By (Ben Boynton)

The Alabama volleyball team wrapped up its trip to Puerto Rico to play in the Puerto Rico Clasico with a four set victory over the Temple Owls. The win puts the Crimson Tide at a record of 5-2.

The first set belonged to Alabama, as an 8-2 start forced the Owls to call a timeout. Temple got the lead down to two points, but Alabama had a 19-14 lead at Temple’s last timeout and would run away with it, winning the set 25-15.

The second set was a lot closer, featuring 11 ties and four lead changes. The Crimson Tide took an early 4-11 lead, but the two teams would swap it back and forth from that point on until Alabama called a timeout with Temple leading, 19-17.

Temple kept the lead, though, taking the set 25-22 to even up the match, 1-1.

A 6-6 tie in the third set became an 8-6 lead for Alabama after back-to-back attack errors from Temple. The two teams once again traded leads before Temple had a 19-16 lead. From there, Alabama went on a 9-2 run to win the set, 25-21, and regain the an advantage in the match.

With their backs against the wall, the Owls came out in the fourth set and scored seven straight points before the Crimson Tide could even get on the board. Alabama rallied, though, closing it to a 12-10 Temple lead and timeout. A 7-1 run out of the break put the Crimson Tide up 17-13 and forced Temple to take a second timeout. The Owls got the score within one point at 23-22, but Alabama scored two points to take the set 25-22 and earn a 3-1 match victory.

Redshirt senior middle blocker Krystal Rivers led Alabama in kills with 24. She also earned her third double-double of the season by adding 13 digs. Senior outside hitter Brittany Thomas totaled 12 kills, and junior outside hitter Kat Hutson finished with 11. Redshirt freshman Shannon Mikesky had a game-high 49 assists for the Crimson Tide. Junior libero Natalie Murison had seven assists and led the Crimson Tide with 18 digs.

The Crimson Tide will be back in action next weekend, when it hosts the Hampton Inn Bama Bash at Foster Auditorium. Alabama will play Northwestern State Friday at 10 a.m. CT, followed by Southern Mississippi Friday night at 7 p.m. CT. The Crimson Tide closes out its weekend Saturday morning against Lehigh at 11 a.m. CT.

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Source:: The Crimson White Sports