Auburn drops five setter at Alabama

TUSCALOOSA, Ala. (auburntigers.com) – The Auburn volleyball team dropped a tough 3-2 (25-21, 19-25, 18-25, 25-20, 15-8) match at Alabama Wednesday night in Foster Auditorium.

Auburn (14-13, 8-6) was led by junior setter Alexa Filley, picking up her 17th double-double of the season with 49 assists and 15 digs. Sophomore Brenna McIlroy had her 10th double, finishing with 12 kills and 14 digs.

Freshman Gwyn Jones led the Tigers offensively, having 13 kills on the night. Junior Macy Reece chipped in 11 kills and classmate Courtney Crable had 10.

Defensively, junior libero Jesse Earl led the team with 18 digs, while junior Kelly Stewart finished with 10. Reece led the Tigers with seven blocks, tying a career high. Sophomore Abigail Miller and McIlroy each finished with three service aces, marking a career high for Miller.

Krystal Rivers led Alabama (17-10, 6-8) with 28 kills. Leah Lawrence added 10 kills and seven blocks, while libero Natalie Murison finished with 28 digs. Setter Alexa Tomlak had 41 assists and 10 digs.

The Tide grabbed an early 5-2 advantage in the first and pushed ahead 10-6. Kills from Jones and McIlroy guided the Tigers on a run, bringing the visitors within one at 17-16. But Alabama pushed to set point at 24-19 and held for a 25-21 win.

Set two opened similarly to the first as the Tide found themselves ahead at 6-3. Back-to-back Auburn blocks made it 10-9 Alabama before another UA run set the score at 14-10. A kill from Barksdale sent the Tigers on a 4-0 run to tie it up at 15-all and a kill from Crable jump started an 8-1 Auburn run, giving AU a 23-18 lead. Kills from Reece and Jones sealed the set, 25-19.

An ace from Barksdale and two straight kills by Filley made it 7-4 Auburn in the third. Alabama battled back to tie the set at 11, but the Tigers regrouped and pushed a five-point run to go up 19-13. A service ace from Earl set the scoring 23-16 and AU took the set with a 25-18 win.

The fourth set was one of long runs with Alabama opening with a 6-1 lead. The Tigers responded with a pair of 3-0 rallies to make it 7-7, but the Tide followed with a push to go ahead 13-8. Auburn battled back and tied it up again at 14-all before Alabama regrouped following a timeout and found themselves up 22-16. The Tide forced the fifth with a 25-20 win.

Alabama took the lead to start the final stanza and held it throughout the rest of the set. The Tide forced an Auburn timeout with a 7-4 lead and a pair of long runs gave Bama the win, 15-8.

After a busy SEC schedule, Auburn takes few days off before traveling to nationally-ranked Missouri for a 6:30 p.m. CT match, Nov. 18. Auburn returns to The Plains for a Sunday after tilt vs. South Carolina, Nov. 20.

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