Amongst bellows of “one at a time,” and cheers by fans, the Alabama volleyball team battled to keep the lead in the fifth set. After fighting back to 15 all, a kill and an attack error decided Alabama’s second match in the Crimson-White Tournament in Foster Auditorium in Tuscaloosa.
After taking the first two sets of its Friday night match against Saint Louis, the Alabama volleyball team dropped three consecutive sets, and the match, 3-2. The team logged 34 errors, while Saint Louis recorded 17.0 blocks.
“Offensively, we’re not even close to the same team that we have been,” said coach Ed Allen. “We’re hitting considerably lower than we believe should be in our season average, and we’re still trying to get some players to return to the form that they were in last year.”
On the season, the Crimson Tide dropped to 3-6.
“We’ve been talking a lot about how this an opportunity to grow through adversity,” said setter Sierra Wilson. “The team has been successful for the past two years, so we don’t have a lot of people who truly know the adversity of building, so we’re suffering for that now. We really have to take it, use it to grow, and come back even harder in SEC play.”
Alabama opened the match in dominant fashion, taking the first set 25-19, hitting .444 to Saint Louis’ .235. Senior Brittany Thomas and junior Tabitha Brown led the team with four kills, Wilson led the team with four digs.
“At times, we weren’t able to start off with a quick tempo, our own tempo, and impose that on the other team consistently,” said setter Sierra Wilson. “As the match continued, it was harder and harder to compensate for that.”
The Crimson Tide hit .178 in the second set, outscoring Saint Louis 26-24 in a closer margin of error. The team then logged a negative hitting percentage in set number three, hitting -.053 to Saint Louis’ .158. Alabama dropped the last three sets with scores of 25-20, 25-21, and 17-15, after leading more than half of the final set.
Alabama returns to the court tomorrow, where it will face Virginia at 7 p.m. Allen said it is imperative that his team not let losses lessen their resolve, and that they continue to try to improve in each match.
“We’re going to approach the match with Virginia like we approach every match, and looking to get better in a couple of areas, hitting percentage being one of those, and unforced errors being another.”
Source:: The Crimson White Sports