Junior Brenna McIlroy led the way with 15, while sophomores Gwyn Jones and Shaina White had 11 and 10, respectively. Seniors Macy Reece and Courtney Crable added eight a piece.
Defensively, Auburn was led by senior libero Jesse Earl with a match-high 26 digs. Classmate Alexa Filley added 10 to go with her 44 assists, upping her double-double total to seven on the year. S. White had a great night at the net, totaling a career-best seven blocks. Filley chipped in a season-high five, while McIlroy had her hand on two.
Kate Gibson had 15 kills and 18 digs for Ole Miss (9-5, 0-1), while Nayo Warnell finished with 10. Libero Caroline Adams totaled 14 digs and Delaney Gallagher finished with four blocks.
Auburn got things started quickly with a 7-2 advantage in the first highlighted by aces from Filley and Earl. A kill from Reece and a service ace for Karis Beasley made it 11-5 before a pair of Rebel errors pushed the Tigers to an 18-13 lead. Ole Miss put together a handful of small runs at the end of the stanza, but a kill from Crable and one by S. White closed things out, 25-21.
The Rebels regrouped and went up 7-4 in set two. A pair of three-point rallies lifted the home team to a 15-9 advantage and a Rebel block forced the Tigers to use a timeout at 19-14. Ole Miss held its lead to take the set, 25-19.
Kills from Jones and S. White gave the Tigers a 6-3 lead and a kill from McIlroy sent AU on a run to go up 10-5. Another McIlroy kill led to an 8-1 rally for the Tigers, making 22-11 late in the set. A kill from Filley gave Auburn set point and the visiting squad captured a 25-17 win.
Auburn went up 8-5 in the fourth before the Rebels pushed a run to take an 11-8 lead. The Tigers responded with a run of their own triggered by a kill from Jones, going up 16-14. The teams exchanged points and runs to close out the match and Ole Miss faced set point at 24-23. However, a kill from S. White and another S. White/Filley block made it 25-24. Ole Miss pushed two points, but Auburn capitalized on Rebel errors to take the match, 28-26.
The Tigers cap the weekend in Athens, Georgia, taking on Georgia Sunday, Sept. 24, at 12:30 p.m. CST in the Ramsey Center.