By (Ben Boynton)

The Alabama volleyball team split its season series against Texas A&M by losing in four sets on the road in College Station, Texas, on Thursday night. Alabama had previously defeated the then-No. 19 Aggies in a five-set match in Tuscaloosa on Sep. 23. The loss is the fourth straight for the Crimson Tide and gives it a 15-10 record on the year, 4-8 in the SEC.

Alabama held the lead for the entire first half of the opening set, leading, 15-12, at the media timeout. The Aggies came out of the timeout with a 8-2 run to take the lead, 20-17, and force Alabama to call a timeout. Texas A&M took the first frame, 25-22, to get out to an early 1-0 lead.

In the second set, neither team could create any separation until Alabama rattled off five straight points to earn a 15-10 lead at the media timeout. The Crimson Tide later forced Texas A&M to call a timeout with the score, 20-14, in Alabama’s favor. The Aggies would call their second timeout down, 23-16, but Alabama won the set, 25-18, to tie the match, 1-1.

Texas A&M got off to a hot 7-3 start in the third set, but Alabama managed to tie the frame up at 11 and take a 13-11 lead. After an Aggie timeout, Alabama stretched its lead out to 19-14 to force the second Texas A&M timeout. Alabama appeared to have the set tied up with a 24-19 lead, but four straight points from the Aggies forced an Alabama timeout. The home team was able to pull off the unlikely comeback, taking the third set, 27-25, to retake the match lead.

The fourth set started very similarly to the third: Texas A&M built a 5-1 lead before Alabama tied it up at 10. The Crimson Tide held a brief 11-10 lead and was tied at 12 before Texas A&M scored four straight to take the 16-12 lead. After an Alabama timeout, the Aggies scored four more points before Alabama scored to make it 20-13. The Aggies led by as much as 10 before ultimately winning the set, 25-16, to earn the match victory.

Redshirt senior middle blocker Krystal Rivers had 25 kills and 10 digs for her eighth double-double of the year, five in the past seven matches. Her productive night moved her to just 71 kills short of Erin Heffner for the most kills in Alabama program history. Senior outside hitter Brittany Thomas also had a double-double, with 12 kills and 19 digs.

The Crimson Tide will host Arkansas Sunday at 1 p.m. in Foster Auditorium. Alabama previously defeated the Razorbacks in three sets on Oct. 21, the last time the Crimson Tide was victorious.

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Source:: The Crimson White Sports