Volleyball Travels to Arkansas and Missouri This Week



Oct. 10, 2013

Tuscaloosa, Ala. - Alabama (13-4/1-2 SEC) will play a pair of Southeastern Conference road matches this week. The Crimson Tide opens the weekend on Friday night, with 7 p.m. match against the Arkansas Razorbacks (11-5, 4-1 SEC). The weekend wraps up with a Sunday afternoon match at No. 25 Missouri (19-0, 3-0 SEC). The match between the Tide and Tigers will start at 1:30 p.m. CT from the Hearnes Center.

Live Audio: RollTide.com (both matches)
Live Video: ArkansasRazorbacks.com and MUTigers.com
Livestats: ArkansasRazorbacks.com and RollTide.com
Television: None

Alabama posted a 3-1 win on the road at Auburn on Wednesday, before suffering a 3-0 loss to No. 3 Florida at home on Sunday. The Crimson Tide averaged 12.00 kills per set with a .241 hitting percentage, while averaging 11.14 assists, 1.29 aces, 10.57 digs and 2.14 blocks per set last week. The win over Auburn marked the second straight win over the Tigers and snapped a four-match losing streak when playing at Auburn. UA posted a .297 hitting percentage against the Tigers, hitting over .300 in sets two through four. Alabama had 12 blocks versus the Tigers, notching their fifth double-digit blocks match of the season. The Tide held the Tigers to a .041 hitting percentage which included negative hitting percentages for the Tigers in the third and fourth sets. Bama was held to season-lows in kills (30), assists (23) and digs (23) by Florida on Sunday. For the season, the Tide is averaging 14.00 kills per set while hitting .272. Alabama also averages 13.08 assists, 1.32 aces, 13.61 digs and 1.69 blocks per set. During SEC play, Alabama is averaging 12.56 kills per set while hitting .229. The Tide also averages 11.55 assists, 1.45 aces, 11.00 digs and 2.00 blocks per set against conference opponents.

The Crimson Tide is paced by Krystal Rivers’ 3.47 kills per set. Rivers has a .426 hitting percentage in 2013 to rank third in the SEC and 17th in the country. Laura Steiner is second on the team with 3.29 kills per set, while Brittany Thomas adds 3.26 kills per set. Steiner is 13th and Thomas is 14th in the SEC in kills per set. Bama is the only SEC team to have three players ranked in the top-20 conference rankings for kills per set. Sierra Wilson is third in the conference and 12th nationally with 11.60 assists per set. Kryssi Daniels leads the team with 3.11 digs per set to rank 14th in the conference in digs.

Alabama head coach Ed Allen is in his third season with the Crimson Tide and 22nd overall as a head coach. With a 13-4 record this season, Allen has a 42-38 record at the Capstone, bringing his career record to 536-221 (.708).

The Arkansas Razorbacks (11-5, 4-1 SEC) enter Friday’s match on a two-game winning streak, having defeated the South Carolina Gamecocks (3-2) and the Auburn Tigers (3-1), last week. As a team, Arkansas enters the match averaging 13.54 kills per set with a .205 hitting percentage. The Razorback also average 1.27 aces, 13.69 digs and 2.59 blocks per set.

Meredith Hays enters the match as the team leader in kills with 4.17 per set, to rank third in the SEC. Kayley Koop adds 2.35 kills per set and Breana Jones chips in with 2.32 kills per set. Senior libero Emily Helm led the Razorbacks defensively with a match-high 20 digs against the Tigers and totaled 52 digs over the past two matches. Helm is fourth in the SEC with 4.36 digs per set.

The Tide and the Razorbacks have met on 39 occasions, with Arkansas leading the series 32-7. The last time Alabama and Arkansas squared off, the Razorbacks defeated the Tide 3-2 in Fayetteville on Oct. 25, 2012. Alabama got a career-high 12 kills from Mattie Weldy and Laura Steiner and Sierra Wilson had a double-double with 49 assists and 11 digs. Arkansas’ Jasmine Norton led all players with 19 kills and a team-high 21 digs.

The No. 25 Missouri Tigers (19-0, 3-0 SEC) return to SEC play Friday night when they travel to Tennessee before hosting the Tide on Sunday. The Tigers are one of three unbeaten teams in the nation, and currently  lead the SEC in hitting percentage (.387), opponent hitting percentage (.156), kills per set (15.14), assists per set (14.35) and aces per set (1.77).

The Tigers are led by Lisa Henning’s 4.42 kills per set, which rank 16th in the country, while hitting .374 for the season. Whittney Little, who averages 2.32 kills per set, leads the country with a .548 hitting percentage. Setter Molly Kreklow leads the SEC and ranks second in the country with 12.38 assists per set.

The Tide and the Tigers have played three previous times with Missouri leading 2-1. The last time Alabama and Missouri met, the Tide posted a five-set win over the Tigers in Columbia, Mo. Bama’s Kayla Fitterer led all players with 26 kills, Laura Steiner added 19 kills and Kanesha Burch chipped in with 12 kills. Cristina Arenas paced the Tide with 17 digs, Kelsey Melito added 11 and Kryssi Daniels had 10, and Sierra Wilson finished the night with 64 assists. Lisa Henning was one of three Tigers to reach double figures in kills as she finished the night with 24. Emily Wilson had 16 kills and Whitney Little added 13. Henning had four total blocks, Little had three assisted blocks and Lydia Ely led all players with five assisted blocks in the match.

Next week the Crimson Tide will return to Foster Auditorium for matches against Texas A&M and LSU. The Tide will host the Aggies on Friday, Oct. 18 with first serve slated for 7 p.m. It will be the annual Power of Pink match for the volleyball team. UA closes the week with a 1:30 p.m. match on Sunday against the LSU Tigers.

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