Monday night the Gamecock volleyball team hosted Auburn at Pete Mathews Coliseum. Coach Joseph Goodson’s squad was finally getting to play at home after starting the season in two tournaments on the road.
JSU won the opening point and led 1-0, but the Tigers took the next four and went up 4-1. It would appear that the SEC squad would pull away but the Gamecocks, in front of a strong home crowd, never let the match get farther away than those three points.
A kill by Liza Pflugradt would pull JSU within one, 7-8.
However, JSU just couldn’t get over the hump and tie the match up to get serve with the chance to pull ahead. Auburn seemed ready to take the first set up 19-16, but one last push by Jax State led to a 3-1 run making it 20-19 and forcing the Tigers to use a timeout to regain their poise.
The plan worked as it threw the Gamecocks out of rhythm that led to three consecutive JSU errors, allowing Auburn to take the set 25-19.
For a first set that may have been surprisingly close to some, set two was even better. JSU fell behind 3-1 early, but then tied the set at 3,4,7, and 8-8 before taking a 9-8 lead on an AU error. The set was tied at 17 when the visitors ran off 5 straight points to pull away 22-17.
Abbey Heredia ended the run with a kill that sparked a run for JSU pulling the game within one 22-21. Auburn had three kills to take the set and a 2-0 lead in the match.
After having been in position to take either of the sets from AU earlier, JSU just wasn’t as strong when the third and ultimately final set began. Auburn would win 25-9 sweeping the match 3-0 and improve to 7-1.
Senior Kelly Cole led the defense with 12 digs, followed closely by Samantha Bohne with 10. Emily Rutherford had 11 digs and Heredia led in assists with 15.
After the Gamecocks hit the road for another two tournaments, they’ll return home on Sept. 27 to open OVC action against Austin Peay.