Tennessee (8-6, 1-4 SEC) lost to Auburn 3-2 on Wednesday night at Thompson-Boling Arena. Prior to the match, the Vols were undefeated at home.
The first set created the tone for the whole match, as both teams were evenly matched and remained close until the end of the set. Sophomore Tessa Grubbs had a crucial kill to save Auburn’s (11-3, 4-1 SEC) set point to keep the score close at 24-22 in the set. The Tigers Anna Stevenson eventually had a kill in the next point to win the first set for Auburn.
In the second set, Tennessee would win 25-19 to even the match at 1-1. The Vols held the lead and only allowed the Tigers to tie the score once in the set. Tennessee finished the second set with 13 kills and three team blocks. Auburn would then go on to take the third set 25-18. The Tigers were strong offensively, ending the set with 14 kills.
Tennessee showed grit to win a fourth set that featured 16 ties and seven lead changes. After continuous back-and-forth action, the Tigers held match point at 24-23. Redshirt sophomore Breana Jeter had a crucial kill to tie the scoreline. Auburn then had another match point at 25-24 in the set, but Jeter once again came up with another kill to stay in the match. The Vols would win the fourth set 27-25, forcing the match into a decisive fifth set.
Auburn took the fifth set 15-11. The Tigers remained dominant until the end with 12 kills in the final set to steal the win on the road.
Despite the loss, the Vols displayed a strong offensive showing with junior Erica Treiber and Grubbs combining for 30 kills on 92 attacks. However, the Vols 22 errors held them back throughout the match.
Tennessee will look to pick up its second conference win as they host Alabama on Sunday afternoon inside Thompson-Boling Arena. The match will air at 1:30 p.m. ET on SEC Network+.
Edited by Ben McKee
Feature image courtesy of UT Sports