AUBURN, Ala. -- It was a collective team effort in Auburn volleyball's 3-2 (23-25, 25-16, 25-19, 21-25, 15-13) win over Ole Miss Sunday afternoon in Auburn Arena. The Tigers improved to 14-12 overall and 8-5 in the Southeastern Conference.
"We knew we had to come out and bring a lot of energy today," head coach Rick Nold said. "At the end, we were in a tough spot, but I'm so proud of our team for not giving up and fighting to get back in the set." Junior Alexa Filley recorded her third triple-double of the season, finishing with 10 kills, 42 assists and 10 digs. Junior libero Jesse Earl earned her fourth double-double as she tied a season-high with 29 digs and dished out 13 assists. Sophomore Brenna McIlroy led the Tigers with 18 kills and added 10 digs for her ninth double-double this year.
Freshman Gwyn Jones chipped in 14 kills for the Tigers, while senior Breanna Barksdale had nine and junior Macy Reece finished with seven.
Defensively, juniors Kelly Stewart and Tate Pember also had double-digit dig performances as Stewart finished with 12 and Pember had 10. The Tiger defenders at the net came away with 12 blocks on the day as Barksdale tied a career-high with eight. Filley had four blocks, while Reece finished with three.
Lexi Thompson and Kate Gibson led the Rebels (14-11, 3-9) with 18 and 16 kills, respectively. Setter Aubrey Edie had 47 assists and 15 digs, while libero Caroline Adams totaled 18 digs on the day.
Tough serving from Earl led to an early 6-1 advantage in the first. Ole Miss responded with a run to come with one at 7-6 before a kill from Jones and an Earl service ace led to a 15-10 Auburn lead. The Rebels came out of a media timeout and chipped away at the Tiger lead, eventually tying it up at 21-all. Ole Miss went on to take the set, 25-23.
The teams battled back and forth to open set two. Tied at 12, a six-point Tiger run pushed the home team to an 18-12 advantage and Rebel attack errors gave Auburn set point at 24-16. Barksdale sealed the set with a kill, 25-16.
The third stanza was one of long runs for the Tigers as the team opened with a 4-0 lead and pushed to a 13-5 advantage. Kills from Jones and Barksdale put Auburn up 20-11 and a Rebel error made it set point, 24-16. Ole Miss held off the Tigers for a couple of points, but a Barksdale kill put Auburn up 2-1 with a 25-19 set win.
A kill from Filley and a service ace by McIlroy highlighted the opening to the fourth as the Tigers went up 6-2. The Rebels used a run midway through the set to tie it up at 12-all and a pair of three-point Ole Miss rallies made it 22-18 in favor of the visitors. Ole Miss sent the match to the fifth with a 25-21 win.
The Rebels carried their momentum into the final frame and forced an Auburn timeout with a 6-2 lead. An Ole Miss kill made it 11-7 before a kill from McIlroy and aggressive serving by Earl led to a 6-0 Auburn run, giving the Tigers a 13-11 advantage. Another McIlroy kill put Auburn at match point and McIlroy gave AU the win with her 18th kill of the day, 15-13.
Auburn hits the road again for a Wednesday night match at rival Alabama. The Tigers and the Tide face off at 5 p.m. CT on ESPNU in Tuscaloosa.