Auburn Volleyball ends regular season with critical series against Arkansas

AUBURN, Alaska – Auburn Volleyball returns to the Plains with two crucial games against Arkansas on deck. The Weekend Series kicks off Friday, November 25 at 2PM CT, while Saturday’s game is scheduled for 7PM CT. Entrance to Neville Arena is always free.

Freshman middle blocker Kendall Kemp continues to extend its already record-breaking season in Orange and Blue. After setting the single-season block record, Kemp conjured her first double-double of her career against South Carolina with a career-best 12 kills and 10 blocks. It was the third time this season that the Eagan, Minnesota native has piled at least 10 blocks.

Kemp wasn’t the only Tiger to see double on Wednesday. Both Jackie Barrett and Akash Anderson also finished with double-doubles against the Gamecocks. For Barrett (47 assists, 10 digs) it was her ninth of the season as team leader. Her seven blocks in the game also tied her season high. Anderson (12 kills, 10 digs), on the other hand, grabbed her seventh double-double of her young career.

Auburn’s blocking power begins to take shape towards the end of the season. With a total of 269 blocks, this version of the Orange and Blue ranks 10th all-time in program history. The total is also the second highest in the Southeastern Conference and No. 50 in the nation. The effort was led by Kemp, whose 154 total blocks are also second in the SEC and No. 12 in the nation.

The Tigers return to the Neville Arena for the last two games of the regular season, where they have enjoyed numerous successes in 2022. This year Auburn is 8-1 on the Plains. Under head coach Brent CrouchMaroon is 19-12 and 68-57 always.

In his seventh year at the helm of the Arkansas program, head coach Jason Watson brings a razor team to Auburn that is 18-8 with an SEC record of 9-7. Watson’s team has big wins over Washington, Georgia Tech and two sweeps over Tennessee.

The Arkansas offense is led by senior outside hitting Jillian Gillen. Gillen is in the top-100 in the country in both kills per set (3.68) and points per set (4.30).

Defensively, the Razorbacks rely on former Tiger Tatum Shipes. Shipes is third in the SEC in total blocking behind freshman Auburn Kendall Kemp and is second in blocks per set at 1.47.

As a team, Arkansas’s 2.56 blocks per set are fourth in the conference and number 31 in the nation. The Razorbacks are also second in the SEC and No. 39 in the nation in assists per set with 12.76.

Auburn has a 12-39 record against Arkansas with an 8-16 on the Plains. The Tigers last defeated the Razorbacks in a landslide fashion in 2018.

Crouch and the Tigers await their post-season fate. The NCAA selection show is scheduled for November 28 at 6:30 PM CT.

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