Sept. 20, 2012
TUSCALOOSA, Ala. - The Alabama Crimson Tide (12-2/1-1 SEC) will continue Southeastern Conference play with two road matches at Georgia and Auburn this week. The Tide opens the week on Friday, Sept. 21, in Athens, Ga., for a 6 p.m. CT match against the Bulldogs at the Ramsey Student Center. The week wraps up with a Sunday afternoon match against rival Auburn, as the teams will square off at 1:30 p.m. CT in the Auburn Arena.
FOLLOW THE TIDE ONLINE
For the matches against Georgia and Auburn, a free live audio broadcast will be available through RollTide.com. Live stats will also be provided by Georgia and Auburn, and the links to the livestats will be available through RollTide.com. Georgia will provide a free video webcast of Friday night's match, while the video webcast on Sunday at Auburn will be part of the Tigers' subscription package.
Sierra Wilson NAMED SEC FRESHMAN OF THE WEEK
Alabama setter Sierra Wilson was named the Southeastern Conference Freshman of the Week, as announced by the conference office on Sept. 17. Wilson, who leads the SEC with 11.42 assists per set this season, helped the Crimson Tide post a 2-1 record last week that included victories over Samford (3-1) and LSU (3-0). As a team, Alabama hit .247 for the week as Wilson tallied 114 of the Tide's 130 assists in the three matches. Wilson averaged 10.36 assists per set and added seven kills, 22 digs (2.00 dps) and four total blocks.
PLAYERS TO WATCH
Kayla Fitterer had 50 kills and a .342 hitting percentage last week, averaging 4.55 kills and 2.73 digs per set. Against Samford, she had 17 kills and 16 digs, while hitting .359 (17-3/39) for the match. She was even better against LSU as she had a season-high 19 kills with a .436 hitting percentage then finished the week with 14 kills and seven digs against Tennessee.
SCOUTING THE GEORGIA BULLDOGS
Georgia enters the second week of SEC play with a 7-4 record after going 1-1 last week against South Carolina (L, 0-3) and Mississippi State (W, 3-1). The Bulldogs rank ninth in the conference with 13.53 kills per set and eighth with a .233 hitting percentage. UGA is third in the SEC with 2.63 blocks per set.
Tirah Le'au leads the Bulldogs with 3.37 kills per set to rank 11th in the SEC. Elena Perri leads the squad with a .367 hitting percentage and Jasmine Eatmon is second at .298. Setters Kaylee Kehoe (6.26 aps) and Maggie Baumert (5.16 aps) combine to distribute 11.42 assists per set. Allison Summers leads the team and ranks fifth in the conference with 4.34 digs per set and Perri has a team-high 45 blocks to rank fifth in the SEC with 1.18 blocks per set.
Friday's match between Alabama and Georgia will mark the 47th meeting all-time in the series. Alabama leads the overall series 25-21, while holding an 8-9 record when playing at Georgia. Alabama swept the season series last year and the two teams have split the last 10 meetings.
SCOUTING THE AUBURN TIGERS
Auburn enters this week with a 10-2 record and is 1-1 in SEC play. After opening the season with eight straight wins, the Tigers are 2-2 in their last four matches. Auburn opened SEC play with a win at Mississippi State (3-0), before falling to Texas A&M (3-1) on Sunday. The Tigers are seventh in the SEC with 13.63 kills per set and are ninth with a .233 hitting percentage.
Sarah Bullock leads the Tigers with 122 kills in 38 sets to average 3.21 kills per set. Camila Jersonsky is third in the SEC with a .387 hitting percentage while averaging 2.46 kills per set. Jersonsky also leads the SEC with 1.24 blocks per set. Chelsea Wintzinger leads the team with 5.85 assists per set and Ciara Richards adds 5.37 assists per frame. Sarah Wroblicky's 4.95 digs per set is third best in the SEC and Bullock is second on the team with 3.11 digs per set.
Alabama leads the all-time series 43-29 and has a 17-12 record against the Tigers in 29 matches played at Auburn. After sweeping the season series in 2011, Auburn has won the last five meetings overall in the series.
LOOKING BACK AT LAST WEEK
Alabama posted a 2-1 record last week that included wins over Samford (3-1) and LSU (3-0). The win over LSU got the Crimson Tide off to a 1-0 start to Southeastern Conference play and snapped an 11-match losing streak to the Tigers. It was the first win in the SEC opener since 2009, when the Tide defeated Georgia in three sets. Alabama closed the week with a 3-1 loss to No. 17 Tennessee, after the Tide won the opening set of the match.
ALABAMA QUICK HITTERS
With 18 aces last week, Alabama leads the SEC with 75 aces, but is second in the conference (Florida, 1.71 aps) and 36th in the country with 1.56 aces per set. Alabama also ranks 36th in the country with a .263 hitting percentage and is 68th nationally with 12.75 assists per frame.
• Kayla Fitterer had a big week for the Crimson Tide as she tallied 50 kills (4.55 kps) with a .342 hitting percentage last week. Fitterer now leads the team with 3.71 kills per set to rank seventh overall in the SEC. Fitterer had 17 kills and 16 digs in a four-set win over Samford for her second double-double of the season and 27th of her career. The 27 career double-doubles are the second most among active players in the SEC. With 1,115 career kills, Fitterer is also second in the SEC among active players, as she trails Arkansas' Jasmine Norton who has 1,521 career kills.
• Sierra Wilson was named the SEC Freshman of the Week after dishing out 114 assists in the three matches to average 10.36 assists per set. Wilson currently leads the SEC with 11.42 assists per set, which is 22nd overall nationally.
• After adding eight aces in three matches last week, Kryssi Daniels leads the SEC with 29 aces and her 0.60 aces per set rank fifth in the country.
• Laura Steiner has taken over the number two hitting spot for Alabama and posted 36 kills (3.27 kps) last week. For the season, Steiner averages 3.06 kills per set with a .245 hitting percentage.
• Katherine White added seven blocks last week, four solo and three assisted, and leads the team with 39 total blocks this season. White's 0.81 blocks per set rank 19th overall in the SEC.
• Cristina Arenas has taken over the libero role in the last seven matches and is averaging 4.50 digs per set in the starting role. Arenas averages 3.33 digs per set for the season to rank 13th in the SEC.
NEXT FOR THE TIDE
Following the two road SEC matches this week, Alabama returns to Tuscaloosa for a pair of conference matches next week. The Crimson Tide will host Mississippi on Friday, Sept. 28, with first serve slated for 7 p.m. CT. On Sunday, Alabama will get its first look at new SEC member Texas A&M when the teams square off at 1:30 p.m. CT from Foster Auditorium.
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