The Auburn volleyball team fell to No. 17 LSU Sunday afternoon, 3-0 (20-25, 20-25, 27-29), at the Student Activities Center. The loss dropped the Tigers to 16-8 on the season and 7-5 in Southeastern Conference play.
"We gave away a lot of free points and that is something we normally don't do as a team," head coach Wade Benson said. "I hope the team can learn from this match and move forward because we aren't quite where we want to be yet." Freshman Camila Jersonsky had nine kills for Auburn, while sophomores Sarah Bullock and Katherine Culwell finished with eight kills apiece.
Senior Jonelle Wallace added six kills and classmates Morgan Johns and Alyssa Davis recorded five and four kills, respectively. Freshman Chelsea Wintzinger had a team-best 17 assists and junior Christina Solverson finished with 16 assists. Defensively, senior libero Liz Crouch had 10 digs to lead the Tigers.
Bullock had nine digs and Culwell picked up seven digs. Bullock had two solo blocks and one block assist, while Davis finished with three block assists.
LSU (19-2, 10-2 SEC) was led offensively by Michele Williams and Angela Bensend as they finished with 13 and 10 kills, respectively. Setter Brittney Johnson had a match-high 32 assists and libero Lauren Waclawczyk had 15 digs.
The Bayou Bengals opened the first set on a 4-0 rally and pushed to take a 6-1 advantage early. A kill by Johns led to 5-1 Auburn run to bring the Tigers within a point at 7-6 and a kill from Wallace locked the score at eight apiece. Kills by Wallace and Jersonsky gave Auburn its first lead at 12-11, but a three-point LSU rally put the visitors up at 17-16. LSU utilized a 7-3 final run to take the set 25-20. In the second set, LSU took an early lead at 7-2 and went on to take a 10-5 advantage. A kill by Kelly Fidero triggered an Auburn four-point rally to cut the LSU lead at 11-10, but the visiting Tigers pushed a run of their own to go up by as much as six at 21-15. A trio of LSU attack errors brought Auburn within three at 21-18, but LSU held on to win by a score of 25-20.
Auburn fought to take a 5-3 lead at the start of the final set and a kill by Wallace pushed the Tigers to a 7-4 advantage. A kill from Culwell gave Auburn its largest lead at 11-7, but LSU rallied on a four-point run to lock the score at 11-11. Tied at 18 apiece, Auburn used a 4-2 run to take a 22-20 lead. The two teams battled back and forth at the end of the set until LSU closed out the set on a pair of kills to win 29-27.
The Tigers travel north for a pair of conference matches on the road. Auburn faces nationally-ranked Tennessee Friday, Oct. 29, in Knoxville at 7 p.m. and then travels to Lexington, Ky., for a noon match against Kentucky on Oct. 31.