Tide Volleyball Tops Kent State in Tourney Finale


Sunday, September 19, 2004

Kelley Potter

» Box Score

BLOOMINGTON, Ind. – The Alabama volleyball team rebounded from their first loss of the season on Saturday morning with an impressive 3-1 (30-25, 30-28, 28-30, 32-30) victory over Kent State on Saturday night in their final match at the TIS Bookstore Invitational.

The Crimson Tide (9-1) finished as the runner-ups at the Indiana hosted event posting a 2-1 record on the weekend. Kent State finished 0-3 at the tournament and slipped to 3-4 on the year with the loss.

“This weekend was a great test for our volleyball team heading into conference play this coming week,” said UA head coach Judy Green. “All three matches were competitive and gave this team the opportunity to experience a lot of important situations. This tournament allowed us to grow as a team. I am very proud of how our team battled and continued to find ways to win.”

For the third straight match, Alabama found itself in tight competition with no game in the match being decided by more than five points. The four-game contest featured 30 ties and 12 lead changes including 21 ties in the final two frames.

In game one, the Tide seized momentum midway through the frame when the broke open a 15-15 tie with a 10-1 run. Alabama was unable to hold the wide lead as Kent State fought back before eventually losing by just five.

KSU grabbed a slight five-point advantage in the second stanza only to see Alabama rally and knot the score at 24. The Tide completed the comeback and took a 2-0 lead in the match with a two-point (30-28) victory.

The tables were turned on Alabama in the third game as the Golden Flash overcame a five-point deficit to squeak out the slight two-point win. The fourth game went back-and-forth from the start as neither team gained more than a three-point cushion. Alabama’s offense clicked on all cylinders hitting at a .500 clip to earn the 32-30 win. In the deciding game, the Tide recorded 19 kills with just one hitting miscue.

Junior Kelley Potter, who missed three matches last week with a sore shoulder, became the first player other than All-American candidate Erin Heffner to lead the Crimson Tide in kills after posting a season high 18 against Kent State.

Heffner, who finished with 16 kills, became Alabama’s all-time career kill leader in the match. She now has 1,717 in her career. Heffer, a member of the all-tournament squad, also led Bama’s defense with nine digs.  Julie Farley and Crystal Hudson both reached double digit kills tallying 12 each.

Sophomore Rachael Green continued her strong play at the net posting a team best nine blocks. The Ooltewah, Tenn., native finished the weekend with 23 total blocks (two solo and 21 block assists).

Kent State was led by 16 kills from Danielle Holt and 14 digs by Laura Jensen. The Tide out-hit KSU .379 to .312 and also outblocked them 11 to 5.

Alabama returns home for the start of Southeastern Conference play on Wednesday night as the Tide welcome archrival Auburn to the CAVE. The AU match, slated to start at 7 p.m., has been designated as “Cram the CAVE II” as the Tide hopes to establish a new single match attendance record. Last year, Bama drew 1,227 fans to their match against the Tigers.