TUSCALOOSA, ALA. – Alabama posted their ninth straight win of the season with a three-set victory over East Tennessee State in the final match of the Hampton Inn Bama Bash on Saturday night. With the win, the Crimson Tide posted a 4-0 record in the tournament, winning 12 of the 13 sets they played in the two-day event. Alabama is now 10-1 on the season, while ETSU falls to 8-5, after posting a 1-3 record in the tournament.
“We’re getting balanced and we’re really pleased with Laura Steiner’s performance as a freshman from the outside,” head coach Ed Allen said. “She’s giving us a great deal of consistency and exploiting the block with her offense. Again, Sierra Wilson continues to grow as a leader and quarterback of this team. She still has a long way to go, but she’s in a better place than she was two weeks ago.”
Laura Steiner, who was named the Hampton Inn Bama Bash Most Valuable Player, led the Tide with a match-high 12 kills. The freshmen outside hitter from Fort Collins, Colo., finished the tournament with 34 kills in the four matches, while averaging 3.40 kills per set played. Steiner had a .358 hitting percentage in the event, after hitting .348 against the Buccaneers.
Andrea McQuaid and Kayla Fitterer added seven kills each, while Leigh Moyer and Katherine White had four kills each from the middle blocker position. Sierra Wilson had another solid match for the Tide as she had 31 assists, three kills, four digs, two blocks and an ace.
Wilson and White were named to the all-tournament team as well. Wilson finished the tournament with 157 total assists to average 12.1 assists per set in the four matches.
Cristina Arenas continued her solid back row play as she led all players in the match with 14 digs. In the Hampton Inn Bama Bash, Arenas tallied 64 digs to average 4.9 digs per set. Kryssi Daniels added eight digs and an ace and finished the tournament with 36 digs (2.8 dps) and eight aces. She leads the team this season with 21 aces in 11 matches.
“We identified several things that we need to continue to work on,” Allen said. “I thought we had more consistency in most parts of play tonight, except for attacking. We committed a number of attacking errors, particularly hitting into the block, which creates a number of errors.”
In the opening set, Alabama led wire-to-wire a 3-0 start to open the set. The lead reached as much as nine points when the Tide had a 19-10 advantage, before closing out the set 25-18.
Although the score of the second set was 25-20, ETSU was never that close as the Tide held as much as an eight-point lead (23-15) towards the end of the set. ETSU made it close, with a late 5-0 run, but a couple kills by Steiner put the set away for a 2-0 lead in the match for UA.
Alabama got out to another quick start in the third set, leading 6-1 after the break. ETSU as close as three (10-7) before Alabama opened a number of five-point leads in the set. With Alabama holding a 20-15 lead, Wilson served out the set, as the match ended on a kill by Steiner.
Alabama returns to action on Tuesday, Sept. 11, for its final non-conference match of the season, against the Samford Bulldogs. The match between the two in-state foe will begin at 7 p.m. CT, at Foster Auditorium.
Hampton Inn Bama Bash All-Tournament Team
Laura Steiner, Alabama – MVP
Katherine White, Alabama
Sierra Wilson, Alabama
Jada Stotts, Austin Peay
Cami Field, Austin Peay
Alex Morford, Lamar
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