By (Ben Boynton)

The Alabama volleyball team earned a four-set road victory over Georgia on Friday night behind a huge offensive performance from redshirt senior middle blocker Krystal Rivers, who tied a career high with 38 kills to pace the way for the Crimson Tide.

Alabama earned an early 3-2 lead during its first set and held the lead for the majority of the first half of the set. Georgia tied the set at 14 and took a 19-16 lead that forced an Alabama timeout. After the timeout, the Crimson Tide rallied to take a 24-23 lead. Neither team earned any separation until Alabama finally pulled out the set win, 32-30.

In the second set, Alabama was able to gain some distance from a 10-9 score six straight points to make it 16-9. Georgia was unable to close the gap, and the Crimson Tide took the set, 25-15, to go up 2-0 in the match.

The Bulldogs came out fast in the third set, taking an early 7-2 lead. Alabama rallied to make it 7-6, but from there, Georgia maintained control. The Bulldogs took the third set, 25-21, to avoid a sweep and send the match to a fourth set.

Georgia continued its play from the third set with an early 6-3 lead in the fourth set before Alabama scored six straight points for the 9-6 lead. Alabama stretched it to 19-12 by Georgia’s second timeout, and soon after held a 24-20 match point. The Bulldogs were able to score five-straight points to earn their own set point before an Alabama challenge on the next play made it a 25-25 tie. Much like the first set, the two teams swapped scoring until Alabama was able to come away with a 30-28 set win to close out the match in its favor, 3-1.

Rivers got her 38 kills on a .485 hitting percentage to lead the offense. Redshirt freshman setter Shannon Mikesky had a season-high six blocks, and junior middle blocker Abolanle Onipede’s four blocks were a season high for her as well. Senior outside hitter Brittany Thomas nearly had a double-double, posting eight kills and 11 digs.

The Crimson Tide is now 13-3 on the season and 2-1 in the SEC. The Crimson Tide travels to Mississippi State on Sunday at 3 p.m. to wrap up the weekend. That match will be on the SEC Network.

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Source:: The Crimson White Sports