“You have to give credit to where credit is due,” MSU head coach Jenny Hazelwood said. “Auburn came out ready to play and we just didn’t have it today. Our passing broke down. Our hitting was off. We did not execute the we wanted to. With four straight home matches coming up, its time to clean this up and finish the season strong.”
The Bulldogs looked to be off to a good start after freshman Suzanne Horner notched an ace on the first serve of the match and followed it up by forcing Auburn out of system on the next. The Tigers would recover to take the second point and eventually pull ahead 8-3 to force an MSU timeout. State was out-blocked 4.0 to zero and dropped the first frame 25-17.
Auburn never gave the Bulldogs any momentum in the second set, again jumping out to an 8-3 lead to force Hazelwood into a timeout. The Tigers would go on to build a 16-6 advantage and never let up, clinching the second set 25-16.
MSU challenged Auburn early in the third set but it was not meant to be as the Tigers pulled away in the clincher to win 25-16.
Junior transfer Kelsey Stommes made her first-career start and SEC debut in the match. The Cold Spring, Minn., native posted three kills, three service aces and a dig. Freshman Kaitlyn Schoeppner also made her SEC debut in the second set and recorded a block.
MSU returns home Wednesday, Nov. 6, to face Ole Miss (11-12, 1-9) in the 80th meeting between the two schools. The match will be televised nationally on ESPNU and a multitude of promotional giveaways will take place. It will also mark the 200th match in the Newell-Grissom Building’s history.