Oct. 11, 2013
FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. - Brittany Thomas had a match-high 21 kills to lead the Alabama volleyball team to a 3-1 (28-30, 25-23, 25-18, 26-24) Southeastern Conference win over the Arkansas Razorbacks on Friday night from the Barnhill Arena.
With the win, the Crimson Tide snapped a seven-match losing streak to the Razorbacks. Alabama (14-4, 2-2 SEC) defeated Arkansas for the first time since November of 2008, when the Tide defeated the Razorbacks (11-6, 4-2 SEC), 3-1 in Tuscaloosa.
Thomas posted her second 20-kill performance of the season, ending the night with a match-high 21 kills on 56 attempts. Thomas posted her seventh double-double of the season by adding 10 digs. Krystal Rivers had another big night as the redshirt freshman had 17 kills with a .615 hitting percentage. Rivers also added three total blocks, posting two solos and one assisted.
Andrea McQuaid added nine kills, had nine digs and a career-high tying five total blocks, with one solo and four assisted blocks. Sierra Wilson had a match-high 56 assists and Kryssi Daniels led the Tide with 13 digs.
For Arkansas, Hayley Koop had 15 kills and Meredith Hays chipped in with 11. Emily Helm had a match-high 14 digs.
Alabama finished the match with a .209 hitting percentage, as the Razorbacks recorded 13 blocks in the match against the Tide attack. Arkansas had a .215 percentage with the Tide blocking 10.5 attempts.
The Tide trailed 22-19 in the first set, before rallying to hold set-point at 24-23, following a kill by Thomas. The Tide would serve set-point five times, before the Razorbacks benefitted from back-to-back hitting errors by Alabama to win the first set 30-28.
Bama trailed again late in the second set, 20-17, before running off four of the next five points to get even at 21-21, following an Arkansas hitting error. A kill by Rivers made the score 23-23, then back-to-back errors by Arkansas' Hays gave Bama a 25-23 win, evening the match at 1-1.
Alabama controlled the flow of the third set, opening a 9-4 lead when Arkansas called a timeout. Out of the break, the Hogs scored a pair of points, before the Tide went on a 6-1 run to open a 15-8 lead. Bama's lead reached nine at 20-11 following a kill by Thomas, before the Tide closed the set with a 25-18 win.
Like the first and second sets, Bama had to rally from a late 3-point deficit to win the fourth set. Trailing 16-19 in the fourth, a kill by Mattie Weldy made the score 19-17 then back-to-back errors by Arkansas evened the score at 19-19. The Tide led 22-20 before Arkansas scored three straight points for a 23-22 lead. Bama got a kill from Rivers to even the score at 23-23, and after an error by Thomas, the Tide got kills from Thomas and Weldy for match point. Thomas ended the match with an ace for a 26-24 fourth set win.
The Crimson Tide returns to the court on Sunday, Oct. 13, when it completes their two-game SEC road trip against the No. 25 ranked Missouri (20-0, 4-0 SEC). The match between the Alabama and Missouri will begin at 1:30 p.m. CT from the Hearnes Center in Columbia, Mo.
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