AUBURN, Ala. (EETV) - Auburn traveled to Oxford, Mississippi, to take on the Ole Miss Rebels in what would be yet another dominant performance. The Tigers won 3-1 (27-25, 15-25, 25-15, 25-23) behind a dominant 15 kills from Madison Sheer.
"Huge win. Ole Miss is a really solid team. This is a tough place to play. They're playing really loose right now, with a lot of confidence," Auburn head coach Brett Crouch said. "I think it was just a great win when it really matters right now, with four matches left. I thought they played really good defense, especially in the first two sets."
After winning the first set in extra points, the Tigers would have a less-than-ideal second set. Ole Miss would put together five straight points off kills and Auburn errors that would see them go on to secure the set with ease.
"I challenged our team to come out and play with some more intensity on the defensive side of the ball, and that happened in the third set when we won, 25-15," Crouch said. "I thought they brought their level up in the fourth, and I don't think we played any worse. They just played better. You have to make plays, and we made plays at the end of the game."
Sarah Morton would make her presence known with a team-high 12 digs to spark a rally for Auburn during the third set. The freshman from Muster, Indiana, has reached double-digit digs in 22 matches this season.
Despite having a quiet night compared to others with only six kills, freshman Akasha Anderson was a cornerstone for the Tigers on defense. Anderson put together an 11-dig game, only second on the team to Morton.
Kendal Kemp had a record-breaking night. Kemp blocked anything and everything that came near her, finishing the night off with a game-high nine blocks. The freshman holds the record for most blocks in a single season with 109.
"Just a special player and a special blocker. I want to celebrate this moment with her, but I also know that she can break her own record next year. There's so much room for her to grow in that area," said Crouch. "It sounds crazy to say, but it's true. I'm really proud of her, and it was cool to see her and the team celebrating it when we told her the news."
It was very much back and forth in the final set. With Ole Miss trying to stay alive and Auburn trying to go home, neither side was going to back down. The two sides were both hitting above .350 halfway through. However, it would be none other than Madison Sheer to put the game to bed, as she would partner up with Bel Zimmerman to secure the final two kills of the match.
Sheer would lead the way for Auburn with 15 kills off .371% hitting against the Rebels. The freshman is hitting her stride as she has hit double-digit kills in three straight matches.
Auburn will attempt to extend their win streak to four matches in 12 days' time against South Carolina. The Tigers will travel to Columbia before returning that Friday to Neville Arena for the final series of the season against Arkansas.