The Auburn Tigers volleyball team (8-0) took a 110 mile road trip to play in the UAB Tournament this past weekend against three teams including the UAB Blazers (4-4), the Troy Trojans (3-5), and the University of North Florida Osprey (1-7). The Tigers would keep their undefeated streak alive thanks to great weekends from Akasha Anderson, and Chelsey Harmon.
Auburn started the weekend with a test of skill against the Blazers that went all five sets, as UAB won the first and fourth set 25-22, and 25-23, with Auburn taking the middle two sets 25-22, and 25-18, setting up the fifth set battle.
A large part of the Tiger offense was freshman Akasha Anderson with a stat line of 24 kills, four aces, and two blocks. She also dealt the finishing blow after Auburn came out and dominated the fifth set taking a 7-1 lead and not letting up until winning the final set 15-7.
When asked about Akasha Anderson’s great night head coach Brent Crouch said “Akasha definitely made a huge statement tonight. It's taken five matches to get comfortable and now she getting big kills when it matters most. She has a world-class arm and is one of the hardest hitters in the country. It's fun to watch."
After the intense five-set matchup, Auburn would take on another Alabama native in Troy the next day, Auburn would come close to having to go to another five-set game after Troy won the third set 25-23, but Auburn was able to pull it out in the fourth set 25-18.
The biggest part of the Auburn victory was the block-party that they had totaling up to 17 ting most in program history in a four-set matchup. The biggest block supplier for the block party was Chelsey Harmon who had 10 on the night, her career best and the second Tiger to reach double-digits in blocks this season.
When asked about his team’s blocking performance head coach Brent Crouch said “We felt we left a lot of blocks on the table last night. So we did some video this morning and showed all the blocks that we should have made and I thought they responded.“
Auburn rounded out the weekend sweeping North Florida 25-18, 25-16, 25-19. Thanks in large part to Akasha Anderson who ended the weekend with a stat line of 15 kills, one ace, and one block.
By sweeping North Florida, Auburn keeps their undefeated streak alive matching the 2012 Tigers. The sweep also marked the fourth on the season and 13th since Crouch has been coaching at Auburn.
When asked about the game head coach Brent Crouch said "I thought this was a pretty good serving team and they put quite a bit of pressure on us from the line. Our high-ball hitters on the left really helped us out when we were out of system. Madison [Scheer] and Akasha [Anderson] are physical and they're handling the situations that we need to clean up. That was a big part of the win today.”
Auburn will be looking to extend its’ start to 9-0, which would be the program's best start since 1990, this Friday, September 16 at 1:30 pm against Southern Miss starting the JSU invitational, which will also include Jackson State and Jacksonville State.