Nov. 20, 2011
STARKVILLE, Miss. - The Alabama Crimson Tide volleyball team suffered a 3-1 (19-25, 25-23, 17-25, 24-26) Southeastern Conference loss at Mississippi State on Sunday afternoon from the Newell-Grissom Building. With the loss, Alabama falls to 11-19 overall and 4-15 in SEC play, while the Bulldogs improve to 12-17 overall, 7-13 in conference play.
Andrea McQuaid reached double-digits in kills for the seventh time this season when she led the Crimson Tide with a career-high 22 kills on Sunday. McQuaid also took a career-high 47 attempts as she posted a .340 hitting percentage (22-6/47) against the Bulldogs.
Stephanie Riley posted her 10th double-double of the season, the 11th of her career, with a team and season-high 46 assists and 13 digs. Kayla Fitterer added 12 kills for her 22nd double-digit kill match of the season, and added nine digs. Brianne Vande Griend matched her career-highs with 11 digs and two solo blocks, while adding seven kills.
As a team, Alabama posted a .206 hitting percentage and had four total blocks against the Bulldogs. MSU finished the afternoon with a .248 hitting percentage, as Caitlin Rance finished the day with a match-high 23 kills, while hitting .327. Faith Steinwedell added 14 kills and Paris Perrett had a match-high 49 assists for the Bulldogs.
Mississippi State took the opening set, 25-19, behind four kills each from Hannah Wilkinson and Rance. The Bulldogs hit .256 in the opening frame, while the Tide posted a .214 average with 12 kills as a team. McQuaid paced Alabama with four kills in the first set. UA held the lead through most of the first set, before MSU went ahead 19-18 for its first lead of the set. From there, the Bulldogs scored on six of the final seven serves of the set to take a 1-0 lead in the match.
Alabama nearly lead wire-to-wire in the second set, before the Bulldogs tied the score at 23-23. The Crimson Tide got a handling error and a hitting error from MSU to record the final two points of the set for a 25-23 win and evened the match at one game apiece. McQuaid was the spark for the Tide in the second set as she posted nine of UA's 15 kills in the set.
Mississippi State jumped out to an 11-4 lead in the third set, a lead the Tide could not recover from. UA trailed by as many as nine points (22-13), before the Bulldogs took a 2-1 lead in the match with a 25-17 victory on the third set.
Alabama trailed by as many as three points numerous times during the early part of the fourth set, before taking a 17-16 lead following a kill by Griend. After a Vande Griend solo block gave the Tide a 22-20 lead, MSU scored three straight points for a 23-22 advantage. A Fitterer kill evened the set at 23-23, but after the teams traded points, the Bulldogs got a kill and a block to put the match away with a 26-24 victory in the fourth set.
MSU won both matches against the Tide this season to sweep the season series for the first time since the 1998 season.
The Alabama volleyball team will wrap up its 2011 season with a road match against the Mississippi Rebels on Friday, Nov. 25. The match between the Crimson Tide and Rebels is slated for a 7 p.m., first serve from the Gillom Sports Center. Alabama won the first match this season, 3-1, when the teams played in Tuscaloosa on Sept. 28.
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