Volleyball Opens SEC Play with Dominating Win Over LSU
Sept. 14, 2012
TUSCALOOSA, Ala. – In front of a record breaking crowd of 1,670 fans at Foster Auditorium, the Alabama volleyball team defeated the LSU Tigers, 3-0 (25-12, 25-22, 25-16) on Friday night to open Southeastern Conference play for both schools. With the win, Alabama extended its winning streak to 11 straight matches and improved to 12-1 overall and 1-0 is SEC play. The Tigers fall to 4-6 overall and 0-1 in conference play.
“First of all there were no major breakdowns in any facet of our play tonight,” head coach Ed Allen said. “A couple times we gave up three of four points, but no major runs. It was a complete game, probably our best match of the year, in terms of effort and execution.”
The Crimson Tide opened conference play with a stellar performance that snapped an 11-match losing streak to the Tigers. The last victory in the series for Alabama came during the 2006 season. For senior outside hitter Kayla Fitterer is was her first win over LSU in seven tries, as she paced all players in the match with 19 kills, while posting a .436 hitting percentage. Fitterer’s season-high 19 kills came on 39 attempts.
As a team, Alabama dominated the match from beginning to end, as the Tide outhit the Tigers .284 to .080. UA tallied nine blocks and forced LSU into 20 hitting errors. Additionally, the Tide continued to serve well, posting six aces, as Kryssi Daniels added two to her SEC leading total, which stands at 25 for the year, and Cristina Arenas had three aces to go along with a match-high 13 digs.
“Our passing was adequate, our serving was on par with what we’ve done all year and that had an impact on what they were trying to run,” Allen said. “They have one of the finest middles in the conference and she couldn’t get on track because they couldn’t pass the ball well enough to get it to her. We blocked as well as we have all year.”
In addition to Fitterer, Andrea McQuaid and Laura Steiner added nine kills each and Sierra Wilson and Leigh Moyer added three each to account for all 43 kills by the Tide. Wilson also had 35 of Alabama’s 42 assists and added seven digs and three assisted blocks. Moyer tallied five total blocks and Katherine White had three total blocks, including two solos.
“Foster is an incredible place to play and the Alabama fans are the finest in the country. This is an extremely rough environment for a team to come into, and when we execute like we did tonight, they have an opportunity to play a huge role in our win.”
After LSU opened the match with a 4-1 lead in the first set then led 8-5, before Arenas served Alabama to a 12-0 run to open a commanding 17-8 lead. From there UA cruised to a 25-12 first-set win. The Tide posted a .310 hitting percentage in the opening set, while holding the Tigers to -.125 to start the night.
The second set was tightly contested throughout, as no team led by more than two points until the Tide had three three-point leads late in the set. With the score 22-21 in favor of the Tide, UA got kills by Fitterer and Steiner to help put the set away, 25-22, taking a 2-0 lead in the match.
In the third set, Alabama jumped out to a 5-0 lead and never looked back. LSU got within two points at 12-10. Then, with the Tide leading 17-12, Kelsey Melito came off the bench to serve the Tide to a 22-12 lead, putting the set out of reach. With the record crowd standing and cheering on the Tide, Steiner finished the night with a kill and a 25-16 victory in the third set.
Alabama returns to action on Sunday when it hosts No. 17 Tennessee at 1:30 p.m., from Foster Auditorium.
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