Volleyball Holds on to Defeat UNC-Wilmington in Five Sets

Sep 7, 2013

MIAMI, Fla. - Laura Steiner and Krystal Rivers posted career-highs in kills to help the Alabama volleyball team post a five-set victory over the UNC-Wilmington Seahawks in the FIU Classic on Saturday afternoon from U.S. Century Bank Arena. With the 3-2 (25-21, 25-20, 22-25, 23-25, 15-13) victory, the Crimson Tide finished the FIU Classic with a 2-1 record and improved to 4-2 on the season. UNC-Wilmington suffered its first defeat of the season to drop to 4-1.

Steiner posted a match and career-high 24 kills, topping her previous career-high of 20 in a five set match against Kentucky on Nov. 9, 2012. Stenier, who had nine kills in the second set alone, had a .260 hitting percentage in the match.

Rivers finished the day with a career-best 21 kills and posted a .731 hitting percentage, making just two errors on 26 attempts. She also had two blocks, with one solo and one assisted. Sierra Wilson dished out 66 assists to establish a new career-high, topping her previous career-best of 64 in a five-set match against Missouri on Nov. 23, 2012.

Freshman outside hitter Brittany Thomas notched her second double-double with a season-high 15 kills to go along with a team-high 11 digs. Thomas also had a team-high three aces as well. Andrea McQuaid chipped in with nine kills and didn't commit a hitting error on 20 attempts, she also had 10 digs. Bernardin matched Thomas with a team-high 11 digs and Kryssi Daniels added 10 digs.

With Alabama trailing 21-20 in the first set, the Tide ran off five straight points with Wilson serving to take the opening set 25-21.  Wilson finished the first set with 16 assists to give her 1,456 assists in her career as she passed Kayla Schmidt for ninth all-time on the Alabama career assists list. With 66 assists in the match, Wilson now has 1,506 assists in 38 matches at Alabama.

In the second set, UNCW scored the first three points before Alabama rallied to open an 8-6 lead. The run continued as the Tide opened a 21-13 advantage. After the Seahawks got within four points at 24-20, Alabama got the ninth kill of the set from Steiner to close out the set, for a 2-0 lead in the match.

Alabama opened 7-1 leads in both the third and fourth sets, only to see UNCW rally late in both sets. The Tide held a 19-15 lead in the third set before the Seahawks posted a 25-22 win to make the score 2-1. In the fourth, Alabama led by seven (19-12) before UNCW rallied. With Alabama holding a 23-21 advantage, the Seahawks scored the final four points of the set for a 25-23 win to even the match at 2-2.

In the fifth set, Alabama got six kills each from Steiner and Rivers as the Tide won the match with a 15-13 fifth-set win. Rivers hit .857 in the set as she was 6-for-7 with no errors in the final set.

Next week Alabama will host the Hampton Inn Bama Bash on Friday and Saturday, Sept. 13-14. The Tide opens the tournament on Friday morning against Nicholls State at 11:30 a.m. CT. The tournament begins when UT-Martin and South Alabama take the court at Foster Auditorium at 9 a.m. CT on Friday. Arkansas State rounds out the five-team tournament field.

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