Aug. 31, 2012
ELON, N.C. – The Alabama volleyball team posted a 3-0 (25-13, 30-28, 25-16) victory over the North Carolina Central Eagles in the Elon Phoenix Classic on Friday night. Leading the way for the Crimson Tide was Pricilla Duke-Ezeji with 12 kills and Andrea McQuaid added 11. With the victory, Alabama improves to 4-1 on the season, while the Eagles fall to 1-5 overall.
"This clearly was a better offensive performance for us tonight as it was one of the highest percentages we’ve hit for this season,” second-year head coach Ed Allen said. “It was a better night in terms of consistency from Pricilla, and McQuaid continues to be one of our top kill leaders and is our top hitting percentage leader.”
Alabama put together a .320 hitting night, as it posted 34 kills on 75 attempts with 10 errors. McQuaid led the Tide with a .429 average, as she went over the .400 mark for the fourth straight match. McQuaid had just two errors on 21 swings and reached the 10-kill mark for the third time this season.
Duke-Ezeji also reached the 10-kill mark for the third time this season as she recorded a match-high 12 kills on 24 attempts. With just four errors, Duke-Ezeji finished the night with a .364 hitting mark, her highest of the season. Sierra Wilson chipped in with 30 assists, while adding six digs, four aces, one kill and one block.
Defensively, Alabama had 39 digs in the match as Yukie Futami and Cristina Arenas tied for match-high honors with nine each.
“We did not have a good night in terms of ball control from serve and receive and it wasn’t a good defensive night either,” Allen said. “I thought we blocked better, but didn’t make our reads as well as were capable of and were still working to cover the floor sufficiently.”
In the opening set, the score was tied at 5-5 before Alabama went on a 9-2 run to open a 14-7 lead. From there, UA cruised to a 25-13 first set victory. Alabama finished the first set with 10 kills on 16 attempts and did not commit an attack error to post a .625 hitting percentage.
In the second set, Alabama had a 17-13 lead but gave up five straight points to trail 18-17 following a set error by Wilson. The Tide recovered to take a 22-20 lead and was serving for the set at 24-23. The teams would side out the next five points, before a Duke-Ezeji error gave the Eagles set point at 27-26. From there, the Tide scored four of the final five points to pull out a 30-28 victory in the second set and open a 2-0 lead in the match.
In the third, UA had a comfortable 13-5 lead before giving up four straight points to allow the Eagles to get within four at 13-9. After an Eagles serving error, Wilson served eight straight times, including three straight aces, as Alabama opened a 21-9 advantage. NCCU scored four straight points to get within eight (22-14), before the Tide closed out the match with a 25-16 third set victory.
Alabama returns to action on Saturday with matches against Gardner-Webb and Elon at 9 a.m. CT and 6 p.m. CT, respectively. There will be a live audio broadcast for all three matches available for free through TIDETV on RollTide.com.
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