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Monday, Dec 11, 2023 | Latest Print Edition

No. 24 Auburn volleyball bounces back with win over Ole Miss

#3 Akasha Anderson prepares for a spike during the first set versus Ole Miss
#3 Akasha Anderson prepares for a spike during the first set versus Ole Miss

Auburn volleyball picked up its first conference win on Sunday against the Ole Miss Rebels. After dropping the first set 25-21, the Tigers defeated the Rebels 3-1 (21-25, 25-21, 25-10, 27-25). 

The Tigers bounced back to defeat Ole Miss after a narrow five-set loss to the No. 3 Florida Gators on Friday, moving to 11-2 and 1-1 in the SEC. 

Coming off their loss against Florida, the Tigers struggled in the first set, falling to the Rebels 25-21. Hitting errors plagued Auburn’s set one performance, recording a hitting percentage of zero due to its attack errors. 

“We were just a little frantic,” said sophomore hitter Akasha Anderson. “We were overdoing a lot of things, and we needed to simplify what we were doing and slow it down.”

Auburn settled down and simplified in the second set, taking it 25-21 over Ole Miss. The Tigers reached a match-high 16 kills in the second set but picked up seven attacking errors for a hitting percentage of .184.  

In the third set, however, Auburn’s offense looked nearly perfect. In their 25-10 win, the Tigers recorded a .715 hitting percentage, grabbing 15 kills off of 21 attacks. Anderson picked up five of her 20 total kills in the third set of the match. 

“We played the cleanest volleyball we probably have ever played,” Anderson said. “We saw the result of that in set three, and we needed to continue to play like that into set four.” 

Even with a 5-0 scoring run in the middle of the fourth set from the Tigers, Ole Miss nearly forced a fifth set in Neville Arena, serving for the set twice — at 24-23 and 25-24 — but Auburn was able to save both set points and take the set 27-25 to win the match, ending set four on a 3-0 run. 

“I’m proud of the team,” said head coach Brent Crouch. “This is a really long stretch for us, and there’s no days off.”

Auburn will look to grab its second conference win as it heads to Fayetteville, Ark. on Wednesday, Sept. 27 to take on the No. 16 Arkansas Razorbacks. The match begins at 7 p.m. CST and will be televised on SEC Network. 

Grace Heim | Sports Reporter

Grace Heim is a junior from Enterprise, Alabama, majoring in English Literature. She started with The Plainsman in January 2023.

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