Aug. 27, 2008
RollTide.com Bama Bash Tournament Coverage
TUSCALOOSA, Ala. - The Alabama volleyball team, coming off its third consecutive NCAA Championship appearance, opens the 2008 season Friday by hosting Iowa, Nicholls State and Western Kentucky in the Hampton Inn Bama Bash in the CAVE located in Coleman Coliseum. The Crimson Tide faces Western Kentucky in its first match of the season Friday at 7 p.m. Saturday the Tide will face Nicholls State at 1 p.m. and Iowa at 7 p.m.
"We are very excited to be opening at home," head coach Judy Green said. "That's always a plus. We have some of the best fans, some of the best support in the nation and we thrive in the kind of atmosphere you find in the CAVE."
The Tide's opening match marks the first meeting between Alabama and Western Kentucky. The Lady Toppers posted a 27-9 finish last season as well as a 14-3 record in the Sun Belt Conference. They return nine letterwinners from last year's team and welcomed three newcomers. The Hawkeyes have experience on their side this season with six starters plus libero returning. The Tide last played Iowa in 1998 at the Amerihost Classic in Oxford, Ohio. They swept the Hawkeyes in three games. The series between Alabama and Nicholls State dates back to 1977, with the Tide leading the series 4-0. The Colonels return four starters from last year's squad as well as six letterwinners and have seven newcomers.
"Our tournament is going to feature probably three teams with distinctly different types of styles of volleyball that they are going to play," Green said. "It's a good blend of highly successful teams and teams that are certainly growing and even rebuilding. It's kind of a mixed bag coming in. I think people are going to recognize the University of Iowa's name because it's a Big Ten school. Western Kentucky is probably the best team that is coming into the tournament. They are returning the nucleus of their squad and they had a really great year in 2007."
In addition to opening the season, Alabama has a chance to get a milestone win for Green this weekend. At the end of 2007, Green, who enters her 13th season at Alabama, earned her 200th win as the Tide's head coach, finishing the year with 202 wins for the Tide. She starts this season with 598 wins overall for her career, and needs just two wins this weekend to pass the vaunted 600 mark.
All games for the Bama Bash will be held in the CAVE. Tickets are available at the Athletic Ticket Office located in the lobby of Coleman Coliseum and at the door. Fans unable to attend Friday night's match can follow the action on the radio at WVUA-FM 90.7 in Tuscaloosa, or online at www.rolltide.com.