Volleyball Returns to Foster and Defeats Mississippi in Four

ROLLTIDEDOTCOM Kayla Fitterer matched her season-high with 23 kills against Mississippi.
Kayla Fitterer matched her season-high with 23 kills against Mississippi.

Sept. 28, 2012

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TUSCALOOSA, Ala. – The Alabama women’s volleyball team returned to Foster Auditorium on Friday night earned a tough Southeastern Conference win, 3-1 (25-22, 25-22, 21-25, 25-22), over the Mississippi Rebels. Kayla Fitterer matched her season-high with a match-high 23 kills as she hit .408 against the Rebels.

After winning 11 straight matches, the Crimson Tide (13-4, 2-3 SEC) suffered three straight conference losses before tonight’s SEC win over Mississippi (7-6, 1-3 SEC). UA outhit the Rebels .194 to .103, but Mississippi posted 11 total blocks compared to five by the Tide, and the Rebels had 11 aces, while Bama finished the night with six.

“It’s great to be playing at home, from the standpoint that this team isn’t consistent enough to go into hostile environments and be successful,” head coach Ed Allen said. “We’re still not pleased with our overall consistency. This match may have been one of our tougher ones in a month. I don’t think we’ve been this inconsistent since the opening weekend of the season.”

Joining Fitterer in double figures was freshman outside hitter Laura Steiner, who had a season-high 17 kills. Although Steiner’s kill-number was high, she finished the night with a .150 hitting percentage with 11 hitting errors. Sierra Wilson recorded her third double-double of the season with a match-high 47 assists to go along with 11 digs. Andrea McQuaid led the Tide with 13 digs, Kryssi Daniels added 11 and Cristina Arenas chipped in with 10.

For Mississippi, Allegra Wells had 14 kills to lead the team and was the only Rebel to reach double figures in kills. Setter Amanda Philpot finished the night with eight kills, 30 assists and six digs. Ashley Veach led Mississippi with 15 digs and four aces.  

“I would like to see our middles perform better than what they are doing right now, both offensively and defensively,” Allen said. “Also, we would like to see our ball control settle down as we move forward.”

Although the Tide hit .088 in the opening set, UA posted 25-22 win behind 10 kills from Fitterer (6) and Steiner (4). The Rebels were held to a .028 hitting percentage in the first set as they had 11 kills and 10 errors.

Alabama held a two sets to none lead after winning the second frame, 25-22, behind a .267 hitting percentage. Alabama held a 17-9 lead before the Rebels went on a 9-2 run to cut the Tide lead to one (19-18). With UA leading 22-21, Fitterer tallied three of or six kills in the set on the next four points to put the set away for Alabama.  

After the intermission, Mississippi rallied to win the third set 25-21. Once again Alabama held the Rebels to a low hitting number (.086), but eight aces by Mississippi in the set was too much for the Tide to overcome.

In the fourth set, Alabama held a 16-11 advantage only to see the Rebels respond to take a 21-20 lead. After the teams traded points, Alabama got a kill from Steiner and a pair of Mississippi errors to end the set with a 25-22 victory. UA held the Rebels to a .102 hitting mark in the frame, while the Tide hit .268.
Alabama returns to Southeastern Conference action on Sunday when it hosts Texas A&M at 1:30 p.m. CT at Foster Auditorium.

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