On a night where the Tigers seemingly had no answers for Arkansas, Auburn would fall to the Razorbacks in three straight sets. After a somewhat competitive first set ended in a 25-18 win for Arkansas, the Tigers were completely shut down, scoring only 10 points in the second set, and six in the third.
Arkansas was certainly firing on all cylinders, holding the Tigers to its two lowest scoring sets of the season in back to back sets. The Razorbacks would end the night with an extremely efficient 37 kills on only 69 swings, as well as adding seven blocks.
Arkansas was led by monster performances from the outside hitter duo of Senior Taylor Head and Graduate Jillian Gillen. The two combined for 18 of the 37 Razorback kills and sported .381 and .375 hitting percentages respectively.
The Arkansas barrage had Auburn seeming out of sorts all night, especially on serve receive. Arkansas tallied 10 service aces, and was able to utilize their strong play from the service line to create runs that were too much for Auburn to overcome.
Arkansas runs would become a common theme in each set. In the first set, the Razorbacks used a 8-0 serving run to jump out to a 21-13 lead. In the second, it was a 7-0 run that saw Arkansas take a 19-5 lead over the Tigers. In the third and final set, a 17-3 opening run removed any doubts of an Arkansas victory.
Auburn would struggle offensively all night, finishing with a hitting percentage under zero for the first time this season. Sophomore pin hitter Madison Scheer was the leading attacker for the Tigers, tallying just four kills on the night.
The Tigers tried all night to get the team leader in kills, Akasha Anderson, going off the swing. The Arkansas service targeted Anderson on serve receive all night, leaving her out of place and struggling to get any real rhythm going. Anderson would finish with a single kill on 23 attempts.
Injuries continue to plague Auburn and head coach Brent Crouch, as both Junior libero Fallan Lanham and Sophomore middle blocker Kendal Kemp were both sidelined for the match. Auburn definitely missed their presence on the court, with Arkansas finding all the holes on the floor they could hope for.
Auburn did see bright play from Senior middle blocker Chelsey Harmon, who appeared in every game for the Tigers a year ago. With the absence of Kemp, Harmon was able to take advantage of more time on the floor, converting two kills on three attacking opportunities.
Auburn will look to regroup and learn from the rough loss in Fayetteville, as the Tigers will host the Georgia Bulldogs on Sunday at Neville Arena. First serve is at 12:00 p.m. CT, and will be broadcast on ESPN and WEGL 91.1 FM.