Volleyball Travels to Texas A&M and Mississippi State This Weekend

ROLLTIDEDOTCOM Sierra Wilson is one of two players on the Crimson Tide roster to play every set this season.
Sierra Wilson is one of two players on the Crimson Tide roster to play every set this season.

Nov. 1, 2012

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TUSCALOOSA, Ala. - Alabama (14-10, 3-9 SEC) remains on the road this week for 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 on Sunday, against the MSU Bulldogs from the Newell-Grisson Building.

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 aggieathletics.com and Sunday's match at Mississippi State will be available on hailstate.com.

Pricilla Duke-Ezeji is coming off a week where she averaged 4.12 kills per set in matches against Arkansas and Tennessee. After sitting the last five matches of the season, Duke-Ezeji had 18 kills with a .314 hitting percentage against Arkansas. Freshman outside Mattie Weldy made her first career start at Arkansas, posting a career-high 12 kills in the match. Weldy, who also started the match at Tennessee, is averaging 1.95 kills per set this season, while averaging 2.00 kills per set during SEC play.

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.

The Texas A&M Aggies enter Friday's match with a 17-5 overall record and are tied for first place in the SEC Western Division with a 9-4 mark. Texas A&M posted road wins at LSU (3-1) and South Carolina (3-0) last week, after dropping three straight conference matches. The Aggies average 14.40 kills per set with a .248 hitting percentage, to rank first and fifth in the SEC, respectively. TAMU also leads the conference with a .162 opponent hitting percentage.
Leading the Aggies' SEC-leading offensive output is Alisia Kastmo with 3.57 kills per set, to rank ninth in the conference. Tori Mellinger adds 2.73 kills per set to go along with 3.23 digs per frame. Lindsey Miller chips in with 2.61 kills per set to go along with a .333 hitting percentage and a team-high 1.08 blocks per frame, which ranks eighth in the SEC. Allie Sawatzky leads the team with 9.88 assists per set and Megan Pendergast has a team-high 3.87 digs per set. 
When Alabama and Texas A&M meet on Friday, it will mark the fourth ever meeting and second this season. After winning the first SEC match between the two schools on Sept. 30, 2012, TAMU leads the all-time series 3-0. In the only meeting of the series played in College Station, the Aggies posted a 3-0 win over the Crimson Tide on Sept. 14, 1996.

The Mississippi State Bulldogs enter this week with a 4-18 overall record with an 0-13 mark in SEC play. The Bulldogs last win came on Sept. 7, with a five-set win over Tulane. Over the last nine matches, MSU has not won a set. Mississippi State is 13th in the conference in six of the seven statistical categories. MSU has a .132 hitting percentage and is averaging 10.81 kills per set. During SEC play, MSU is averaging 9.72 kills per set with a .082 hitting percentage. Conference opponents average 14.2 kills per frame while hitting .290 against the Bulldogs.
Taylor Scott leads the team with 2.82 kills per set and is second on the squad with 2.85 digs per set. Sarah Nielsen adds 2.29 kills per frame with a .232 hitting percentage. Roxanne McVey averages 5.45 digs per set to lead the SEC. Lainey Wyman is 16th in the SEC with a team-high 0.85 blocks per set and Alex Warren adds 0.73 blocks per frame.
Sunday's match between Alabama and Mississippi State will mark the 58th meeting all-time between the two schools. Alabama leads the overall series 40-17, but the Bulldogs swept the two matches last season. UA is 14-13 all-time in matches played in Starkville, Miss.

Alabama struggled through a 0-2 week last week, suffering back-to-back road losses at Arkansas and Tennessee. After dropping the first two sets to the Razorbacks, the Tide battled back to win sets three and four to even the match. Arkansas responded with a 15-8 win in the fifth set to defeat the Tide for the sixth straight time. UA closed the weekend with a straight sets loss at Tennessee on Sunday. It marked the ninth straight loss to the Lady Vols.  Alabama hit a combined .183 in the two matches, while allowing a .327 hitting percentage on the weekend.

• 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 .235 hitting percentage. UA ranks 61st nationally in hitting percentage.
• Alabama is second in the SEC with 1.32 aces per set which ranks 91st overall in the country.
• The Tide's 13.11 kills per set this season rank seventh in the SEC and 106th in the country.

Sierra Wilson is second in the conference with 10.82 assists per set, which ranks 48th in the country. Wilson is one of two Crimson Tide players (Kryssi Daniels) to play in every set this season. In 25 matches, Wilson has made 2,429 sets and has committed just 13 ball handling errors, which is one handling error for every 187 sets ... Wilson had 49 assists and 11 digs against Arkansas to notch her team-leading sixth double-double of the season.
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 41, while her conference best 0.47 aces per set ranks 14th in the country.
• With 23 digs against Arkansas, libero Cristina Arenas reached the 20-dig mark for the fourth time this season and eighth time in her career ... Arenas also added 11 digs in two sets of action against Tennessee, to average 4.86 digs per set last week ... Arenas tied an Alabama home match record with 30 digs against Missouri (10/7) ... For the season, Arenas averages 3.49 digs per set (3.67 dps in SEC play) to rank 14th in the conference ... Arenas has been the starting libero for Alabama in the last 18 matches and is averaging 4.05 digs per set in that role.
Pricilla Duke-Ezeji returned to the Crimson Tide starting lineup against Arkansas, making her first appearance on the floor since starting against Texas A&M on Sept. 30 ... Duke-Ezeji finished the weekend with a team-high 33 kills to average 4.12 kills per set with a .268 hitting percentage ... Duke-Ezeji had 18 kills and a .314 hitting percentage in the five-set loss to Arkansas.
• Freshman outside hitter Mattie Weldy made her first career start against Arkansas, where she posted a career-high 12 kills against the Razorbacks.

Alabama returns home to Foster Auditorium for one match next week against the Kentucky Wildcats. The match between the Crimson Tide and Wildcats is slated for Friday, November 9, with first serve scheduled for 7 p.m. CT.

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