AUBURN, Ala. – Returning to Auburn Arena for a showdown between the Tigers, Auburn volleyball (12-8, 4-6 SEC) host LSU (9-12, 5-7 SEC) Friday for a single match. First serve is set for 6 p.m. CT.
Auburn students will be eligible to register for a raffle during Friday’s match for various prizes, including Apple Air Pods, Bluetooth speakers and a 55-inch Smart TV.
“We’re prepping for LSU differently than we have any other team we’ve faced this season,” said head coach Brent Crouch. “They have a couple players on their team that are incredibly physically gifted. We’ve been doing a few things to prep for that challenge, in particular when it comes to receiving serves. Their record isn’t great, but lately, LSU has been figuring it out. They’ve made some subs and have put a different setter in the rotation. It’s exciting to start facing teams that are at the top of our conference the remainder of the season.”
Friday’s match will air on the SEC Network+. JJ Jackson and Paige Wetzel will have the call. Fans can also hear Friday’s match locally on WEGL 91.1.
Following the conclusion of Friday’s match, Auburn men’s basketball will hosts in annual Blue and Orange scrimmage inside Auburn Arena.
- After splitting a two-match series at Georgia, the Tigers return to Auburn Arena to host LSU for a single match. Auburn looks to continue the theme of the season and flip the script as the Tigers are searching for their first win over LSU since the 2016 season.
- Defense has been the name of the game for the Tigers this season. Auburn enters the week as the SEC leader in digs per set (16.655) and opponent hitting percentage (0.145) while ranking second in the league with a 2.79 blocks per set mark
- The Tigers have seen massive improvement in the win-loss column in their second season under head coach Brent Crouch. With eight matches remaining in the regular-season, Auburn has already totaled 12 victories with four wins in the SEC play – the most in both categories since the 2018 season.
- After totaling 22 kills over Auburn’s two-match series at Georgia, Rebekah Rath continues her stranglehold as the top offensive player in the SEC as she currently leads the league in six offensive categories, including: attacks per set, kills per set, points, points per set, total attacks and total kills.
- With another strong offensive performance at Georgia, junior Rebekah Rath jumped to sixth in Auburn single-season history with 335 total kills. She is on pace to shatter the program’s rally-scoring era record during Auburn’s final eight matches.
- Senior Tatum Shipes enters Friday’s match on the cusps of a record-breaking season as she is just three blocks shy of setting the program’s single season blocks record for the rally scoring era. Camila Jersonsky set the record of 119 blocks in 2012.
- Graduate student Liz Reich earned her first SEC weekly honor of her career as she was selected SEC Offensive Player of the Week. Reich’s selection marked the third time Auburn has won the award this season to set a program record.
LSU looks to continue momentum as the Tigers swept #20 Tennessee on Sunday to split the two-match series. Tennessee edged out the Tigers in five sets in the series opener. The Tigers stand seventh in the league with a 5-7 conference record with additional wins over South Carolina. #20 Florida, Missouri and Alabama. LSU stands at 9-12 overall this season.
The Tigers rank ninth in the league with a 12.92 kills per set average, while the team’s .234 hitting percentage is good for seventh in the SEC. Outside hitter Kylie Kuyava-Deberg is the heart of the LSU offense as she’s totaled a team-leading 324 kills – a mark that is second only to Auburn’s Rebekah Rath. Kuyava-Deberg has proven to be one of the top offensive threats in the league as she ranks third in attacks per set (11.43), kills per set (4.00), points (370.0), points per set (4.57) and total attacks (640).
Freshman Ella Larkin has taking over the setting duties for the Tigers, starting 17 of LSU’s 21 matches. Larkin has dished out 640 assists this season, averaging 7.81 per set. Larkin’s assists total ranks seventh in the SEC. A threat offensively as well, Larkin has totaled 40 kills this season, attacking at a .333 clip.
Defensively, LSU is led by libero Raigen Cianciulli. The graduate student has racked up 399 digs this season, leading the SEC in total digs. Cianciulli’s 4.81 digs per set mark ranks second overall in the SEC. Larkin has totaled the second most digs on the team with 222 as she averages 2.71 per set. As a team, LSU ranks sixth in the league with a 14.64 digs per set average.
LSU has found success at the net, ranking third in the SEC with a 2.63 blocks per set average. Senior middle block Whitney Foreman has led the charge with 80 total blocks, the eighth most in the SEC. Foreman ranks third overall in the league with a 1.36 blocks per set average. Not far behind is junior middle blocker Anita Anwusi’s 78.0 total blocks, which rank ninth most in the SEC. Anwusi holds the fifth highest blocks per set mark in the league at 1.26.
In its final two-match road series of the regular season, Auburn treks to Bryan-College Station, Texas, to face the Aggies next Thursday and Friday. Both matches will air on SEC Network+ and are scheduled for 6 p.m. CT first serves.