AUBURN, Ala. -- Auburn used a strong service game and got big nights from their outside hitters in a 3-0 sweep (25-20, 25-14, 25-14) over Georgia in SEC volleyball action Wednesday night at Auburn Arena.
The Tigers (12-7, 4-3 SEC) snapped a two-match skid in SEC play and earned their fifth-straight home win over the Bulldogs (5-14, 0-7 SEC).
Sophomore libero Jesse Earl recorded a career-high four service aces - Auburn had five as a team - and the Tigers forced the Bulldogs into numerous overpasses, leading to easy kills for the Tigers' hitters.
"We did a good job staying aggressive serving," Auburn head coach Rick Nold said. "I thought serving was what really turned that around. Game one, I felt like we came out a little bit flat, but that's just one of those things you've got to fight through. But we did a good job from there on out of putting pressure on them."
Freshman Brenna McIlroy had her best match in SEC play, picking up her seventh double-double of the year with 10 kills and 10 digs while hitting .333; she also had one service ace. Sophomore Courtney Crable hit a team-best .381 with 10 kills and a pair of blocks.
The Tiger middles also had strong performances. Junior Breanna Barksdale had a match-high five blocks along with seven kills and a .333 hitting percentage, and junior Emily Klitzke had seven kills of her own with two blocks.
Setter Alexa Filley missed her 11th double-double of the year by one dig as she posted 29 assists and nine digs. Earl led the Auburn defense with 13 digs.
The Tigers hit .283 as a team, their second-best mark in SEC play, and held the Bulldogs to an .023 clip, the lowest by an Auburn opponent this season. Auburn had 38 kills to Georgia's 22, out-dug the Bulldogs 43-35, and had eight blocks to Georgia's seven.
A back-and-forth first set saw Auburn pull away late for a 25-20 win. Neither team could get much going early, but Auburn took advantage of several Georgia overpasses, putting them down for easy kills and building a lead late in the set. Four players had three kills apiece for the Tigers.
The second set was all about Auburn's service game as Earl sparked a 7-0 run that gave the Tigers an 18-8 lead. Earl had three aces in that stretch en route to her career high. Meanwhile, the Tigers held Georgia to a negative hitting percentage (-.038) in the second set as the Tigers took it 25-14.
Set three was more of the same as Auburn jumped out to another big lead and never looked back. A quick 4-0 lead became 10-5 and then 17-8 before Georgia called a timeout. From there, Auburn took advantage of a few Georgia mistakes to set up kills from Klitzke and McIlroy to put it away.
The Tigers hit the road for their next three matches, beginning with a Sunday tilt at LSU. First serve from Baton Rouge is set for 1 p.m. at the Pete Maravich Assembly Center.