TUSCALOOSA, Ala. – It was a strong start to the season for first year Head Coach Rashida Reed. The Tide went 2-0 in Day 1 of the Crimson Invitational, besting McNeese in 4 (25-19, 19-25, 25-15, 25-22), and UTSA in 3 (25-23, 27-25, 25-20).
McNeese began neck-in-neck with Alabama, before a beautiful back row attack from freshman OH Micah Gryniewicz put the Tide up 22-19 and forced a Cowgirls timeout, aiding a 4-0 run to win set 1.
A series of Cowgirl blocks against out-of-system attacks propelled McNeese to a set 2 win.
Alabama cruised through set 3 to a 25-15 win, largely aided by an 11-0 service run by OH Abby Marjama, which included 4 aces for the graduate student.
Aside from some timing issues between sophomore S Brooke Slusser and junior MH Chaise Campbell, the Tide were much more efficient offensively than the Cowgirls, which allowed them to win the 4th set and the match despite struggling to defend against setter dumps.
The sweep of UTSA in a very pro-Tide auditorium was hard fought, but the challenge was largely due to service errors. The Tide amassed 10 in set 1, and 7 in both sets 2 & 3.
When asked if she was concerned about the errors, Coach Reed asserted, “No. The whole mindset is I want them to be aggressive at the service line.”
Despite the serving troubles, the Tide were able to stave off Roadrunner comebacks and win three sets to none, with impressive attacking across the board. The offensive showcase was led by Gryniewicz, who totaled 26 kills on the day. Said Coach Reed, “She had an amazing game today but… it wasn’t just her.”
The Tide has a chance to prove they are the best of 4 teams present at Day 2 of the Crimson Invitational against Southern Miss, who also defeated McNeese and UTSA earlier today.