Auburn volleyball took care of business in Puerto Rico last weekend, beating nationally ranked UNC and tough ACC opponent NC State. They returned home with hopes to carry on their momentum, and did just that, improving their record to 6-1 Friday with an impressive sweep of South Alabama. The Tigers finished the three sets 25-17, 25-22, and 25-15 respectively.
"(Wins in Puerto Rico) tell us a little bit about what we can be,” said Auburn head coach Rick Nold. “We still had a lot of things in Puerto Rico we thought we could be better with. I thought we could have done a better job tonight. I liked how we finished.”
Auburn maintained an early lead to start out the first set until South Alabama climbed back to tie on multiple occasions. However, the late run made by the Auburn was too much for the Jaguars to handle, falling 25-17 to the Tigers.
In the second set, both teams fought for every point. Long rallies and diving saves prolonged the set. With great hustle from senior Jesse Earl and freshman Payton White, the Tigers closed out the second set in a tight 25-22 victory.
In the final set, the Tigers showed tremendous energy as junior Brenna McIlroy and freshman Anna Stevenson kept the crowd on their feet with their emphatic, high-flying kills. The continued boost allowed Auburn to breeze through the third set with a 25-15 victory.
Although tonight was a great win, Nold wants the team to continue pushing.
“The thing we want to see the most is to keep developing throughout the season,” said Nold. “It’s a long road. We have to keep getting better”.
Stevenson had an impressive night with 12 kills and 5 blocks. Senior Alexa Filley, once again, had a game-high in total assists with 38.
Auburn will look to build on their five-game winning streak with the game against Clemson on Saturday, Sept. 9th, in Auburn Arena.