By (Ehsan Kassim)

With SEC play looming, the Alabama volleyball team is starting to click at the right time. With a three-set sweep over Troy on Sunday to conclude the Crimson-White Tournament, the Crimson Tide extended its winning streak to eight matches.

Alabama came out and set the tone early against Troy, winning the first two sets 25-15 and 25-14. In the third set, Alabama fought off a late rally by Troy to try and extend the game. Ultimately, the Crimson Tide held on to win 25-22.

Alabama was determined to end the match there, instead of letting Troy hang around like it allowed Murray State to do on Saturday night.

“I think everyone was motivated in finishing this tournament strong,” said sophomore Ginger Perinar. “Everyone was focused on the goal of coming out today “3-0,” take this team and do what we know how to do.”

Perinar, along with senior Leah Lawrence and sophomore Hayley McSparin, led Alabama with eight kills a piece. Each of the three hit over .380, leading to a season-best .303 team hitting percentage.

McSparin won MVP honors while the trio all made the Crimson-White All-Tournament team.

Coach Ed Allen is loving he does not have to depend on one player, as was the case with graduated Krystal Rivers being the best player in years past.

“To have that kind of balance, it’s huge,” Allen said. “It creates a challenge for other teams, because they can’t focus on shutting down just one player.”

Allen believes Perinar had her best match of the season on Sunday. She has been working her work way back from a back injury that caused her to miss three weeks of practice and the first weekend of matches.

“She’s really starting to play herself back into the position that we expected she could,” Allen said. “It’s going to be exciting to continue see her growth over the next couple of week. We direly need her to be a factor. She hit over .400 today and I think she is capable doing that regularly.

Despite the eight game winning streak, Perinar does not believe the team has not peaked yet.

“I think we have had really high peaks, but we’re definitely not at our full potential,” Perinar said. “People are still healing and getting their best they can do, so as soon as we do that, we can reach our peak and hopefully take it far this year.”

Perinar noted she is not quite back to 100 percent yet. She is still working on rehab before and after practice to get there though.

Alabama will return to the court next week, as it heads to Athens, Ga. to take on Georgia. It will be the first SEC match on the season.

“I am very excited to start SEC play,” Perinar said. “I think it’s going to be very different to what we have been seeing. It’s going to be very competitive and Georgia’s going to give us a big show. It’ll be fun.”

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Source:: The Crimson White Sports