Oct. 17, 2013
Tuscaloosa, Ala. - Alabama (14-5/2-3 SEC) will play a pair of Southeastern Conference home matches this week. The Crimson Tide opens the weekend on Friday night with its Power of Pink match against the Texas A&M Aggies (10-6, 2-3 SEC), with first serve slated for 7 p.m. at Foster Auditorium. The weekend closes with a Sunday afternoon match against the LSU Tigers (13-3, 3-1 SEC). First serve between the Tide and Tigers is scheduled for 1:30 p.m.
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Weekend Home Promotions
Friday night's match against Texas A&M will be the Alabama volleyball team's Power of Pink night. FREE T-Shirt will be provided for the first 100 Alabama students in attendance and pink t-shirts will be provided to fans while supplies last. All high school volleyball teams can fill out a roster form for FREE admission. Fan presenting their Arkansas football ticket will also receive FREE admission.
For Sunday's LSU match it will be kids day as the first 100 kids 12 and younger in attendance receive a FREE Hot Dog & Drink. It's also Beat Auburn, Beat Hunger day so fans that bring in any non-perishable food item(s) and receive FREE admission. All donations go to the West Alabama Food Bank. All girl scouts receive $1 admission and can partake in special pre-match experience. Fan presenting their Arkansas football ticket will also receive FREE admission. Lastly, the volleyball will sign autographs following the match.
Entering the weekend, the Crimson Tide ranks third in the SEC with a .267 hitting percentage, and fourth in the conference with 14.09 kills and 13.17 assists per set. Head coach Ed Allen is in his third season with the Crimson Tide and 22nd overall as a head coach. With a 14-5 record this season, Allen has a 43-39 record at the Capstone, bringing his career record to 537-222 (.707).
Krystal Rivers averaged 4.00 kills per set against Arkansas and Missouri, and continues to lead the club in kills with 247 to average 3.53 kills per set, which ranks seventh in the SEC. Rivers is third in the conference and 14th in the country with a .433 hitting percentage and is second on the team with 0.81 blocks per set to rank 20th in the conference. Brittany Thomas paced the Tide on the weekend with 34 total kills to average 4.25 kills per set last week, and is second on the team with 236 kills and 173 digs. She ranks 12th in the SEC with 3.37 kills per set. Sierra Wilson dished out 104 assists last week and now has 800 assists this season to bring her career total to 2,093. She became the sixth player in school history to reach the 2,000-assist mark with her 11th assist of the Arkansas match. Wilson is second in the SEC and eighth in the country with 11.76 assists per set this season.
Texas A&M comes to Tuscaloosa off of a victory over Mississippi State last Friday. The Aggies enter the match fifth in the SEC with a .245 hitting percentage, while ranking third in the conference with 14.28 kills per set. Texas A&M is holding opponents to .201 hitting percentage, as the team is averaging 2.30 blocks per set.
Sierra Patrick leads the Aggies with 3.37 kills per set while Angela Lowak chips in with 3.12 kps. Jazzmin Babers leads the team with 73 blocks to average 1.26 blocks per set, Kelsey Kinley averages a team-high 3.82 digs per set and Allie Sawatzky has a team-best 9.69 assists per set.
Friday's match will mark the fifth time the Tide and Aggies have faced off, with Texas A&M leading the series 4-0. In the last meeting between the two schools, TAMU posted a 3-0 win over the Tide when the met in College Station. Alabama's Pricilla Duke-Ezeji led the way with a match-high 12 kills, Kayla Fitterer added 10 kills and Mattie Weldy chipped in with six. Texas A&M's Tori Mellinger had 12 kills and Alisia Kastmo added 10.
The LSU Tigers (13-3, 3-1) enters the week riding a three-match winning streak following a 3-0 victory over Mississippi State on Sunday and will play at Auburn on Friday night. The Tigers are eighth in the SEC with a .233 hitting percentage while ranking 11th with 13.19 kills per set. LSU leads the SEC with 2.73 blocks per set, while ranking third with a .176 opponent's hitting percentage.
The Tigers are led by Cati Leak, who ranks ninth in the SEC with 3.38 kills per set. Freshman Briana Holman leads the conference with 1.53 blocks per set, while ranking seventh in the league with 4.13 points per set and ninth with a .362 hitting percentage.
Sunday's match between the Crimson Tide and Tigers will mark the 57th meeting all-time between the two teams. LSU holds a 33-23 all-time lead in the series following a 3-1 win over Alabama in the most recent meeting. Last season UA and LSU split the season series, as the Tide snapped an 11-match losing streak to the Tigers with a 3-0 win in Tuscaloosa on Sept. 14, 2012.
In the most recent meeting, the Tigers defeated the Tide 3-1 when the teams met in Baton Rouge, La., on Oct. 14, 2012, in a closely contested match. After dropping the first two sets 20-25 and 23-25, respectively, Alabama won the third set, 25-14. The Tigers responded by winning a close fourth set 25-23 to post a split in the season series. Laura Steiner paced the Tide with 19 kills and Sierra Wilson had a double-double with 50 assists and 11 digs.
Next week the Crimson Tide returns to the road for Southeastern Conference matches at Georgia and No. 14 Kentucky. Alabama opens the weekend against the Georgia Bulldogs on Friday, Oct. 25, with first serve scheduled for 6 p.m. CT from the Georgia Volleyball Arena. The weekend wraps up with a 12:30 p.m. CT match against the Kentucky Wildcats from Memorial Coliseum. Kentucky defeated the Crimson Tide, 3-1, when the teams met in Tuscaloosa on Sept. 29.
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