MURFREESBORO, Tenn. – The Auburn volleyball team saw its five-match winning streak come to an end Sunday afternoon with a 3-0 loss to Missouri (25-22, 25-13, 25-17) in the final match of the Blue Raider Bash at Middle Tennessee's Alumni Memorial Gym.
Auburn (5-2) lost for the first time since the season's opening match while Missouri (8-1) won its fourth in a row to capture the Blue Raider Bash tournament title.
"Missouri is a very good team," Auburn head coach Rick Nold said, "and we didn't come out the way we needed to. We needed to control the ball, and we didn't do that today."
Sophomore Camila Jersonsky and senior Kelly Fidero were named to the Blue Raider Bash all-tournament team. For the week, Jersonsky finished with a .493 hitting percentage, scoring 37 kills on 69 attacks with just three errors. Fidero led the Tigers in kills during the tournament with 46 on 111 attacks for a .297 hitting percentage.
In today's match, Missouri out-hit Auburn by a .452 to .131 margin, despite a stellar performance from Fidero with 11 kills on 22 attacks, hitting .409. Kathia Rud had seven kills on 14 attempts with two errors (.357). Sarah Wroblicky led Auburn with six digs in the match. Christina Solverson had three aces in the match, matching a career high.
Auburn fought hard in the first set but came up just short as Mizzou took a 25-22 decision. Auburn hit for a very respectable .353 average in the set, but Missouri was stellar at .536. Missouri jumped out to an early lead and held on for the majority of the set, although Auburn made several runs and closed the gap to as few as two points late in the match. Fidero was outstanding for Auburn in the opening frame with seven kills on seven attacks for a perfect 1.000 hitting percentage.
The second set, however, was all Missouri as the Tigers from Columbia took a two-set lead with a 25-13 win. In the set, Missouri bettered their already outstanding hitting percentage with a .556 effort while Auburn hit just .032. MU jumped out to a 10-4 lead and never looked back, leading by as much as a 20-8 margin.
Missouri kept up the pressure in the third set, but Auburn refused to go quietly. Despite Mizzou jumping out to a 12-2 lead, Auburn kept fighting and closed the gap to 20-13 and eventually 22-16 with time running short. But Missouri would keep coming at Auburn with relentless defense and a strong block, eventually leading to a 25-17 third-set win and a sweep in the match.
Mizzou won the digs battle 38-29 and had one more block than Auburn. Three Missouri players hit .500 or better for the match.
Auburn will next be in action Friday and Saturday as the Tigers travel to Coral Gables, Fla., for the Hurricane Invitational. The Tigers will face host Miami at 6:30 p.m. CT Friday before taking on No. 17-ranked Oklahoma and Florida A&M Saturday.