Sept. 23, 2013
Tuscaloosa, Ala. - After winning all three matches of the Clemson Classic, Alabama (11-2/0-0 SEC) returns home for its last non-conference match before opening SEC play, on Tuesday when it plays Alabama State (5-11) at 7 p.m. at Foster Auditorium. The Tide opens SEC play at home on Sunday, Sept. 29, against No. 19 Kentucky, with first serve scheduled for 1:30 p.m. CT.
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Alabama won its third straight tournament after posting a 3-0 record in the Clemson Classic.
With the three wins in the Clemson Classic, the Crimson Tide has now won nine straight matches and is 11-2 on the season.
The Tide opened the tournament with a five-set win over Clemson, before defeating both Delaware and Troy in four sets.
In the three matches, the Tide averaged 15.62 kills per set while posting a .262 hitting percentage.
UA also averaged 15.08 assists, 0.62 aces, 15.62 digs and 2.54 blocks per set in the tournament.
For the season, the Tide is hitting .281, which ranks third in the Southeastern Conference and 18th in the country.
Alabama is fourth in the SEC in kills (14.40) and assists (13.52) per set to rank 42nd and 41st, respectively, in the nation.
Head coach Ed Allen is in his third season with the Crimson Tide and 22nd overall as a head coach. With an 11-2 record this season, Allen has a 40-36 record at the Capstone, bringing his career record to 534-219 (.709).
ALABAMA PLAYER NOTES
For the third straight weekend, redshirt freshman middle blocker Krystal Rivers was named a tournament MVP ... Rivers was named the Clemson Classic MVP after averaging 3.92 kills per set, with a .398 hitting percentage, and 1.31 blocks per set in matches against Clemson, Delaware and Troy ... she finished the weekend averaging 4.17 points per set ... the middle blocker had a career-high 25 kills, including six in the fifth set, against Clemson ... she also added seven total blocks, including two solo and five assisted against the Tigers ... in a four-set win over Delaware, Rivers had 13 kills and eight total blocks (1s, 7a) while hitting .391 against the Blue Hens ... she added 13 kills in a four-set win over Troy, when she hit .500 (13-2/22) against the Trojans ... she leads the team and ranks ninth in the SEC with 3.56 kills per set ... she also ranks third in the SEC and 11th in the country with a .453 hitting percentage ... Rivers is fifth in the SEC with 4.17 points per set and 20th in the conference with 0.81 blocks per set.
Sierra Wilson and Andrea McQuaid were also named to the Clemson Classic All-Tournament Team.
Sophomore setter Sierra Wilson tallied 174 assists to average 13.38 assists per set in the three matches ... she had a career-high 73 assists in the five-set win over Clemson, which ranks as the sixth most assists in a match for any Alabama player ... Wilson also moved up two spots on the UA career assists list and ranks seventh all-time with 1,839 assists in 45 matches ... Wilson averages 11.15 assists per set for her career ... for the season, Wilson is second in the SEC and seventh in the country with 11.87 assists per set.
As Alabama's right side hitter, Andrea McQuaid averaged 2.09 kills per set while hitting .379 in the three matches of the Clemson Classic ... McQuaid had at least eight kills in all three matches, which included a tournament-high 10 kills in the opener against Clemson, when she hit .471 ... she is averaging 1.55 kills per set with a .288 hitting percentage this season.
Sophomore outside hitter Laura Steiner had an outstanding tournament as well, averaging 3.54 kills per set with a .246 hitting percentage ... Steiner posted 22 kills with a .277 hitting percentage in Alabama's four-set win over Troy ... Steiner is second on the team with 168 kills and her 3.50 kills per set ranks 12th in the SEC.
Freshman outside hitter Brittany Thomas, who continues to play all six rotations for the Crimson Tide, posted three double-doubles in the Clemson Classic ... Thomas leads the team with five double-doubles, which ranks eighth in the SEC ... Thomas averaged 3.77 kills and 3.85 digs per set in the Clemson Classic ... she had a career-high 22 kills and 16 digs in the five-set win over Clemson ... after a team-high 17 kills with 13 digs in the win over Delaware, she had 10 kills and a career-high 21 digs against Troy ... Thomas is third on the team and 15th in the SEC with 3.25 kills per set this season, and ranks second on the team with 2.69 digs per set ... Thomas also leads the squad with 15 aces.
Sophomore libero Kryssi Daniels paced the Tide with 54 digs (4.15 dps) in the Clemson Classic ... Daniels leads the squad with 153 digs this season and is 14th in the SEC with 3.19 digs per set ... she is third on the team with 10 aces this season.
After matching her career-high with seven total blocks against Troy, Katherine White is second on the team with 38 blocks this season ... White is second on the team with 12 solo blocks and is tied for the team lead with 26 assisted blocks.
The Alabama State Hornets will enter Foster Auditorium with a 5-11 record. The Hornets dropped all three matches of the ASU Marriott Invitational last weekend, losing to No. 18 Arizona State (0-3), Cal Poly (1-3) and Louisiana-Monroe (2-3). Including a 0-3 loss to Troy on Sept. 17, Alabama State has lost four straight matches heading into Tuesday's match against the Tide.
As a team, ASU is averaging 10.76 kills per set, while hitting .151 for the season. The Hornets also average 9.91 assists, 1.20 aces, 11.52 digs and 1.85 blocks per set. Amber Bennett leads the team with 2.91 kills and 0.91 blocks per set and Tiara Kelley adds 2.08 kills per set. The team leader in digs is Luiza Griz, who averages a team-high 2.98 digs per set. Brooke Beasley averages 4.50 assists per set to lead the team, while Ellyn Jones adds 4.44 digs per set.
Penny Lucas-White is in her third season at Alabama State, posting a 29-59 record with the Hornets. She is in her 22nd season overall as a head coach, posting a 221-441 career record. Tuesday will mark the 13th meeting all-time between Alabama and ASU, as the Tide holds a 12-0 record against the Hornets.
After a non-conference match against Alabama State on Tuesday, the Crimson Tide will open Southeastern Conference play on Sunday, Sept. 29, at home against the No. 19 ranked Kentucky Wildcats. First serve is scheduled for 1:30 p.m. CT at Foster Auditorium. Next week, Alabama will travel to Auburn on Wednesday, Oct. 2, for a 7 p.m. match. UA closes the second week of SEC play at home with a match against No. 4 Florida, on Sunday, Oct. 6, at 1:30 p.m. CT.
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