Volleyball Upsets Kentucky with 3-1 Win on Friday

ROLLTIDEDOTCOM Laura Steiner had a career-high 20 kills to lead Alabama to a 4-set win over Kentucky.
Laura Steiner had a career-high 20 kills to lead Alabama to a 4-set win over Kentucky.

Nov. 9, 2012

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TUSCALOOSA, Ala. – Freshman outside hitter Laura Steiner had a career-high 20 kills to lead the Alabama women’s volleyball team to a 3-1 (25-23, 15-25, 25-18, 25-20) Southeastern Conference victory over the Kentucky Wildcats on Friday night from Foster Auditorium. With the win, Alabama improves to 16-12 overall and 5-11 in SEC play. The loss drops the Wildcats’ record to 17-9 overall, 11-5 in conference play.

After Kentucky, who is receiving 63 votes in this week’s AVCA Coaches Poll, posted .344 and .385 hitting percentages in the first and second sets, the Alabama defense stepped up to hold the Wildcats to -.062 mark in the third set and a .098 average in the fourth set, to limit UK to a .172 hitting percentage in the match. Alabama collected eight blocks on the night and forced the Wildcats into 25 hitting errors, with 17 coming in the final two sets.

Steiner led the way for Alabama on the offensive end with a match-high 20 kills, as she posted a .244 hitting percentage. Kayla Fitterer notched her 31st career-double double as she added 11 kills to go along with a team-high 13 digs. Kanesha Burch chipped in with seven kills, with a .364 hitting percentage from the middle blocker position, while adding a match-high five total blocks.

Andrea McQuaid added six kills, Cristina Arenas had 12 digs and Sierra Wilson had a match-high 44 assists, to go along with six digs and a pair of blocks. 

With the win over Kentucky, Alabama secures at least a .500 record for the year with its 16th victory. The last time the Crimson Tide volleyball program posted a winning record in a season was 2008, when the team finished the year 16-13 overall.

Ashley Frazier was the only player from Kentucky to reach double figures in kills with 10. Sara Schwarzwalker had nine and Whitney Billins, Alexandra Morgan and Lauren O’Conner added eight kills each. UK libero Stephanie Klefot had a match-high 14 digs.

Alabama took an early lead by winning the first set 25-23. The Tide got seven kills by Steiner in the first set as the team posted a .424 hitting percentage in the frame. Kentucky also hit a high percentage in the opening set with a .344 mark.

Kentucky evened the match at 1-1, following a 25-15 victory in the second set. During the frame, the Wildcats outhit the Tide .385 to .129 to cruise to the 10-point victory. Steiner added four more kills in the set to lead the Tide, giving her 11 through the two.

After Kentucky dominated play in the second set, the defense for Alabama stepped up to hold the Wildcats to a -.062 hitting mark in the third. Alabama had a difficult time offensively in the third set as well, as the Tide hit .080 in the frame. UA was helped out by nine hitting errors and six service errors by the Wildcats in the set.

Alabama saved its best set for last, as the Tide posted a .344 hitting percentage in the fourth, while limiting the Wildcats to a .098 mark in the set. UA had just three attacking errors in the set, while getting five kills each from Steiner and Fitterer, who did not commit an error on 11 swings in the set.

Alabama continues Southeastern Conference action next Friday, Nov. 16, with a home match against the South Carolina Gamecocks. First serve for the match between Alabama and South Carolina is slated for 7 p.m. CT, from Foster Auditorium.

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