Sept. 14, 2013
TUSCALOOSA, ALA. - Freshman outsider Brittany Thomas had a career-high 16 kills and Krystal Rivers added nine kills to help the Alabama volleyball team post a 3-0 (28-26, 25-10, 25-15) win over the UT-Martin Skyhawks on Saturday night to close out the Hampton Inn Bama Bash. The Crimson Tide won all four of their matches in the tournament and is now 8-2 on the season. The Skyhawks dropped to 6-6 on the season.
Krystal Rivers was named the Hampton Inn Bama Bash MVP, while teammates Katherine White and Kryssi Daniels were named to the all-tournament team. Rivers finished the tournament with a .527 hitting percentage and averaged 3.46 kills per set in the four matches. White hit .467 in the tournament and Kryssi Daniels averaged 3.15 digs per set in the four matches.
Thomas hit a season-high .419 against UT-Martin, converting 16 kills on 31 attempts with three errors. Rivers hit .444 (9-1/18) and Laura Steiner added eight kills. Sierra Wilson had 35 assists and a team-high eight digs, while Andrea McQuaid, Caitlin Bernardin, Thomas, and Daniels had seven digs each.
Leading the way for UT-Martin was Emily Keaton with 12 kills and a .320 hitting percentage. Alabama held the Skyhawks to a .071 hitting percentage, while the Tide finished the match with a .269 mark.
Alabama jumped out to a 9-2 lead to start the match, but UT-Martin chipped away at the deficit before leading 22-21. After a block by Rivers and Wilson made the score 22-22, back-to-back points by UTM gave the Skyhawks set point. UA got a kill by Rivers, an attacking error by the Skyhawks and an ace from Thomas to make the score 25-24. A service error by Bama and a UTM block gave the Skyhawks set point, but the Tide responded with three straight points on a trio of UT-Martin errors to win the opening set, 28-26.
In the second set, the Tide jumped out to a 5-1 lead when UTM used its first timeout. After the teams traded points to make the score was 10-7, Alabama went on a 5-0 run to take an eight-point lead, forcing the Skyhawks to take its second timeout. The rally by the Tide continued as they closed the set with a 15-3 run to win the set 25-10 for a 2-0 lead in the match. Alabama posted a .500 hitting percentage in the second set, as Thomas was 6-for-6, to lead the Tide attack.
After falling behind 10-5 in the third, the Tide battled back to even the set at 14-14, following kills by Thomas and Rivers. After a UT-Martin timeout, Alabama put up four straight points for an 18-14 lead, causing UTM to take another timeout. The rally for the Tide to close out the set was a 20-5 run, resulting in a straight sets win over the Skyhawks. The exclamation point came when Rivers put away the final kill of the night, giving the Tide a 25-15 win in the third set.
Alabama returns to the court on Friday, Sept. 20, when it begins play in the Clemson Classic against the Clemson Tigers. First serve for the match is scheduled for 6 p.m. CT from the Jervey Gym. The Tide will then play Delaware (9 a.m. CT) and Troy (3:30 p.m. CT) on Saturday, Sept. 21.
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Hampton Inn Bama Bash All-Tournament Team
Krystal Rivers (MVP) - Alabama
Katherine White - Alabama
Kryssi Daniels - Alabama
Sadie Clark - Arkansas State
Jackie Gerig - Arkansas State
Mechell Daniel - South Alabama
Kayla Burling - Nicholls State