By (Terrin Waack)

The Alabama volleyball team forced its way into five sets Saturday morning but fell 15-11, giving Southern Miss the 3-2 win.

On Friday, the first day of the Hampton Inn Bama Bash, Alabama split its matches. It first defeated Northwestern State, 3-0, and then fell to Tulsa, 3-2.

“As much as anything, we’re playing two teams at once right now – we’re playing us and our opponent,” coach Ed Allen said. “We’re making a lot of mistakes.”

After the loss, Allen said the only thing left to do before Alabama’s next match is to move forward and execute skills.

“We need to reduce errors,” he said. “We need to continue to grow as volleyball players and play together in [a way] that we put all our facets in our play together in the same set, in the same match.”

Alabama made errors in each category: attacking, serving, blocking and handling, and it’s not just Allen who recognized this issue. Sophomore outside hitter Kat Huston said the team worked hard, but there’s much more work to be done.

This was the second match of the weekend where Alabama forced its opponent into a fifth set. Instead of it being tiring on the body, Hutson said it’s a whole new adrenaline rush that needs to be taken advantage of right from the start. The teams are no longer playing to 25. Instead, they are playing to 15, so they need to fight for each and every point. Errors cannot be made as they were in today’s match.

“We have to come to terms and talk about what happened,” Hutson said. “Our whole thing is we have to execute it. We have to walk the walk to talk the talk.”

Hutson personally had a good match, one Allen Hutson called her best match of the year by far. She led the team with 23 kills.

“She showed up to go to work,” Allen said.

Hutson isn’t thinking about herself, though. She said although it may look good on the stat sheet, it wasn’t enough to help win the game for the team.

“Knowing that you did as much as you could to help, that’s a good feeling, but it is a team thing,” Huston said. “Losing as team by far surpasses however many kills I got. It stinks just as bad.”

Regardless of how many kills a player gets, it doesn’t matter. It’s a team effort, win or lose.

“I don’t just win and everybody else loses,” she said. “We do it together.”

Alabama will play again at 5 p.m. for its final match of Bama Bash against College of Charleston. Right now, Alabama is 1-2 in the tournament.

“We’re coming off of two losses and we’re pretty fired up about it,” Huston said. “So the next match, we’re going to work as hard as we can to not let anything like these last two matches happen again.”

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Source:: The Crimson White Sports