Sep 6, 2013
MIAMI, Fla. - In their second match of the FIU Classic, the Alabama volleyball team posted a 3-0 (25-14-25-21, 25-23) win over the Florida International Panthers on Friday afternoon from the U.S. Century Bank Arena. With the win, the Crimson Tide improves to 3-2 on the season, while the Panthers fall to 2-3.
Laura Steiner and Brittany Thomas led the Crimson Tide with 10 kills each and Krystal Rivers added nine kills and led the team with a .312 (9-4/16) hitting percentage. Sierra Wilson had 31 assists to go along with eight digs and Caitlin Bernardin paced the Tide with 10 digs.
As a team, UA posted a .214 hitting percentage while limiting the Panthers to a .109 hitting mark. Alabama held FIU's leading hitter Ksenia Sukhareva to four kills and a -.087 hitting percentage for the match. Sukhareva came into the match with a .260 hitting percentage while averaging 3.80 kills per set.
Alabama took the first set 25-14 behind six kills from Steiner. With the Tide leading 12-10, Alabama went on a 5-1 run to open a 17-11 lead, and then closed the set with an 8-3 run. Alabama held the Panthers to a .086 hitting percentage in the first set.
The Tide hit .257 in the second set, connecting on 13 kills with just four errors while holding the Panthers to a .100 hitting mark. With Alabama leading 22-20 late in the set, UA got kills by Andrea McQuaid and Rivers for set point, then after a service error by the Tide, FIU served into the net for set-point, giving the Tide a 25-21 win and a 2-0 lead in the match.
Alabama led 19-15 in the third set, but after a FIU timeout the Panthers won seven of the next nine points to take a 22-21 lead. After trading points, Alabama rallied for the final three points of the set thanks to a kill by Steiner and a pair of setting errors by the FIU, for a 25-23 set victory.
Alabama will return to the court at U.S. Century Bank Arena on Saturday when they take on the UNC Wilmington Seahawks at 11 a.m. CT. Alabama is 1-1 in the tournament after opening the event with a 3-0 loss to Houston Baptist on Friday morning.
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