AUBURN, Ala. - A nearly perfect third set, 20 kills from Akasha Anderson, a seventh double-double for Jackie Barrett and 500 career kills from Madison Scheer was just what No. 24 Auburn needed to get back into the win column, besting Ole Miss 3-1 (21-25, 25-21, 25-10, 27-25) to improve to 11-2 on the season.
After taking the No. 3 team in the nation to extra points in the fifth, head coach Brent Crouch needed a bounce-back in several ways. His team delivered.
It took the Tigers a little bit of time to get into the match, though. In the opening set, the Rebels collected just one block but nine errors from the Orange and Blue put Auburn in a hole that was tough to climb out of.
Even though Anderson swung for four kills, and she and Paige Thibault dialed up an ace apiece, Ole Miss scampered out to a four-point lead and never looked back. For the third time in 2023, the Tigers would have to come from behind.
Jackie Barrett and the Auburn offense started to turn up the heat in set No. 2. Scheer was brilliant, putting down five kills on seven swings with zero errors. Her third kill of the afternoon meant a little more, though. Totaling 500 career kills in just one and a half seasons, Scheer became the second Tiger to accomplish the feat this season after Akasha Anderson did so earlier in 2023.
Barrett, meanwhile, came up with six of her season-high 17 digs in the second. She'd finish with 42 assists as well for her seventh double-double of the year.
Sarah Morton led the way in the back row with a team-high 20 digs. Paige Thibault would also record a season-best with 11 as the Tigers ran down 74 total team digs, the second-highest total this season.
Auburn's block rose to the occasion as well. Bella Bell and Chelsey Harmon were a tag team that was virtually unstoppable. The two combined for four of the Tigers' five blocks in the set as the home side tied up the match.
There's no such thing as a perfect set but Auburn came incredibly close in the third. As a team, the Orange and Blue piled up 15 kills on 21 swings with no errors for an astronomical hitting percentage of .714.
Fans won't forget the serving run Bel Zimmerman went on either.
Leading 14-8 in midway through, Zimmerman nearly shut out the Rebels. With three aces and forcing Ole Miss out of system at every turn, the Liberty, Missouri native sparked a 10-0 run that helped Auburn close out the set and head into the fourth with the lead.
Ole Miss led by three at the halfway point in the fourth. Following a Crouch timeout, a block from Harmon and Barrett put the Tigers right back in the fray.
Leaning on Anderson, the sophomore dialed up seven huge kills to keep pace with the Rebels as the set drifted into extra points.
One final error from the away side solidified Auburn's first conference win of the season, 3-1.
- The Tigers are 3-0 this season when dropping the first set
- Auburn compiled 11 team blocks, marking the sixth time the Tigers have hit double-digits this season
- Madison Scheer (12 kills) reached double-digits for the ninth time this year
- Sarah Morton reached 20 digs for the second time in 2023
- Akasha Anderson reached 20 kills for the second time this year
- Bella Bell's seven blocks were a season-high
- Jackie Barrett (42 assists, 17 digs) notched her team-leading seventh double-double of the season. Her 17 digs were also a season-high for the senior.
- Paige Thibault's 11 digs were a season-high
- Chelsey Harmon's seven blocks marked a season-high
It's a quick turnaround for the Tigers. Auburn heads to Fayetteville for a matchup with Arkansas on Friday, Sept. 27 at 7 p.m. CT. The Orange and Blue return to Neville Arena on Sunday, Oct. 1 at Noon for a date with Georgia.