TUSCALOOSA, Ala. – Alabama traveled to Houston for the Flo Hyman Collegiate Cup after an impressive 3-0 start to their season. Coach Reed made it clear that her mindset was to serve aggressively, because “…what’s going to happen is you’re going to have an amazing serve receive team that’s going to put nice balls up, and it’s going to be very hard to defend.”
That strategy was put to the test this afternoon, as the Tide hit more efficiently and blocked better than the Oregon State Beavers, yet still fell short in a heartbreaking 5 setter (22-25, 18-25, 25-20, 25-18, 7-15). That said, Oregon State had 7 service aces and only 1 service error, while the Tide had 6 service aces and a whopping 21 service errors.
Alabama struggled to find its rhythm offensively in the 1st set, collecting 10 kills and 9 attack errors on 34 attempts, leading to a hard fought 22-25 loss.
Things began to improve in the 2nd set, with 15 Alabama kills and 9 attacking errors, but the Tide again came up short with a 18-25 loss.
Senior MH Alyiah Wells had an incredible 3rd set performance, leading the team in block assists with 8, as the Tide staved off a sweep to win 25-20.
In set 4, things really started to click offensively, as the Tide had 20 kills and 4 attacking errors on 33 attempts, for an astonishing team hitting % of .485. Oregon State looked lost as Alabama won the comeback bid set 25-18 and forced a 5th set.
Disaster struck in set 5 as things were tied up 5-5 before Oregon State shot ahead to an 11-6 lead. The Beavers were all over the floor, digging 7 Alabama swings and killing 7 of their own as the Tide lost the set 7-15, and the match 2-3.
The Tide will face Houston later tonight, as they fall to 3-1 on the season.