BIRMINGHAM, Ala. - It might not have been a Sunday stroll through the park but Auburn Volleyball (8-0, 0-0) made quick work of North Florida (1-7, 0-0) in sweeping fashion, 3-0 (25-18, 25-16, 25-19).
Fresh off her best performance as a Tiger, Chelsey Harmon kept her momentum rolling into Sunday. Two kills early in the set allowed Auburn to keep the Ospreys at arm's length.
While the Orange and Blue reset blocking records a day earlier, it took Kendal Kemp and Jackie Barrett midway through the first set to record the team's first of the day. Once the Tiger got rolling, however, the block party was in full swing.
Four rejections, including two from Harmon gave Auburn the separation it needed to finish off the first frame, especially with Madison Scheer grabbing four kills at a clip of .571.
Akasha Anderson and Madison Scheer seemed to have taken something personally in the second set. Both reached the seven-kill mark by the end of the second with Scheer hitting a team-high .462. The Eureka, Missouri was one of two Tigers to hit north of .400 with Harmon close behind at an even .400 entering the third.
Head coach Brent Crouch's crew also cranked up the serving effort in the second stanza. Cassidy Tanton and Jackie Barrett each added aces, allowing Auburn to run off three and four-point streaks while the two were serving.
Barrett, the junior from Highland, California was doing just about everything on Sunday. The setter claimed two aces through the first two sets along with three blocks and finished with her first double-double of the season (28 assists, 10 digs).
Defensively, the Tigers were equal parts strong at the net and in the back row. The combination of Kemp and Harmon leading the charge in the front with Morton, Fallan Lanham and Zoe Slaughter in the back held North Florida to just .030 hitting in the second set and gave the Orange and Blue a commanding two-set lead.
Anderson impressively found another gear to begin the third set. Quickly piling up seven kills, the freshman suddenly had a match-high 14.
Meanwhile, the Osprey's had no intention of returning to the Sunshine State after getting swept. A mini-run at the service line gave UNF a three-point lead at the midway point.
A well-timed timeout in the third from Crouch reset the focus on blocking and the Tigers put the pedal to the metal. Back-to-back blocks from Kemp tied up the set and Auburn never looked back. When the dust settled, both Scheer and Anderson reached the double-digit kills mark with 15 and 12 apiece, while 9.0 team blocks led to the defensive holding the Ospreys to just .073 for the match.
The 3-0 sweep made it the team's fourth of the season and kept its perfect start (8-0) rolling.
- Auburn is now 8-0 on the season, matching the 2012 Tigers and one win from matching the program's best start (9-0, in 1990).
- Sunday marks Auburn's fourth sweep of the season, the 13th since Crouch as been on the Plains and the 48th of his career.
- The Tigers held their opponent to below .100 hitting percentage for the third time this season.
- Jackie Barrett (28 assists, 10 digs) recorded her first double-double of the season.
- Sarah Morton reached the double-digit dig mark for the fifth straight match and the seventh time in her career with 16 digs.
- Akasha Anderson (15 kills) has reached double-digit kills in three straight matches.
- Madison Scheer (12 kills) has reach double-digit kills in three straight match Cassidy Tanton's two aces match her career-best.
"I thought this was a pretty good serving team and they put quite a bit of pressure on us from the line. Our high-ball hitters on the left really helped us out when we were out of system. Madison [Scheer] and Akasha [Anderson] are physical and they're handling the situations that we need to clean up. That was a big part of the win today.
"The other piece we preach all the time is defense, defense, defense. We held them under .100 hitting efficiency for the match and that's what we want. We talked about it during the middle of the third set. We were down 16-13 at the time and we just showed them their hitting efficiency. They responded just like they did yesterday. When they are able to make adjustments on the fly and respond to what we're talking about bodes really well for the future."