MONTGOMERY, Ala. | Alabama State finished off its first home weekend with an exciting 3-2 win over Southeastern Conference opponent Auburn in the Dunn-Oliver Acadome on Sunday afternoon.
HOW IT HAPPENED
- In their second match of the weekend, Alabama State started strong in the opening set, gaining an early 11-5 lead over Auburn and forcing a timeout.
- After the break, the Tigers battled back to get within two points at 13-11, forcing a Hornet timeout.
- Alabama State responded with another run, forcing another Tiger timeout after going up 18-13 after two kills from Jada Rhodes (Tallahassee, Fla.) and blocks from Kalysia Bates (Phenix City, Ala.) and Lauren Hughes (Lancaster, Texas).
- Out of the second break, the Hornets continued to control the set and finished with the win in the opening set 25-20.
- The second set was all Auburn, as the Tigers stormed out to an early lead, forcing a timeout from Alabama State with the score at 9-5.
- Auburn remained in control however, finding themselves up 19-13 heading into another timeout and finished on a six-point run to take the set 25-13.
- The third set closed in a similar fashion, with Auburn controlling most of the set, including forcing two timeouts again from the Hornets, and taking the third set 25-15.
- Alabama State responded in the fourth, taking a 5-1 lead early, however the Tigers tied the ball game at 12-12 and later at 16-16.
- The two teams battled for the remainder of the set, trading scores, and finding the game tied for a final time at 24-24, before an attack error from Auburn and a kill from Alexis Ratliff (Atlanta, Ga.).
- In the fifth and final set, the teams tied on 12 occasions and had four lead changes, with Alabama State taking the first lead of the frame.
- With the game tied 11-11, Alabama State called a timeout to regain momentum, and took a 15-14 lead after an Auburn attack error and won the game on another kill from Ratliff that was assisted by senior McKenzie Boland (Stockbridge, Ga.) to complete the upset.
- Rhodes led the Hornets offensively with a career-high 21 kills, her fifth consecutive double-digit kill game to go along with eight digs, an ace, and a block.
- Junior Emersen Belles (Gilbert, Ariz.) recorded a team-high 14 digs on the night, and chipped in four assists and two aces, while sophomore A’Nylah Cobb (Tallahassee, Fla.) had a good defensive effort, logging 11 digs and three kills.
- Juniors Kalysia Bates and Alexis Ratliff also put forth good efforts with Bates finishing with 11 kills and two blocks, while Ratliff finished with eight kills and four digs, including the game-winning kill to take the match.
Alabama State (3-12) will return to the court next week as they host Mississippi Valley State on Sunday, October 3. First serve is scheduled for 4 pm.
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