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    Auburn Volleyball Sprints Past Mississippi State, 3-0

    Oct. 5, 2012

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    AUBURN - Auburn doubled up Mississippi State in nearly every statistical category and held the Bulldogs to a negative hitting percentage, cruising to a 3-0 victory (25-11, 25-10, 25-17) in an SEC volleyball match Friday night before 679 fans at the Student Activities Center.

    The Tigers (13-4, 4-3 SEC) earned a season sweep over the Bulldogs (4-11, 0-6 SEC), who have now dropped seven straight matches. Auburn also remained perfect at home on the season, improving to 6-0 on its home floor in 2012.

    Auburn had 40 kills to MSU's 21, had 45 digs to MSU's 36 and totaled 10 team blocks while the Bulldogs had just four. The Tigers hit .304 as a team, the fifth time this season the Tigers have topped the .300 mark. Auburn also held MSU to a negative hitting percentage (-.049), forcing the shorthanded Bulldogs into 26 hitting errors against 21 kills.

    "It was good to rebound from last weekend and get a win today," Auburn head coach Rick Nold said. "Mississippi State is struggling a bit with their lineup, and we were able to take advantage of that. Obviously both teams could probably play better, but we're trying to improve every day. Some things we were trying to work on, we were able to. We've just got to keep getting better.

    Tonight was Auburn's only match of the weekend; the Tigers have their first open date of the season on Sunday before heading to Georgia and Florida next week.

    "I don't think we've had a healthy week of practice yet this season," Nold said. "Two days off here comes at a perfect time. We need to let some people recuperate a little bit. We've got a tough stretch in front of us, and this gives us a chance to get ready for that."

    Senior Sarah Bullock led Auburn with 12 kills and hit at a .400 clip with just two errors on 25 swings. She also recorded eight digs along with two blocks, and she had a pair of service aces. Katherine Culwell finished just shy of a double-double with nine kills and nine digs; she also had one solo block. Halle Kearney contributed six kills and a block to the winning effort.

    Camila Jersonsky had four kills and four blocks, and Courtney McDonald had three of each. And Chloe Rowand had four blocks to go along with five kills. Sarah Wroblicky led Auburn with 10 digs and a service ace, and Chelsea Wintzinger posted a team-high 17 assists along with seven digs and an ace.

    MSU was led by Sarah Nielsen with nine kills, and Lainey Wyman had three kills and three blocks. Freshman Taylor Hackemack had a match-high 19 assists in her first start at setter, and libero Roxanne McVey had 15 digs.

    Auburn never trailed in the first set and sprinted to a 25-11 win. The Tigers had 12 kills to MSU's five and forced the Bulldogs into 10 attack errors and a -.167 hitting percentage. Auburn jumped out to a 5-0 lead that eventually ballooned to 16-5 on a 7-0 run midway through the set. From there, the Bulldogs would never draw closer than nine points as Auburn earned its most lopsided set win of the year.

    But that mark would last for just one set as the Tigers took a 25-10 decision in set two, hitting at a .400 clip and holding the Bulldogs in the red again at -.100. This time, Auburn had 13 kills and three blocks, getting four of those kills on five swings from Bullock. Meanwhile, Rowand and McDonald had three kills apiece in the frame as Auburn jumped out to an 11-3 lead and never looked back. Auburn would lead 20-6 before MSU scored two straight - the Bulldogs' only point on serve in the set - and two kills from Rowand would put the set away.

    The Bulldogs came out much stronger in set three, leading briefly at 10-9, before the Tigers went on a 7-2 run from which MSU could not recover. Culwell came alive in the final set, hitting .462 with seven kills while added three digs and a solo block to account for eight Auburn points in a 25-17 match-clinching win. Freshman Mary Hannah Arrington got the final point of the match with a back-row kill on her only swing of the night.

    Auburn returns to action next Friday, Oct. 12, with a 6 p.m. CT match against the Georgia Bulldogs in Athens.