AUBURN, ALA. - 12 years ago, the Auburn Tigers recieved their last bid to the NCAA Volleyball Tournament. In 2022, in Brent Crouch's third season as the Auburn head coach, the Tigers have recieved a tournament bid once again.
“The selection means we’re on track. This is my third year here and this is what we were aiming for this year or next year,” Crouch said. “And to get it on the front end in year three with this freshman class that I recruited three months after getting hired is special. It means we’re on track and it means there are good things in store for us this year and for years to come.”
This season has been a nice surprise for the Tigers. After not winning a game in 2020, and going 13-15 last season, the 21-8 record achieved by the team this season shows just how far the program hac come in a relatively short period of time.
Freshman outside hitter Akasha Anderson, who earned all-SEC honors, is excited about this opportunity.
“I remember thinking about it two years ago before I committed and being like, ‘that’s so far away.’ This is crazy,” Anderson said. “It’s all going into action, especially it’s happening in our freshman year. It’s been a historic season already but to also make the tournament, I’m going to be able to look back on my freshman year and it’s gonna be really cool.”
Freshman middle blocker Kendall Kemp, who was named to the SEC Freshman team, also made some comments.
“It just means the world. To go out there with my best friends, playing the game we love,” Kemp said. “We've got one more shot to end on a high note for our freshman season and I’m really excited.”
Auburn will take on the Creighton Bluejays on Friday December 2nd.
“They’re an excellent team, extremely well coached. They’ve been in the tournament for years as an established program,” Crouch said. “They’re going to be confident and they’re going to be calm… They’re going to have a great crowd, just one of the great environments to play in and I know it’ll be a packed house. I like our chances to compete at a high level.”
First serve is set for 6:30 p.m. C.T.