After four straight losses to SEC opponents, Auburn volleyball looked to gain a win on Sunday. However, No. 4 Florida was too much for the Tigers, as the Gators won a hard-fought match 3-1 (25-16, 17-25, 25-19, 25-15) inside Auburn Arena.
The first set started off a strong showing from the Gators. Florida senior Carli Snyder had two early aces to set the tone. Florida established a defensive dominance early led by 6’8” sophomore Rachael Kramer and 6’4” senior Rhamat Alhassan. The set was a close showing in the beginning, but Florida rallied midway into the game, grabbing a 15-10 lead. Florida did not slow down until the score was 20-13, and comfortably ended the set 25-16.
In the second game, Auburn came out rolling to take control. Auburn held a lead from the beginning. With a kill from Gwyn Jones to set the momentum, Auburn took a 9-3 lead. From there, Auburn got hot, going on a huge run, to lead 17-10. From there it was all Brenna McIlroy, as she made a couple of kills to inch Auburn closer to a set victory. Auburn finished a commanding second set 25-17 to tie the match 1-1.
The third set was a back and forth match up. Both teams seemed to be comfortable with the speed of play, trading points. Auburn took a slight 7-6 lead in the beginning, but the Gators climbed back to make it 12-11 in Florida’s favor. The Gators regrouped after a timeout to extend their lead making it 21-17. Although Auburn was attempting to spark up momentum of their own, the lead was too much to surmount, and the Gators took the third set 25-19.
The fourth set was another stellar performance for the Gators. Florida established a lead early and was determined to hang on to it for the entire set. Kramer and Joseph had some high flying kill to close out the set and the game with a 25-15 victory.
“I felt that we played with a lot more organization, but Florida is just a very good team,” head coach Rick Nold said. “When you give them easy opportunities, they will take advantage of it.”
Brenna McIlroy led Auburn with ten kills for the match. Alexa Filley picked up her 12th double-double of her season with 31 assists and 11 digs. Karis Beasley set a career-high with 13 digs.
Auburn saw an improvement in serving, getting 6 aces. Jesse Earl and Courtney Crable had two each and Payton White and McIlroy each had one.
The Tigers are now 11-8 overall and 4-6 in SEC conference play.
Auburn travels to Columbia, South Carolina, to play South Carolina on Oct. 29th after a much needed week off.