Sept. 1, 2009
TUSCALOOSA, Ala. - The volleyball team defeated Alabama A&M 3-0 in its home opener Monday night in the CAVE. The win moves the Crimson Tide to 1-3 for the season, while the Bulldogs fall to 0-4 overall.
"I think anytime your team works hard enough to earn a victory, it is a very good thing for your team," said head coach Judy Green "It's healthy mentally and physically. What was very fun tonight was the fact that every player got the chance to contribute to that victory. We got some of our younger players more experience, and we're going to need that as we go down the road. I was very pleased with the consistency of our offensive performance this evening."
Junior Calli Johnson anchored the Alabama's offense with 12 kills on 17 attempts, good for a .647 hitting percentage. Sophomore Ashley Frazier also stepped up for the Tide with 10 kills, nine digs and two blocks. Junior Alyssa Meuth was big at the net for Alabama, getting her hand on four blocks. Sophomore Stephanie Riley and junior Kayla Schmidt both helped distribute the ball for the Tide with Riley dishing out 22 assists and Schmidt collecting 14.
The Bulldogs got on the board first scoring the first four points of the set before the Tide got its first point with a Meuth kill. Alabama rattled off three straight kills to go up 8-6 and never looked back. The Tide scored five straight points to lead 19-11. Johnson then connected off a Riley assist to put Alabama on top 21-12. A service ace by senior Jennifer Webber ended the set at 25-17.
Frazier scored the first two points for the Tide in the second set with a kill and a service ace. Freshman Kayla Fitterer produced a service ace of her own to put Alabama on top 6-4 moments later. Senior Elizabeth Salstrand dropped a timely kill to tie the set at 8-8. Alabama was able to put together a pair of mini scoring runs to take an 18-12 advantage. Back-to-back kills by Schmidt and Meuth ended the set at 25-15.
The Bulldogs scored first in the third, but it would be the only time they led in the set. Meuth and Johnson teamed up to score the next three points, and a Salstrand kill gave the Tide the lead 9-4. Frazier produced a service ace, one of Alabama's five, to make it 21-16. A Fitterer kill gave Alabama the set 25-19 and the 3-0 win.
Alabama returns to action this weekend when it hosts the Bama Bash. Alabama faces off against SMU at 7:00 p.m. on Friday before taking on Jacksonville State and McNeese State on Saturday at Noon and 5:00 p.m., respectively.
"We have to get better before we play Friday night against SMU," added Green. "For some reason we are still struggling to pass the ball, but our players are coming in early and working very hard to correct that. Part of getting better is correcting your mistakes, so we just need to watch some film with them and tell them what their movements look like and get back out there and work on it tomorrow."