Author: CW Sports Staff

Texas loss drives Alabama to players only meeting ahead of showdown with Oregon

By outreach@cw.ua.edu (Tyler Waldrep) Alabama freshman Braxton Key could feel the frustration of his teammates fill in the air during the plane ride home from the site of Alabama’s latest head-scratching defeat, Austin, Texas. When the players got back to the locker room they ended up airing their frustrations and taking blame for the mishaps that have the Crimson Tide 4-3. “We all just felt we hadn’t been playing to the best of our abilities night in and night out, even within practice,” Key said. “We just felt like as of late, we’ve been slacking.” Slacking is not something Alabama will be able to do against a No. 24 Oregon team that returns four starters and boasts a school-record 30-game winning streak at home. The Crimson Tide actually held a 12-point advantage heading into the break of last year’s loss to eventual NCAA No. 1 seed Oregon last season. That’s also the exact same lead the team had during the game against the Longhorns on Dec. 2. “I think every game is kind of a must win. Our first home game, our game against Dayton, all of them our like that,” coach Avery Johnson said. “…But at the same time there is no panic, we’re seven games into the season.” Despite the challenge ahead and the chance for revenge, the players and Johnson emphasized focus on internal problems that...

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Alabama's Seawell to be inducted into hall of fame

By outreach@cw.ua.edu (Lucas Nunn) When you hear the words “Hall of Fame Coach” before someone’s name, one immediately connects it with greatness. At the University of Alabama, a place with so much success in athletics over the years, certain names stick out as typical hall-of-fame coaches. Coaches Nick Saban and Sarah Patterson carved their names into Alabama history with success in their coaching careers. On Dec. 12, Alabama men’s golf head coach Jay Seawell will be inducted into the Golf Coaches Association of America (GCAA) Hall of Fame. Seawell’s name may not immediately comet to mind when thinking about historic Alabama coaches, but he has enjoyed success over his career. He said he was not expecting such an honor. “You don’t ever think about being a hall of fame person or coach,” Seawell said. Seawell has spent half of his life coaching the game of golf. His 25-year career had two stops before he took the job of head coach at Alabama in 2002. His time at UA has been by far the most successful of his career, leading the Crimson Tide to back-to-back national championships in 2013 and 2014, as well as a second place finish in 2012. Some coaches are in the business for the fame and the trophies, but many great coaches are driven by something bigger than just winning games or tournaments. Coach Seawell coaches...

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A silent killer: Rivers overcomes adversity to set Alabama records

By outreach@cw.ua.edu (Ben Boyton) Redshirt senior Krystal Rivers stepped off of the court on Nov. 26 for the final time as a member of the Alabama Crimson Tide. She ended her career with more points (2,506) and more kills (2,148) than any other player in program history. She earned SEC Offensive Player of the Week honors five times as a senior and eight times in her career- both Alabama records. This year, she became the first player in SEC history to earn both Volleyball Player of the Year and Scholar-Athlete of the Year in the same season. With all that she’s accomplished, it’s easy to forget just how far Rivers has come in her career. Rivers was a walk-on when she joined the program in 2012. The most decorated player in Alabama history had to fight her way onto the team and earn a scholarship. Now, as a record-setting player, Rivers said she still marvels at how far she has come since then. “I remember thinking that I wasn’t good enough to play in college,” Rivers said. “We’d do this game called Playground and we’d build our teams and I wouldn’t get picked. It was a little bit discouraging, but I just look back on that time now and remember at some point it just kind of clicked that I was good enough…ever since then it’s just been a...

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Alabama hockey uses expanded recruiting as tool for success

By outreach@cw.ua.edu (Lucas Nunn) In Canada, hockey is king of all sports. Some would even go as far as calling it a religion. Hockey in Canada mirrors football in the South. Alabama club hockey coach John Bierchen is aware of the hockey culture in the North, and has recruited players from there. This season, two of the Canadians on the team, Jeremy Hannah and Taylor Joseph, have already made a tremendous impact on the team. The duo of forwards is leading the team in goals this season, and Joseph has a point (goal or assist) streak lasting 12 games. It is not just their nationality that makes them good hockey players. Most Canadians who aspire to play hockey at the college level also play junior-professional hockey, or “juniors” for short, right out of high school to help them prepare for the next level. “I think we, as Canadians, bring a different feel to the team,” Joseph said. “We all played juniors in different places and that experience helps.” There are some downsides to playing juniors. A player may not be in school during that time and live far away from home. The real-world experience provides an opportunity to develop not only as people, but as athletes. “It gave me a chance to mature and still play the game and have fun,” Hannah said. “The juniors coaches also mentor you...

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Alabama defeats Kansas in first big test of the season

By outreach@cw.ua.edu (Cody Estremera) Junior Hannah Cook caught the ball with four seconds left in the game. She stepped back to NBA three-point range and drilled the shot tying the game at 56. For Cook, this was only her second shot to hit the bottom of the net. Her first was the first made shot of the game. “I just want to thank my teammates for believing in me,” Cook said. “I started to get down on myself because I was not shooting the ball well. They just kept saying ‘we’re feeling you, you’re going to make the next one.’ Meo [Knight] got me the ball and I hit the shot. It was a great feeling.” Kansas was by far the biggest test for the Crimson Tide all year. Today was the first time Alabama was trailing entering into the fourth quarter. Kansas took Alabama into overtime, but fell by six points- 36 points less than the teams average victory margin. “This is a good experience for us, one that was much needed,” said head coach Kristy Curry. “I think anytime you play another Power 5 opponent you have a chance to get a quality win on your resume, which is important. I knew Kansas was experienced in this scenario [overtime] since this was their third game. I really liked how our team handled the situation.” Alabama was held...

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