Going into this strange year as sports are starting to come back, Auburn Volleyball has their first game next week against the Florida Gators on Wednesday Oct. 21st at 7:00 PM in the Auburn arena. The girls are coming off of a rough season last year where they ended up last place in the SEC with a conference game score of 1-17 and saw the exit of head coach Rick Nold. This year, new coach Brent Crouch looks to turn things around.
New to Auburn with his wife and two sons, coach Crouch hopes to lead the Auburn team to the same kind of success he had coaching at Portland and the University of Southern California. During his two years at USC, Crouch led the Trojans to two NCAA tournament appearances despite having arguably one of the toughest schedules in the nation, playing against 18 ranked opponents. He ended his tenure at the school with a record of 40-25. Coach Crouch also has experience from playing men’s club volleyball at Texas A&M and acting as an assistant under head coach "Karch" Kiraly for the U.S. Collegiate National team, which won the gold medal in 2016. Crouch says he hopes to see a fast and aggressive play style going forward with the Auburn program.
The Auburn volleyball team will have plenty of familiar faces returning this year and has an elite class of seniors leading the team. Veterans Chesney McClellan, Payton White, and Jaeden Brown will bring their expertise and knowledge to help this new coach and help welcome the new players this season. The team also has Lauren Dorrell, a senior who transferred from Colorado, and an outside hitter bringing a new offensive front.
Along with Lauren, the team has four other new players with freshmen Lily Sumner, Jackie Barrett and Audrey Douglas. From Ankara, Turkey, 6’3” junior middle blocker, Elif Su Yavuz will bring some height to the team. The team will be led by freshmen setter Jackie Barrett from California.
Due to Covid-19, the fall season for volleyball has been changed quite a bit. Auburn will only play four schools twice this fall, with back-to-back games against each team. Auburn has some tough opponents lined up starting with leader of the SEC last season, Florida. Auburn will open the season playing the Florida Gators twice next week, first match on Wednesday Oct. 21 and the next match the following day. Both matches will start at 7:00 PM central time. Following the matches against Florida, Auburn will travel to play two matches each with University of Kentucky and South Carolina and will then return home to play Tennessee twice.
Under the guidance of Coach Crouch, Auburn volleyball hopes to have a good fall season against these tough opponents. The pace of the game will be faster by Auburn standards and it will be exciting to see how the girls play under the new coaching style and with their new teammates.