Volleyball Battles Arkansas, But Falls in Five

ROLLTIDEDOTCOM Pricilla Duke-Ezeji paced the Tide with 18 kills on Friday against Arkansas.
Pricilla Duke-Ezeji paced the Tide with 18 kills on Friday against Arkansas.

Oct. 26, 2012

Box Score

FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. - The Alabama volleyball team battled to the wire, but dropped a five-set Southeastern Conference match to the Arkansas Razorback on Friday night from the Barnhill Arena. With the loss, the Crimson Tide falls to 14-10 overall and 3-9 in SEC play. Arkansas improves to o17-6 overall and 8-4 in conference play.

After dropping the first two sets, 25-19 and 25-17,and trailing 5-1 to start the third, Alabama rallied to win the third set 25-21. The Tide trailed 9-5 to start the fourth set, and then rallied to even the match at 2-2, following a 25-22 win in the fourth. In the fifth set, UA fell behind 9-5, before falling 15-8 in the deciding set.

After not playing for the Tide in the last five matches, Pricilla Duke-Ezeji returned to the starting line-up and led the team with 18 kills on Friday night. Mattie Weldy made her first career start and added a career-high 12 kills against the Razorbacks.

Laura Steiner added 12 kills, Sierra Wilson notched her sixth double-double with 49 assists and 11 digs. Cristina Arenas led all players in the match with 23 digs, while Kryssi Daniels added 11 and Andrea McQuaid added 10.

For the Razorback, Jasmine Norton led all players in the match with 19 kills and added a team-high 21 digs. Rozlandy Acosta added 14 kills and Liz Fortado had 11. Arkansas has now won the last seven matches overall in the series, including four straight in Fayetteville.

Arkansas got out to a quick start, taking the first 25-19 behind a .423 hitting percentage in the frame. Alabama had a .300 hitting percentage in the first set, but three service errors and three aces by the Razorbacks were the difference in the opening set.

In the second frame, the Crimson Tide held a 10-8 lead, but the Razorbacks went on an 8-2 run to open a 16-12 lead. The Tide got as close as three (17-14) but the Razorbacks close the set with an 8-3 run for a 25-17 win to open a 2-0 lead in the match. Alabama was held to a .162 hitting percentage in the second set, while the Razorbacks continued to dominate from the offensive side with a .394 hitting percentage in the second set.

The Crimson Tide took the third set 25-21 behind four kills by Duke-Ezeji. Alabama did a better job defensively in the set, holding the Razorbacks to a .171 hitting percentage. UA fell behind 5-1 to start the frame, but went on an 11-4 run to open a 12-9 lead. After Arkansas closed the gap to two (18-16), Alabama finished the set with a 7-4 run to take the set.

In the fourth set, Alabama fell behind 9-5 before battling back to even the score at 14-14, following a kill by Duke-Ezeji. UA led 17-16 before the Razorbacks went on a 5-1 run to open a 21-18 advantage, but  UA responded with a run of their own, closing out the set with seven of the final eight points to even the match at 2-2.

In the fifth set, Alabama hit a .000 posting only six kills to go along with six errors on 19 attempts. The Razorback hit .400 in the final frame to take the final set by seven points, 15-8.
Alabama remains on the road for its next match when it plays at Tennessee on Sunday, Oct. 28 at 12 p.m. CT. The match between the Crimson Tide and the Lady Vols will be televised on Fox SportSouth with Dave Baker and Phil Bush calling the action. The broadcast will also be available online at ESPN3.com.

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