Sept. 1, 2012
ELON, N.C. -
The Alabama volleyball team won all three matches in the Elon Phoenix Classic, following a 3-0 (25-15, 25-18, 25-17) win over Elon in the final game of the tournament and return as the tournament champions. With the straight sets win over the Phoenix, the Crimson Tide has now won the last 15 sets they have played and have now won five matches in a row to improve to 6-1 on the season. Elon falls to 3-4 on the year.
"This was a solid offensive performance for us once again and its two matches in a row that our numbers were indicative of the talent that we have," head coach Ed Allen said. "We're pleased with the pin players and what they did, hitting with a lot of consistency. The workload was spread out, as three players were close together in the number of kills."
For the fourth straight match Alabama posted a hitting percentage over .300, this time posting a .314 hitting mark against Elon. The Tide finished the match with 48 kills and 16 errors on 102 attempts as three players reached double figures in kills. Kayla Fitter led the way with 15 kills, as she played her first full match since playing the entire match against Northeastern, the second match of the year.
"Kayla gives us a lot of stability emotionally when she's on the floor," Allen said. "Her ball control really helps us a lot as she's able to take a lot of the load and not stretch our DSs. She always hits for a high percentage and keeps the ball alive which allows us to continue rallies."
Elon Phoenix Classic All-Tournament Team selection Pricilla Duke-Ezeji capped her tournament with her best hitting percentage of the season, as she hit .476 with 14 kills and four errors on 21 swings on Saturday night. She finished the tournament with a .391 hitting percentage with a team-high 39 kills while adding seven total blocks.
Elon Phoenix Classic Most Valuable player, Andrea McQuaid had 11 kills on 21 swings with one error for a .429 hitting mark, while adding nine dig and two assists. McQuaid finished the tournament with a .410 hitting percentage, recording 30 kills on 61 swings with five errors.
Sierra Wilson, who was also selected to the all-tournament team, continues to lead the UA offensive attack as the freshman setter had 37 assist with four kills and five digs. Wilson finished the tournament with 106 assists to average 11.78 per set. She also added 20 digs, six aces, five kills, and four blocks.
"I thought it was a good defensive effort and dug the ball well and were positioned where we needed to be defensively," Allen said. "It could have been a better blocking night for us and were looking for more offense from our middles. We served well and scored at a high rate, against clearly the second best team in the tournament and maybe the best team we've played so far this season."
From the back row, Alabama collected 51 digs as a team and Cristina Arenas and Yukie Futami had 12 kills each.
In the first, the score was tied at 12-12 before Alabama went on a 7-1 run to open a 20-13 lead and finished the set with a 13-3 run to post a 25-15 win in the first set.
The Tide trailed 16-13 in the second set before rallying for nine straight points to take a 22-16 lead with Futami serving. From there the teams would side out the next four points for a 25-18 UA win in set two.
Alabama held a 14-9 lead in the second set by Elon rallied to get within one point at 15-14 and 16-15. Leading by one, UA finished the set with a 9-2 run to post a 25-17 victory in the third for the Tide's fifth straight win and fourth by a 3-0 victory.
Alabama returns to action on Friday, Sept. 7 against Lamar at 11:30 a.m. on day one of the Hampton Inn Bama Bash from Foster Auditorium. Later that day, UA will play Austin Peay with first serve at 7 p.m. CT.
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