The Alabama volleyball team continued their spring season on Saturday by traveling to Atlanta, Ga. to compete with Georgia Tech, Georgia State, Tennessee-Chattanooga and Ole Miss.
With just a couple weeks of spring practice remaining, the Crimson Tide was able to gain more experience in their four matches on Saturday.
“It was a rough day for our team today,” Alabama assistant coach Erich Hinterstocker said. “We played good volleyball at times, but not consistently enough to win a match. The good thing is that we were able to get some of our players who didn’t play much in the fall some valuable playing experience, which is what the spring is for.”
Last Saturday, the Tide was really only able to compete against Georgia as South Florida was forced to retire from playing due to injuries. However, this weekend was more of a tournament type of atmosphere that allowed Alabama to see a variety of playing styles.
“It was good because we got to see some different types of teams,” Hinterstocker said. “We got to see a fast pace offense in Georgia Tech and a smaller, scrappier team in Tennessee-Chattanooga.”
Last season, the Tide was able to implement a two setter offense midway through the season after having no experience running that offense at all. Spring practice has provided Alabama a chance to expand it on the offense, putting their own twist on it, as well as work on its 5-1 offense.
“One of the positives today was that both of our setters were able to get work,” Hinterstocker said. “We were also able to get in some of our new offense that we installed this week in the 6-2 with a few of our own wrinkles added to it.”
“I also thought that Bridget Fuentez hit the ball out of system pretty well,” Hinterstocker said. “We short served really well today and Abbi Blackburn did a nice job of blocking on the right side as well.”
Though the Tide struggled as a whole on Saturday, Hinterstocker believes it will pay off in the long run and is looking forward to practice this upcoming week.
“I’m eager to see how we respond on Monday,” Hinterstocker said. “I think the kids are disappointed in how the day went, but this is a group that wants to do good things. I know they are anxious to get back in the gym and practice harder to improve. In the long run, today will make us a closer team and that will only help us as we try to get back to the NCAA tournament. Today was a learning experience and provides us with an opportunity to grow as a team.”
Alabama will continue their spring season this Wednesday night. The Tide will travel to Murfreesboro, Tenn. to compete against Middle Tennessee.