TUSCALOOSA Ala. – After a tough 0-2 start to the Flo Hyman Cup in Houston, the Tide rebounded in their final match of the weekend with a four-set win against Central Arkansas (25-17, 16-25, 25-17, 25-21).
Alabama had an excellent match offensively, with three players breaking double digit kills, led by freshman OH Micah Gryniewicz. Notably, sophomore MH Laila Smith had her season debut in place of senior MH Chaise Campbell. Smith had an excellent hitting percentage of .571, collecting 9 kills.
The Tide had a great start to the match, totaling 17 kills as a team, along with 10 team block assists. They went on to win set 1 25-17.
Set 2 was significantly shakier in terms of offensive efficiency. The Tide still managed to rack up 12 team kills, but also had 10 attacking errors. The Central Arkansas Bears showed poise at the net, blocking several attacks. Alabama would lose set 2 16-25.
An early 8-point service run from 5th year senior OH Abby Marjama allowed the Tide to shoot ahead to a 14-2 lead. They never looked back, finishing off the set 25-17.
The 4th set saw the most effective offense of the match, with a stunning 18 team kills. The Bears battled hard, but the Alabama attacks were just too much for them as the Tide capped off the match with a 25-21 set 4 win, improving their record to 4-2.
Although the Tide won the match, Coach Reed’s strategy of aggressive serving continues to cost the team points. The Tide amassed 18 service errors, while the Bears only had 2. The weekend has left the Alabama coaching staff with much to learn from, as they look ahead to the Ball State Tournament next week.