The Tigers broke their five game losing streak with a 3-2 win over the Rebels on Friday evening.
Starting 1-8 in the conference, Auburn had lost its last five games leading up to its second matchup of the season against Ole Miss. The Tigers' last win had been in their first matchup against Ole Miss back on Sept. 30, with Auburn winning that match 3-1.
Defensively, Tatum Shipes led the team with six blocks. Brenna McIlroy and Gwyn Jones followed behind with three blocks each as the Tigers combined for 14 blocks.
“I was really impressed with how we stepped up that game,” Shipes said. “Because we definitely haven’t played that intensive defense the past couple weeks. We were really working in practice, and we really improved on the court tonight.”
Auburn took a quick 5-2 lead in the first set with kills from Anna Stevenson and Shaina White. McIlroy continued the offensive momentum with an ace that put Auburn up 15-10. The Tigers won the set 25-21 with blocks from Stevenson and Mica Allison.
In set two Ole Miss took a 2-0 lead, but the Tigers fought back to take a 7-5 lead on two kills from Allison. The Rebels tied it back at 7-7 with a kill by Nayo Warnell. With blocks from Emily Stroup, Lauren Bars and Warnell, Ole Miss built a 11-8 lead before winning the set 25-23.
The third set remained close through the first 19 points of the game. Both teams traded one-to-two point leads back and forth as neither team had taken more than a two-point lead until Auburn went up 23-20 on a block from Shipes. A kill from Shipes gave Auburn the set win at 25-21.
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Auburn took a 6-4 lead in set four with blocks from McClellan and Shipes. The lead continued to grow to 20-18 on McClellan's sixth kill on the night before Ole Miss tying the set 21 apiece with a kill from Leah Mulkey. The Rebels took the 23-22 lead, forcing Auburn to take a time out. A kill by Shipes would tie the set at 24 before the Rebels won it 27-25 on an Auburn error.
Auburn gained a 3-1 lead in set five with an ace from Bella Rosenthall. Ole Miss came back within striking distance, but Auburn won the set 15-12 with a kill from McIlroy.
Shipes led the team with 21 kills, more than doubling her former season high of 10 kills.
“She’s been working hard all year,” head coach Rick Nold said. “We had switched our lineup two weeks ago. A lot of it because of her. We need to get her in the game on a regular basis.”
Complementing Shipes' kill total was McIlroy with 18 and Jones with 13. McClellan had a season-high eight kills in the game, and Allison had a season-high 61 assists.
Auburn will take on Arkansas at Auburn Arena on Sunday, Oct. 28th, at 1:30 PM CT.
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