Volleyball To Host Hampton Inn Bama Bash This Weekend

ROLLTIDEDOTCOM Senior Kelsey Melito is one of two Tide seniors making their final home opener on Friday.
Senior Kelsey Melito is one of two Tide seniors making their final home opener on Friday.

Sept. 12, 2013

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TUSCALOOSA, Ala. - Alabama (4-2/0-0 SEC) will play its first home matches of the 2013 season when it returns to Foster Auditorium to host the Hampton Inn Bama Bash on Friday and Saturday, Sept. 13-14. The tournament will feature the Crimson Tide, South Alabama, Arkansas State, UT-Martin and Nicholls State.  

The tournament will consist of nine total matches, with five to be played on Friday and four on Saturday. The tournament gets underway at 9 a.m. CT on Friday with UT-Martin and South Alabama taking the floor. Alabama will play Nicholls State at 11:30 a.m. on Friday, before battling Arkansas State at 7 p.m. later that night. UA will then play South Alabama at 11:30 a.m. and UT-Martin at 7 p.m. on Saturday.

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Live Webcast: RollTide.com (Alabama matches only)

• Head coach Ed Allen is in his third season with the Crimson Tide and 22nd overall as a head coach. With a 4-2 record this season, Allen has a 33-36 record at the Capstone, bringing his career record to 527-219 (.706).
• Redshirt freshman middle blocker Krystal Rivers was named the Most Valuable Player of the FIU Classic … after recording a career-high 21 kills on 26 attempts for a .731 hitting percentage against UNC-Wilmington, Rivers finished the three matches of the FIU Classic with 39 kills (3.56 kps) and a .431 hitting percentage … in the fifth set against UNCW, Rivers had six kills with no errors on seven attempts (.857 percentage) to help the Tide win the match with a 15-13 fifth set victory … Rivers had nine kills in the matches versus Houston Baptist and FIU … Rivers leads the Tide with a .452 hitting percentage and is second on the squad with 75 kills (3.41 kps) through six matches.
• Sophomore setter Sierra Wilson earned FIU Classic All-Tournament honors after averaging 11.78 assists per set in the three matches … Wilson had a career-high 66 assists in the five-set win over UNC-Wilmington … she now has 1,506 assists in 38 career matches and ranks ninth in school history ... Wilson did not play the first two sets against Houston Baptist due to an injury to miss her first sets in 37 matches as a member of the Crimson Tide.
 • Sophomore outside hitter Laura Steiner paced the Tide with 47 kills in the FIU Classic, to average 4.27 kills per set in the three matches … Steiner closed the tournament with a career-high 24 kills against UNC-Wilmington … nine of her 24 kills against UNCW came in the second set, then she added six more in the final set to help the Tide to the five-set win … Steiner leads the team with 3.45 kills per set for the season while hitting .258 through six matches.
Brittany Thomas recorded her second career double-double with a career-high 15 kills and 11 digs against UNC-Wilmington … Thomas added a career-high three aces against the Seahawks … averaged 2.91 kills per set in the FIU CLassic, and she is third on the team with 2.95 kills and 2.41 digs per set … Thomas is tied with Kryssi Daniels for the team lead with five aces this season.
• Daniels, who started as the libero against FIU and UNC-Wilmington, is second on the team with 58 digs (2.64 dps).
Caitlin Bernardin leads the Tide with 68 digs to average 3.09 digs per set. 

After a 3-0 victory over Alcorn State on Saturday, Sept. 7, the Nicholls State Colonels come into the weekend with a 2-4 record. Nicholls State opened the season with a win over Mississippi Valley State (3-0), before a four-game losing streak with losses to Rider (3-0), Tulane (3-2), Louisiana-Lafayette (3-1) and Houston (3-0).  

Freshman Kayla Burling leads the team, averaging 3.00 kills per set with 60 kills overall. Burling also leads the Colonels with 13 aces and is second in digs with 41 (2.05 dps). Setter Ainsley Marroccoli leads Nicholls State with 79 assists (4.65 aps). Kalynn Egea was named to the all-tournament team in the Sawyer Camillo Memorial Volleyball Classic after her 17 digs in the final two games of the tournament.  

Head Coach Tommy Harold is in his first season at the helm of the Colonels after being named the third head coach in the program’s history on April 15, 2013. This weekend will mark the sixth meeting all-time between the Tide and Colonels. Alabama holds a 5-0 lead in the series.

The Arkansas State Red Wolves come into the weekend with a 1-6 record, after dropping their last match to Mississippi (3-1) in the Ole Miss Magnolia Invitational. The Red Wolves lone win came in the Ole Miss Magnolia Invitational with a 3-2 victory over Kennesaw State.  

Sadie Clark led the team over the weekend with 47 kills, which came out to a 3.62 kills per set average and she was named to the all-tournament team. Megan Baska moved into second place all-time in Arkansas State history with 1,674 career digs.  

In two seasons as head coach of the Arkansas State, David Rehr has compiled a 20-20 record and in 2012, he led A-State to its first Sun Belt Conference Tournament win since 2000. Alabama leads the all-time series over Arkansas State, 4-3.

The South Alabama Jaguars come to the tournament with a 2-4 record. After winning their first two matches over Tennessee State (3-1) and Southern Utah (3-0), the Jaguars suffered four straight losses to Georgia Southern (3-1), Samford (3-0), Jacksonville State (3-1) and Lipscomb (3-0).  

Jessica Lewis leads the team with 4.36 kills per set and is second on the team with 2.00 dig per set. Emily Hundt leads the Jaguars in assists, by nearly 100 assists, with 146 to average 7.30 assists per set. Symone Stephenson was selected to the Lipscomb All-Tournament team after posting 17 kills and nine blocks in the three matches.  

Last year, in her first year as head coach of the Jaguar volleyball program, Amy Hendrichovsky recorded 13 wins, for the most wins in a single season for the program since the 1995 season. In 28 previous meetings between Alabama and South Alabama, the Tide holds a 24-4 advantage in the all-time series.

Beginning the season with a 6-2 record, the UT-Martin Skyhawks are coming off of a 3-2 victory over Chattanooga in the Country Inn and Suites Tournament on Sept. 7. The Skyhawks were strong in the tournament, posting a 3-1 record, taking a single loss to Tennessee (3-1).  

Sophomores Chelsea Bowles and Amanda Crask lead the Skyhawks and both have earned Ohio Valley Conference weekly honors this season. Bowles was named the adidas OVC Defensive player of the week and has 176 digs this season to average 5.50 per set. She began last week with a career-high 31-dig effort in the win over Evansville. Crask took all-tournament accolades at the Country Inn and Suites Invitational after her 218 assists (10.38 aps) and 49 kills (2.33 kps). She tallied the second triple-double of her career with a career-high 15 kills, a career-high 52 assists and 12 digs in the victory over Chattanooga.  

Darin McClure has a 52-104 record in his five seasons as the head coach of the Skyhawks volleyball program. This weekend will be the fifth meeting between the Tide and Skyhawks. Alabama leads the all-time series 4-0.

Following the Hampton Inn Bama Bash, the Tide will travel to Clemson, S.C. next week to compete in the Clemson Classic. The Clemson Classic will be the fourth and final preseason tournament for the Tide this season. Alabama opens the tournament on Friday, Sept. 20, at 6 p.m. CT against the tournament host, the Clemson Tigers. The Tide will play a pair of matches on Saturday (Sept. 21) when they take on Delaware at 9 a.m. CT and Troy at 3:30 p.m. CT.

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