Nov. 8, 2012
TUSCALOOSA, Ala. - Alabama (15-12, 4-11 SEC) returns home to Foster Auditorium for one match this week against the Kentucky Wildcats. The match between the Crimson Tide and Wildcats (17-8, 11-4 SEC) is slated for Friday, November 9, with first serve scheduled for 7 p.m. CT.
FOLLOW THE TIDE ONLINE
For Friday’s match against Kentucky, fans will be able to follow the action live online through the TideTV subscription package on RollTide.com. Live stats will also be provided for free through RollTide.com, by clicking on the Gametracker link on the volleyball schedule page.
All fans bringing a football ticket for the Texas A&M game will be admitted to the match for FREE. It will also be Youth Night at Foster Auditorium as the first 200 children 12 and younger in attendance will receive one voucher for a FREE hot dog and drink. There will also be FREE admission for all Big Al Kids Club members, who present their membership card at the door.
PLAYERS TO WATCH
Pricilla Duke-Ezeji is coming off a week where she averaged 4.43 kills per set in matches against Texas A&M and Mississippi State. Duke-Ezeji has started the last four matches for the Crimson Tide, and has collected a team-high 64 kills in those matches, to average 4.27 kills per set, while hitting .238. Sierra Wilson had 75 assists last weekend and reached the 1,000-assist mark for the season with her first assist against Mississippi State on Sunday. Wilson has 1,049 assists this season as a freshman.
Kayla Fitterer MOVES INTO BAMA’S TOP 10 IN KILLS
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 a team-high 273 kills this season, Fitterer now ranks ninth in school history with 1,262 career kills, after passing Jennifer Bibber (1,246) for 10th and Brooks Webster (1,257) for ninth. Fitterer now needs 28 more kills to pass Nina Foster for eighth and 44 more to pass Sue Farris for seventh. Fitterer ranks second among active players in the SEC in career kills as she trails Arkansas’ Jasmine Horton’s total of 1,696.
SCOUTING THE KENTUCKY WILDCATS
The Kentucky Wildcats enter Friday’s match with a 17-8 record overall, while posting an 11-4 mark in Southeastern Conference play. The Wildcats, who have won five straight matches following home wins over Mississippi (3-1) and South Carolina (3-0) last week, are receiving 63 votes in this week’s AVCA Coaches Poll. Kentucky ranks fifth in the SEC with 13.81 kills per set, while the team hitting percentage of .256 is third best in the conference. UK is second in aces (1.32 per set) and third in blocks (2.57) in the SEC.
The Wildcats attack is led by Ashley Frazier, who averages a team-high 3.03 kills per set. Whitney Billings adds 2.96 kills per set, while Lauren O’Conner chips in with 2.78 per frame. Christine Hartman averages 10.95 assists per set to rank second in the SEC and libero Stephanie Klefot averages 3.87 digs per set. Alexandra Morgan is ninth in the SEC with a team-high 1.00 blocks per set.
Friday’s match will mark the 38th meeting all-time between Alabama and Kentucky. After sweeping the season series last year, the Wildcats hold a 24-13 advantage in the all-time series. UK has won seven of the last eight meetings, with the Tide posting a 3-2 win over the Wildcats in Tuscaloosa on Nov. 7, 2010. Alabama is 7-12 against Kentucky when the teams have played in Tuscaloosa.
LOOKING BACK AT LAST WEEK
Alabama posted a 1-1 record last week, losing in three sets (17-22, 22-25, 21-25) at Texas A&M, before defeating Mississippi State, 3-1 (22-25, 26-24, 25-27, 25-23), on the road. Against TAMU, the Tide posted a .194 hitting percentage, while allowing the Aggies to hit .322. Pricilla Duke-Ezeji paced the Tide with 12 kills and Kayla Fitterer added 10. The win at Mississippi State on Sunday marked the second SEC road win of the season for the Crimson Tide, as well as the first win on a Sunday for UA this season. Alabama had four players in double-figures in kills against the Bulldogs, with Duke-Ezeji leading the way with 19. Fitterer posted her 30th career double-double in that match with 15 kills and 15 digs.
ALABAMA QUICK HITTERS
• Alabama recorded a season-high 14 blocks in the match against Mississippi State.
• With the win over MSU, Alabama snapped a season-long six-match losing streak.
• 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 62nd nationally in hitting percentage.
• Alabama is third in the SEC with 1.30 aces per set which ranks 101st overall in the country.
• The Tide’s 13.10 kills per set this season rank seventh in the SEC and 110th in the country.
• Sierra Wilson is third in the conference with 10.81 assists per set, which ranks 47th in the country ... Wilson is one of two Crimson Tide players (Kryssi Daniels) to play in every set this season ... In 27 matches, Wilson has made 2,652 sets and has committed just 13 ball handling errors, which is one handling error for every 204 sets ... Wilson had 49 assists and 11 digs against Arkansas to notch her team-leading sixth double-double of the season ... With her first assist of the match against MSU (11.4) she reached the 1,000-assist mark for the season.
• Kayla Fitterer continues to lead the team with 3.64 kills per set this season, which ranks seventh best in the SEC. During SEC play, Fitterer is averaging 3.75 kills per set with a .265 hitting percentage.
• Kryssi Daniels continues to lead the SEC in aces with 45, while her conference best 0.46 aces per set ranks 11th in the country.
• With 23 digs against Mississippi State, libero Cristina Arenas reached the 20-dig mark for the fifth time this season and ninth time in her career … Arenas also added 16 digs in three sets against Texas A&M, to average 5.57 digs per set last week ... Arenas tied an Alabama home match record with 30 digs against Missouri (10/7) ... For the season, Arenas averages 3.69 digs per set (3.98 dps in SEC play) to rank 12th in the conference ... Arenas has been the starting libero for Alabama in the last 20 matches and is averaging 4.19 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 against Arkansas and Tennessee with a team-high 33 kills to average 4.12 kills per set with a .268 hitting percentage ... Duke-Ezeji led the Tide with 31 total kills last week to average 4.43 kills per set … Duke-Ezeji is now averaging 3.61 kills per set for the season and 3.45 kills per set during SEC play.
• Kelsey Melito had a career-high 16 digs against the Bulldogs on Sunday.
• Leigh Moyer came off the bench to lead the Crimson Tide with a career-high six total blocks against Mississippi State.
• Kanesha Burch had 10 kills, a career-best .529 hitting percentage and a career-high six blocks (1 solo, 5 assisted) against MSU.
• Laura Steiner had 11 kills and a .333 hitting percentage versus Mississippi State … Steiner currently ranks 17th in the SEC with 3.03 kills per set this season.
NEXT FOR THE TIDE
Alabama remains home next week for its final two matches of the season at Foster Auditorium. The Crimson Tide will host South Carolina on Friday, November 16, at 7 p.m. CT, before wrapping up the home slate with a Sunday afternoon match against Auburn. The match against the Tigers will start at 1 p.m. CT, and will be televised on CSS.
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