TUSCALOOSA, Ala. – a somewhat disappointing regular season, the Tide was able to end their final series on a positive note by splitting with the Tennessee Volunteers. The Tide won the first match in 4 (22-25, 25-21, 29-27, 25-23). And unfortunately, on senior night, the Tide dropped their final match of the season to the Volunteers in 3 (21-25, 18-25, 24-26). The Tide finished their season 10-20 (4-14), avoiding last place in the SEC, and instead capturing second to last.
Though the record may not display it, there were not many matches in which the Tide found themselves wholly outmatched. In fact, almost every lost felt more so an issue of finishing matches than of talent or coaching. Head coach Rashinda Reed has now completed the inaugural season in her reign as head coach and should have an easier time operating now that she has had a chance to implement a team culture and recruit players.
In terms of seniors graduated, major losses for the Tide include S Emily Janek, OH Abby Marjama, MH Alyiah Wells, and L Sydney Gholson. Sophomore S Brooke Slusser and junior L Vic Schmer already held starting roles early in the season, so there shouldn’t be significant issues in those positions. Sophomore MH Laila Smith should easily fill the role of Wells and join Campbell to continue the Tide’s dominant middle presence.
The most significant loss is 5th-year senior OH Abby Marjama, whose 75 aces on the season and consistent court leadership and experience will be sorely missed. However, freshman OH prospect Micah Gryniewicz looked dominant early in the season before suffering a knee injury that left her sidelined. She has already demonstrated leadership and an ability to put balls down. Though she won’t have the experience of Marjama, she will be a key weapon for the Tide next season.
The Tide will return in fall of 2023.