By (Terrin Waack)

Alabama faced a different team Saturday night, but reread the same story from earlier that same day.

The Crimson Tide won its first set against College of Charleston, 25-19. It fell in the second two sets, 25-23 in both sets. Then, a sense of déjà vu kicked in as Alabama rallied back to win the fourth set, 27-25, forcing both teams into another fifth set, Alabama’s second of the day.

The Crimson Tide did the same thing on Saturday morning against Southern Miss, and the ending was the same. In the fifth set against College of Charleston, Alabama fell 15-9, losing the overall match 3-2.

“Obviously, it was a tough loss,” sophomore Emily Stebbins said. “It shouldn’t have happened, but it did. I guess we just need to get back out there and do a better job next time.”

Alabama faced the same situation on Friday during the first day of the Bama Bash tournament in Tuscaloosa, winning first and fourth set against Tulsa, only to lose the match 3-2.

“We have a lot to learn from what happened,” sophomore Natalie Murison said. “With three games going to five sets, we really have to work on pushing and finishing those matches.”

Stebbins set a new career high for herself with 0.407 on 14 kills. She said she tried to execute her part of the job as thoroughly as she could. Although the team as a whole struggled with errors, Stebbin prevented it from getting to her and affecting her game.

“You just have to play with a certain level of confidence and a little big of swagger, honestly,” she said. “You have to know that they’re relying on me right now and they need somebody so you might as well be that somebody.”

Individually, many members of the team played well. Junior Brittany Thomas had 21 kills and 11 digs, leading the team in kills. Freshman Tabitha Brown also had a double-double with 14 kills and 19 digs.

But, regardless of how players did individually, the amount of errors made throughout the five sets added up and casted a shadow over individual successes.

“[It’s] just a level of confidence thing,” Murison said. “Don’t play like you’re going to make a mistake but I think this is a good learning experience.”

Going into practice this week, Murison and Stebbins both said the team needs to focus on correcting the types of errors that were made in its previous matches. With 12 serving errors against College of Charleston, the Crimson Tide simply didn’t do its job.

“You have to finish the job at the end of the day,” Stebbins said. “It’s what you’re here for.”

Coach Ed Allen declined to comment after the match.

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Source:: The Crimson White Sports