Auburn Volleyball took home the win, with the final score being 3-2 (27-25, 23-25, 19-25, 25-23, 15-8) in a five-set competitive game against South Alabama. This win made the Tigers record for this season increase to 8-1.
The Tigers began the game attempting to get a head start by serving early. Madison Scheer started the game off with four kills and Bel Zimmerman had three. The Jaguars started getting more competitive as they began to gain extra points on the scoreboard.
Auburn was fixated on staying in the lead and winning the game. Akasha Anderson showed her talented ability when she entered the second set. With two kills in the first, Anderson soon after had nine more in the second. Anderson eventually tied her career high with 26 kills and 11 digs for her first double-double of the fall season.
“No, they don’t like to lose. We were a little uneven tonight, we didn’t play great," said head coach Brent Crouch. "Akasha [Anderson] was back from illness and looked a little off for the early parts of the match. When she settled down and started getting a bunch of kills, that coincided with us doing better."
Some other standout players were Jackie Barrett who had five aces, Bel Zimmerman set a new goal with four aces and Sydney Handel recorded 10 digs, breaking a record for her career high. Even though the Tigers had strong players leading the team, that didn’t stop the Jaguars from tying the match at one set apiece.
South Alabama won the third set by recording a .378 while picking up three aces.
The Jaguars, carrying the momentum from set three, kept rolling and jumped out to a 9-2 lead in the fourth set.
However, the energy started to shift in Auburn’s favor because soon after Kendal Kemp put down a kill, Anderson hit an ace and Barrett got a six-point run, causing Auburn to get in the lead. Once the Tigers had the leading score in their favor, they made sure that no mistake would jeopardize that.
Towards the end of the game, Barrett played stout offense and hit a .326 in the final stanza, and Anderson got four kills shortly after. The Tigers entered the fifth set determined and ended up winning via a score of 15-8 to improve their record to 8-1. Auburn’s record is now 1-0 in five-set matches this fall season.
“The thing that really kept us in it, because we were struggling in a lot of the facets of the game, was serving. We ended up with 14 aces and a lot in that fourth-set turnaround. We work on serving so much, and we’re becoming a good serving team. I think Bel [Zimmerman] has the capability of being one of the best servers in the country. She’s already one of the best in the conference.” Crouch said.
Auburn stays in Mobile, Alabama, for its next match against UAB on Friday, Sept. 15, at 2:30 p.m. CST.
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Jakai Spikes, senior in Journalism, is a writer at The Auburn Plainsman.