Volleyball Opens Four Straight Road Matches at Arkansas on Friday

ROLLTIDEDOTCOM Kayla Fitterer leads the Tide with 3.65 kills per set in 2012.
Kayla Fitterer leads the Tide with 3.65 kills per set in 2012.

Oct. 25, 2012

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TUSCALOOSA, Ala. - Alabama (14-9, 3-8 SEC) will travel Fayetteville, Ark., and Knoxville, Tenn., for matches against Arkansas and Tennessee this week. Alabama opens the week on Friday, Oct. 26, with a 7 p.m. match against the Razorbacks from the Barnhill Arena. The week wraps up with a Sunday afternoon match against the Lady Vols. First serve is scheduled for 12 p.m. CT, from the Thompson-Boling Arena and the game will be televised on Fox Sports South.

For both matches this week, a live audio broadcast will be available for free on RollTide.com through TideTV. Live stats links will be available through the volleyball schedule page on RollTide.com. In addition to the audio and live stats, fans will be able to watch the matches live. Friday’s match will be available through ArkansasRazorbacks.com and Sunday’s match at Tennessee will be televised live on Fox Sports South.

Senior outside hitter Kayla Fitterer entered her final season with 989 career kills in 81 matches played at the Capstone. Fitterer had 10 kills in the season opener against Holy Cross and then became the 13th player in school history with 1,000 career kills with her first against Northeastern in the second match of the season. She reached the 1,000-kill mark in her 83rd career match at Alabama. With 248 kills this season, Fitterer now ranks 11th in school history with 1,237 career kills and needs 10 kills to pass Jennifer Bibber for 10th. Fitterer ranks second among active players in the SEC in career kills as she trails Arkansas’ Jasmine Horton’s total of 1,639.

Last week, right side hitter Andrea McQuaid posted a .440 hitting percentage against Florida and Georgia, while collecting 12 kills with just one hitting error. Middle blocker Katherine White also hit over .400 for the week, as she collected seven kills on 12 swings with two errors for a .417 mark. Kayla Fitterer led the Tide with 19 total kills (3.17 kps), while Laura Steiner added 18 kills to average 3.00 kills per set last weekend.

The Arkansas Razorbacks come into this week with a 16-6 overall record, while posting a 7-4 mark in SEC play. The Razorbacks are receiving four votes in this week’s AVCA Top 25 Coaches Poll. Arkansas is coming off a 2-0 week that included road wins at Kentucky (3-0) and Mississippi State (3-0). The Razorbacks rank second in the SEC with 14.29 kills per set, while their .262 team hitting percentage is fourth best in the conference. Arkansas is also third in the SEC with a .176 opponent hitting percentage and rank eighth in the conference with 2.15 blocks per set.
Jasmine Horton, who is the active leader in career kills in the SEC, leads the team with 289 kills this season to average 3.66 kills per set and rank sixth in the SEC. Janeliss Torres averages 1.95 kills per set while posting a .344 hitting percentage to rank eighth in the conference. Roslandy Acosta adds 3.14 kills per set to rank 14th overall in the SEC in 2012. Raymeriely Santos is sixth in the conference with 10.41 assists per set, Emily Helm’s 3.89 digs per set are ninth in the SEC, and Torres’ 1.08 blocks per frame rank sixth best in the conference.
Friday’s match will mark the 39th meeting all-time between the two schools. Arkansas, who has won the last six meetings overall, has a 31-7 advantage overall in the series. In matches played in Fayetteville, Ark., Alabama holds a 2-15 record against the Razorbacks. Last season, Alabama dropped a four-set match to Arkansas in Tuscaloosa, before being swept by the Razorbacks in Fayetteville.

