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Tigers can’t find route past South Carolina, fall in five

Colombia, South Carolina – Three different Tigers secured double-doubles, but it wasn’t quite enough as Auburn lost to South Carolina 3-2 (24-26, 25-18, 20-25, 25-16, 15-10).

It took the Tigers a minute to settle in at the Carolina Volleyball Center, but when they did, Auburn started firing at cylinders in the second half of the first set.

Early blocks and some errors from Orange and Blue resulted in a quick lead for the hosts. South Carolina was batting well north of .300 by the media timeout. In the break, however, head coach Brent Crouch turned the script around.

A frantic defense combined with touches at the net allowed the Tigers to retake the lead. Madison Scheers four kills hastened Auburn’s effort and three timely blocks from it Jackie Barrett helped seal the deal in the opening frame.

South Carolina didn’t want to run away in the second set. Another early Gamecocks lead behind a strong offense forced the Tigers to play from behind.

The patented Auburn hustle bought a point midway through the second game for the longest rally of the game, sparking a 3-0 Tigers run.

A few too many errors, however, saw the match tied at one set apiece en route to the third.

Back and forth the two exchanged shots during the third set. And as is often the case, a serve surge sparked a big run for the Tigers late on.

With Jackie Barrett On the service line, Auburn ran off four straight points to build a commanding lead they wouldn’t give up.

However, it wasn’t just Barrett’s serving power that gave the Tigers the lead. The junior setter from Highland, California was also dynamite at the net while blocking. Both Barrett and Kemp each combined seven blocks in just three frames.

Kemp would complete her first double-double of her career, amassing a career-best 12 kills along with 10 blocks.

Auburn was in a small hole to start the fourth set. While the Tigers fought back to get within range, hitting .400 from the Gamecocks proved too much to overcome as the match drifted into the fifth set.

Another hot start from USC meant Orange and Blue had to hit back again. And once again it was Barrett’s serve that gave hope to the Tiger faithful in attendance.

A 3-0 run, including Barrett’s second ace of the game, put Auburn in two. Another powerful strike from South Carolina brought the home side over the edge and handed the win to South Carolina.

GAME NOTES

  • Kendal Kemp secured her first career double-double with 12 kills and 10 blocks
  • Kemp’s 12 kills were also a career high
  • Jackie Barrett (47 assists, 10 digs) grabbed her ninth double-double of the year
  • Akasha Anderson (12 kills, 10 digs) grabbed her seventh double-double

NEXT

Auburn will return to the Plains for the final games of the regular season against Arkansas on November 25-26. The first serve on Friday is scheduled for 2pm CT while Saturday is scheduled for 7pm CT.

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