Volleyball Falls to Texas A&M, 3-0, in First SEC Meeting

ROLLTIDEDOTCOM Kayla Fitterer led all player with 11 kills in the match against Texas A&M.
ROLLTIDEDOTCOM
Kayla Fitterer led all player with 11 kills in the match against Texas A&M.
ROLLTIDEDOTCOM

Sept. 30, 2012

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TUSCALOOSA, Ala. – The Alabama volleyball team suffered a 3-0 (25-22, 25-20, 25-20) Southeastern Conference loss to the Texas A&M Aggies on Sunday afternoon from Foster Auditorium. With the loss, the Crimson Tide fall to 13-5 overall and 2-4 in SEC play, while the Aggies improved to 12-2 and 4-1 in conference action.

“We played a very talented Texas A&M team. They may not have a lot of rock star players, but they play very consistent volleyball that keeps the pressure on you,” UA head coach Ed Allen said. “We have a team right now that is prone to errors from time to time. We had errors in serve receive and attacking errors and that’s what the difference in the match.”

In the first SEC meeting and first meeting between the two schools since 1996, Texas A&M outhit the Tide .202 to .073. Although Alabama had less hitting errors that Texas A&M (19-23), the Aggies were able to convert 44 kills on 104 swings, while the Tide had just 27 kills on 109 swings. The Aggies also had 57 digs, while the Tide was able to post 31 digs off TAMU attacks.

Kayla Fitterer led the Tide with 11 kills and posted a .237 hitting percentage with two errors on 38 attempts. Fellow outside hitters Laura Steiner (3) and Pricilla Duke-Ezeji (7) had 10 combined kills, but also combined to post 12 hitting errors for a -.042 combined hitting percentage. Middle blocker Katherine White had five kills and a .250 hitting percentage and matched Kanesha Burch with four assisted blocks each to lead the squad.

With the three set loss to Texas A&M, it marked the first time that Alabama has gone down in straight sets this season.

Texas A&M was led by nine kills each from Alisia Kastmo and Lindey Miller. Allie Sawatzky had a match-high 35 assists, Megan Pendergast led all players with 15 digs and Tori Mellinger added 14 digs to go along with six kills.
 
“We were less than excited about the way we competed in today’s match,” Allen said. “We played consistently for 17 of 25 points, but then had some break downs in serve receive and general ball control. We also had some mental mistakes that led to a loss of points. It was less than our best effort.”

In the opening set, Alabama trailed the Aggies 17-16 before Texas A&M scored three straight points to open a four-point edge. The Tide battled back, getting within one point at 22-21 on a kill by Fitterer. But after a Texas A&M timeout, the Aggies responded with three of the final our points to take the opening set, 25-22.

Much like the first set, Alabama trailed 17-16 before the Aggies held a 20-16 lead again. This time, the Tide got as close at two (22-20) before the Aggies closed out the set with three straight points, which included back-to-back errors by Duke-Ezeji to close out the set. With the final two hitting errors, Alabama posted a -.023 hitting mark in the set while Texas A&M hit .136 in the frame.

With the Aggies holding a 2-0 lead in the match, Texas A&M started the first set with four straight points. The Tide evened the set at 9-9 before trailing 18-13. UA used a 5-1 run to get within one point (19-18). After a TAMU timeout, the Aggies scored four straight points for a 23-18 lead that Alabama was unable to recover from.
 
Alabama returns to Southeastern Conference action on Sunday, Oct. 7, when the Crimson Tide hosts the Missouri Tigers at 1:30 p.m. CT at Foster Auditorium.

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