The Tennessee Lady Vols come into this week with a 14-5 overall record, while posting a 7-3 mark in SEC play. The Lady Vols are receiving 53 votes in this week’s AVCA Top 25 Coaches Poll, to rank one spot out of the top 25. Tennessee, who will host Kentucky on Friday, is riding a five-match winning streak following a 3-0 win over Texas A&M last week. The Lady Vols lead the SEC with 13.33 assists per set, while ranking fourth in the conference with 14.18 kills per set. UT is sixth in the SEC with a .248 hitting percentage and rank third overall with 2.55 blocks per set.
Kelsey Robinson comes into the week averaging 4.45 kills per set, which is second best in the SEC. Robinson also averages 3.73 digs per set to rank 12th in the conference. Tiffany Baker adds 3.17 kills per set and Leslie Cikra chips in with 2.60 per frame. Setter Mary Pollmiller is third in the SEC with 10.79 assists per set and Ellen Mullins’ 4.25 digs per set are good for seventh best in the conference. DeeDee Harrison leads the team with 1.08 blocks per set to ranks seventh in the SEC.
Sunday’s match between Alabama and Tennessee will mark the 43rd meeting all-time in the series. Tennessee, who has won the last nine meetings overall, leads the series 32-11. UA is 3-16 all-time in matches played in Knoxville. Last season, the Tide was swept by the Lady Vols in both matches.

Alabama struggled through a 0-2 week last week, suffering back-to-back straight set losses to No. 11 Florida and Georgia, respectively. The Tide was out matched against the Gators, as UA was held to a .036 hitting percentage, while UF hit .405 for the match. Alabama tallied 49 total points in the match, its lowest output of the season. Alabama battled Georgia tough on Sunday, but could not win a set against the Bulldogs, falling 23-25, 22-25, and 24-26. UA held the lead at 20-19 in all three sets, but could not close out the Dogs in any frame. The Tide hit .331 in the match, but could not stop Georgia’s attack, as the Bulldogs posted a .427 hitting percentage.

• UA posted a season-best for a four-set match with a .336 hitting percentage against South Carolina on Oct. 12.
• In the second set at South Carolina, Alabama had no hitting errors and hit .593 in the set. It was the highest hitting percentage in a set for Alabama this season.
• UA then topped its single set high hitting percentage with a .621 mark in the third set at LSU. UA had 18 kills on 29 attempts.
• For the season, Alabama ranks eighth in the SEC with a .240 hitting percentage. UA ranks 57th nationally in hitting percentage.
• Alabama is second in the SEC with 1.35 aces per set which ranks 85th overall in the country.
• The Tide’s 13.22 kills per set this season rank seventh in the SEC and 101st in the country.

Sierra Wilson is second in the conference with 10.93 assists per set, which ranks 42nd in the country. Wilson is one of three Crimson Tide players to play in every set this season. Kryssi Daniels and Cristina Arenas have also played in all 82 sets this season. In 23 matches, Wilson has made 2,199 sets and has committed just 27 total errors, which is one error (ball handling or setting error) for every 81 sets.
Kanesha Burch has started the last eight matches for Alabama and is now averaging 1.60 kills per set with a .238 hitting percentage this season. As a starter, Burch is averaging 1.74 kills per set with a .200 hitting percentage. Against South Carolina and LSU, Burch averaged 2.62 kills with a .347 hitting percentage to go along with 1.12 blocks per set.
Kayla Fitterer continues to lead the team with 3.65 kills per set this season, which ranks seventh best in the SEC. During SEC play, Fitterer is averaging 3.78 kills per set with a .272 hitting percentage.
Kryssi Daniels continues to lead the SEC in aces with 38, while her conference best 0.46 aces per set ranks 14th in the country.
Laura Steiner is currently 15th in the SEC with 3.11 kills per set this season.
Cristina Arenas tied an Alabama home match record with 30 digs against Missouri (10/7). For the season, Arenas averages 3.43 digs per set (3.56 dps in SEC play) to rank 14th in the conference. Arenas has been the starting libero for Alabama in the last 16 matches and is averaging 3.98 digs per set in that role.

Alabama remains on the road next week with matches at Texas A&M and Mississippi State. The Tide opens the week on Friday, Nov. 2, with a 6:30 p.m. CT, match in College Station, Texas, from Reed Arena. The week wraps up with a 1:30 p.m. CT, match against the MSU Bulldogs from the Newell-Grisson Building.

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