AUBURN, Ala. – It’s a showdown between the Tigers this weekend at Auburn Arena as Auburn volleyball (10-6, 2-4 SEC) hosts Missouri (3-15, 0-5 SEC) for a pair of matches.
Saturday’s match against the Missouri is slated for 4:30 p.m. CT. The first 250 fans in attendance will receive a free Auburn volleyball mini tumbler.
Sunday’s match is the program’s annual “Dig Pink” contest to raise breast cancer awareness. Fans are encouraged to join the team in wearing pink. First serve is set for 1 p.m. CT. Students are eligible to register for a drawing during Sunday’s match for multiple prizes, including Apple Watches, Apple Air Pods, Bluetooth speakers and more.
“Missouri is a tough team,” said head coach Brent Crouch. “Their record isn’t what it has been in the past. They are typically at least a second round NCAA team and have been for years if not decades, so they are down a little bit in the win-loss column this year. When you are watching them on video, you are kind of wondering why? They are still a talented team. They are going to be more physical than us, overall, but the name of the game is going to can we serve really tough to get them in trouble. They’ll be force to set to the outside and our block is going to take care of the rest.”
Both matches this weekend are scheduled to air on the SEC Network+. Wiley Ballard and Kele Eveland will have the call. Fans can also hear Saturday’s match locally on WEGL 91.1.
- After a tough battle at Arkansas, the Tigers return to Auburn Arena to face Missouri for a pair of matches. The Tigers are looking to snap a 12-match losing skid to Missouri, searching for the program’s first win since 1996.
- The double-double leader continued racking up the stats as sophomore Jackie Barrett extended her streak to five straight matches with a double-double. She has totaled 11 this season. Barrett ranks eighth in the SEC in total assists (519) and 13th in total digs (194).
- Zeroing in on a little history after another monster blocking performance, Tatum Shipes now stands tied for fourth in program single-season history (rally scoring era) with 97 total blocks. She is just 23 blocks shy of breaking Camila Jersonsky’s single season record of 119, which was set in 2012.
- Junior Rebekah Rath’s 29 kills in the series opener at Arkansas were the most recorded by a Tiger in a single match since 2004. It is the most kills recorded by any SEC student-athlete in a four-set match this season.
- Turning in back-to-back 20+ dig performances, senior Bella Rosenthall became the 15th Tiger to join the 1,000 digs club. She now stands tied for 10th in program history in career digs.
- Senior Tatum Shipes enters the weekend as the SEC leader in both total blocks (97) and blocks per set (1.67). Shipes is ranked third nationally in both categories.
The Missouri Tigers are looking to snap a six-match losing streak, earlier this week the Tigers fell to Alabama in Columbia, Mo., by a 3-2 final. The Tigers have struggled in the win-loss column this season, standing with a 3-15 overall record. The Tigers are 0-5 in SEC action, also suffering a pair of losses to South Carolina as well as dropping single matches to both Kentucky and LSU.
The Tigers average 11.44 kills per set this season while attacking on a .183 team hitting percentage. Missouri relies heavily on the arm of junior outside hitter Anna Dixon. Dixon ranks ninth in the SEC with a 3.58 kills per set average behind her team-leading 204 kills this season. Dixon also ranks eighth in the league as she averages 4.07 points per set.
At the service line is where the Tigers have found most of their success as the team ranks eighth in the league in both total aces (72) and aces per set (1.26). Three Tigers have totaled double-digit aces this season. Dixon and sophomore defensive specialist Emily Brown lead the charge with 12 aces apiece.
Missouri utilizes a pair of setters to run the offense. Graduate student Nicole Alford leads the Tigers with 319 total assists, averaging 7.09 per set. Freshman Addison Lyon has dished out 209 assists for a 6.74 per set average. The two both started eight matches a piece for the Tigers.
Defensively, Brown has done most of the damage on the court with a team leading 205 digs, the ninth most by any SEC student-athlete. Brown averages 3.60 digs per set. Freshman outside hitter Kaylee Cox ranks second on the team with 93 total digs.
As a team, Missouri has totaled 124 blocks at the net this season, averaging 2.18 per set. Freshman middle blocker Kayla Burbage has done significant damage at the net in her debut season. Burbage ranks ninth in the league in total blocks (65) and 10th in blocks per set (1.14).
Auburn hits the road for a two-match series in Athens, Ga., against the Bulldogs. Due to expected widespread internet outage on Georgia’s campus, the series has been moved to Thursday and Friday. First serve for both matches is set for 6 p.m. CT and will air on SEC Network+.