Sept. 19, 2013
Tuscaloosa, Ala. -
After winning all four matches of the Hampton Inn Bama Bash, Alabama (8-2/0-0 SEC) will travel to Clemson, S.C., to compete in the Clemson Classic this weekend. The Clemson Classic will be the fourth and final preseason tournament for the Crimson Tide this season. Alabama opens the tournament on Friday, Sept. 20, at 6 p.m. CT against the tournament host, the Clemson Tigers at Jervey Gym. 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.
Alabama is averaging 13.94 kills per set while hitting .289 through 10 matches. The Tide's .289 hitting percentage is the third best in the SEC. Bama is averaging 12.94 assists, 13.74 digs, 1.51 aces and 1.34 blocks per set this season. Alabama ranks sixth in the SEC in assists, digs and aces. Of the Tide's eight wins, four have been three-set victories, three have come in four sets and UA has one five-set win. Alabama will play four non-conference matches before opening SEC play on Sept. 27 against No. 19 Kentucky.
Head coach Ed Allen is in his third season with the Crimson Tide and 22nd overall as a head coach. With an 8-2 record this season, Allen has a 37-36 record at the Capstone, bringing his career record to 531-219 (.708).
Freshman middle blocker Krystal Rivers was named the MVP of the Hampton Inn Bama Bash after averaging 3.46 kills per set with a .527 hitting percentage in the four matches ... Rivers garnered her second straight tournament MVP honor, after she was named the FIU Classic MVP last week ... she hit .692 against Nicholls State with 10 kills and one error on 13 attempts ... after eight kills with no errors against Arkansas State, she hit .483 with 18 kills against South Alabama ... eight of her 18 kills against the Jaguars came in the third set, when she was 8-for-11 (.727) with no errors ... Rivers is third in the SEC with a .480 hitting percentage this season, while averaging 3.46 kills per set (14th in the SEC) in her first season.
Sophomore outside hitter Laura Steiner paced the Tide with 46 kills in the four matches of the Hampton Inn Bama Bash, while hitting .304 for the tournament ... Steiner reached double figures in kills in three of the four matches, including 15 kills against South Alabama ... she opened the tournament by hitting a career-high .733 (11-0/15) against Nicholls State, then hit .556 (12-2/18) against Arkansas State ... Steiner ranks 12th in the SEC with a team-high 3.49 kills per set.
Freshman outside hitter Brittany Thomas continues to play all six rotations for the Tide, and is averaging 3.06 kills per set (16th in the SEC), and is third on the team with 2.26 digs per set ... after recording nine aces in the Hampton Inn Bama Bash, Thomas leads the team with 14 aces and ranks sixth in the SEC with 0.40 aces per set ... Thomas averaged 3.23 kills per set in the Bama Bash, which included a career-high 16 kills in the three-set win over UT-Martin.
Junior middle blocker Katherine White also earned Hampton Inn Bama Bash All-Tournament honors after averaging 1.92 kills per set with a .467 hitting percentage ... White also led the Tide with eight total blocks in the four matches ... White ranks second on the team and 20th in the SEC with a .312 hitting percentage this season ... White is averaging 1.66 kills per set and leads the Tide with 23 total blocks to average 0.66 blocks per set in 2013.
Sophomore setter Sierra Wilson is averaging 11.27 assists per set to rank third in the SEC ... Wilson finished the Hampton Inn Bama Bash with 159 assists to average 12.23 assists per set in the tournament ... Wilson now has 1,665 assists in 42 matches at Alabama and ranks eighth in school history in career assists, after passing Kenna Milner (1,623) this past weekend ... Wilson needs 64 more assists to move past Nancy Woolsey (1,728) for seventh all-time.
Sophomore libero Kryssi Daniels also earned Hampton Inn Bama Bash All-Tournament honors after averaging a team-high 3.15 digs in the event.
The Clemson Tigers, the host of the Clemson Classic, enters the weekend with a 5-3 record. Clemson split its last two matches, losing to Georgia State (1-3), before posting a victory over UCF (3-2). As a team, Clemson is averaging 12.47 kills per set while hitting .205 for the season. The Tigers are averaging 14.53 digs, 1.44 aces and 2.28 blocks per set through eight matches.
The Tigers are led offensively by senior Moneshia Simmons who is averaging nearly 4.22 kills per set, nearly two more kills per set than teammate Karis Watson (2.28 kps). Simmons is also leading the team in aces with nine, to average 0.28 aces per set. Senior Hannah Brenner leads the team with 272 assists (10.07 aps), Kristin Faust has a team-high 121 digs (3.78 dps) and Beta Dumancic averages a team-best 1.12 blocks per set.
Jolene Jordan-Hoover is in her 21st season as the head coach of the Clemson volleyball program and has tallied a 419-229 record with the Tigers. The Tide and the Tigers have met on seven previous occasions with Clemson leading Alabama, 5-2.
The University of Delaware Blue Hens enter the Clemson Classic with 6-5 record following a 2-3 loss to Villanova on Tuesday night. Prior to the loss to Villanova, the Blue Hens won all three matches in the 37th Annual Delaware Invitational, defeating Rutgers (3-2), Sacred Heart (3-0) and Furman (3-2). Delaware is averaging 11.67 kills, 10.70 assists, 1.23 aces, 14.98 digs and 1.90 blocks per set.
Katie Hillman leads the Blue Hens with 139 kills (3.23 kps) this season and is third on the team with 75 digs (1.74 dps). Mackenzie Olsen takes on primary responsibility in the setting position, dishing out 418 assists to average 9.71 per set. Jill Meyers leads the team with 41 total blocks (0.95 bps) and Ariel Shonk has a team-high 241 digs to average 5.60 digs per set, good for 12th in the country.
With 11 seasons under her belt at the University of Delaware, Bonnie Kenny has put up a total 215-127 record. The Blue Hens and the Tide will meet for the third time this weekend with the Tide leading the series, 2-0.
After posting a 1-2 record in the Georgia Tech Courtyard Classic last weekend, the Troy Trojans enter the Clemson Classic with a 4-6 record. Sandwiched around losses to Connecticut (2-3) and St. John's (0-3), the Trojans posted a 3-1 win over Georgia Tech on Saturday. As a team, Troy is averaging 12.05 kills per set, while hitting .181 for the season. The Trojans average 10.97 assists, 1.00 aces, 15.59 digs and 2.04 blocks per set.
With 134 kills (3.44 kps) Marija Zelenovic leads the Trojans offensive attack, and Kayla Pickart chips in with 2.38 kills per set. Alexandra Alexander has a team-high 298 assists (7.64 aps) and Courtney Cohen averages a team-best 4.59 digs per set. Kiah Cheatham has 37 total blocks to lead the team and averages 0.95 blocks per set.
Sonny Kirkpatrick is in his eighth season as the head coach of the Trojans and has tallied a 102-133 record at Troy. Saturday's match will mark the 12th meeting all time between Alabama and Troy, with the Crimson Tide leading the all-time series 9-2.
After the three matches in the Clemson Classic, Alabama returns home to host Alabama State in the last non-conference match, before opening Southeastern Conference play on Sunday. The Tuesday, Sept. 24, match between Alabama and ASU will begin at 7 p.m. CT from Foster Auditorium. Alabama opens SEC play at home on Sunday, Sept. 29, against the No. 19-ranked Kentucky Wildcats at 1:30 p.m. CT.
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