This week the Auburn Tigers volleyball travelled to Columbia to face their second opponent of the year, the USC Gamecocks. Just like in the past week against UF, Auburn faced USC in a two match series.
The first match between these teams had a high kill count of 63 kills combined for both teams, Auburn with 26 and USC with 37. USC’s Kylie Manning, Ellie Ruprich, and Mikayla Robinson were the team leaders in kills while Auburn’s Val Green led the team with 8 kills. One take away from this match is Auburn gave a whole set worth of points in errors away. USC had a strong presence on the court and gave Auburn plenty of pressure. Auburn lost the first match 0-3, with set scores: 15-25, 16-25 and 20-25.
The next day, the match was filled with even more kills than the day before, Auburn having 44 and USC having 55. This time, Lauren Dorrell and Tatum Shipes led the Tigers with 12 and 11 kills each. Another great stat for the Auburn Tigers were the blocks. They beat USC 17-8 in blocks with Jaeden Brown having 9 of them. In past seasons, Auburn had a rough time putting up clean blocks. USC did get the upper hand overall in offense and defense. Auburn lost the second match 1-3, set scores being: 22-25, 25-21, 20-25, 23-25.
The Auburn Tigers with their new head coach Brian Crouch have had a rough start to the season playing strong opponents back to back, but the last match with USC had a glimpse of hope. Auburn has gained a more aggressive front row in kills and blocks and were able to keep the second match much closer. On November 7, Auburn will travel to Lexington, Kentucky and face another strong opponent. It will be interesting to see how this team continues to grow throughout this compacted fall season.