Auburn put together what may be the most rollercoaster win to date this year in the first match of the weekend. The Tigers dropped the first two sets but were able to put together three impressive sets to gain their only win of the two-match series (21-25, 21-25, 25-17, 25-17, 15-12).
Akasha Anderson made her presence known throughout the match with a team high 20 kills, while Kendal Kemp recorded her 100th block of the season, along with adding 10 kills to her stat line.
Once again, Madison Scheer showed her importance to this team in the fifth set. She totaled five kills in the fifth set to bring her total to 16 on the day.
It was a battle all the way until the end through the first two sets where Missouri won both 25-21.
"I thought that we didn't start with the right energy level and that's becoming a little bit of a theme for us that we need to start focusing on. It's connected with the youth of this team,” said Auburn head coach Brent Crouch.
The Tigers needed a spark and got it from sophomore Fallan Lanham. She was able to put in a couple much needed aces in the third set. The Tigers would take their first set of the day by a score of 25-17.
Sarah Morton followed up Lanham with three aces in the fourth set to give the Tigers all the momentum they needed. Zoe Slaughter also added on to the work Morton did. She recorded one ace but was hitting the ball consistently and kept Missouri on their heels.
"I felt like those last three sets showed where our team can get to. We challenged a few of them to hit harder serves and they did exactly what we wanted them to. Sarah had three aces in a row and Zoe came in and hit some tough ones. Those two turned it around for us. Once we got them in trouble, then the rest just becomes easier. It's easier to make some block moves and get more touches,” said Crouch.
The Tigers were less fortunate in the second match up the series as they fell 1-3 (25-15, 21-25, 15-25, 27-29) against Missouri.
Auburn started off strong behind yet another dominate performance from Akasha Anderson, who tallied three aces while taking the first set of the match. The freshman would go on to end the match with a career-high four aces to go with a team high 22 kills.
After that it was all downhill for the team in Orange & Blue.
Anderson was able to get six kills in the second set, but the rest of the offense was not clicking. Missouri would take control of this set and not slow down during the third and fourth and coast to give Auburn only their second loss of the year.
“I thought it was going to be a real tough match today and it was. Hats off to them, they played great. We just did not have an answer for their two outsides. They had great matches, yesterday and today. It usually comes down to serve-pass and who’s hitting better on the left. And we just did not get enough kills on the left and theirs were extremely good today,” said Crouch.
Kendell Kemp had yet another important showing for the Tigers in the loss. She totaled 10-kills, which is a career-high while having a .381 hitting percentage.
Auburn will return to Neville Arena Friday, October 21, to host the Tennessee Volunteers. The match is scheduled for a 7 p.m. start.