Nov. 15, 2012
UA Notes_South Carolina-Auburn
South Carolina Notes
TUSCALOOSA, Ala. - Alabama (16-12, 5-11 SEC) remains home this week for its final two matches of the season at Foster Auditorium. The Crimson Tide will host South Carolina (16-13, 4-13 SEC) on Friday, November 16, at 7 p.m. CT, before wrapping up the home slate with a Sunday afternoon match against Auburn (17-8, 8-8 SEC). The match against the Tigers will start at 1 p.m. CT, and will be televised on CSS.
Follow the Tide Online
For Friday's match against South Carolina, 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. Sunday's match will be broadcast live on CSS with Melissa Lee and Anjelica Partridge calling the action. Livestats will be available on RollTide.com
All fans bringing a football ticket for the Western Carolina game will be admitted FREE to both matches this weekend. Friday night will also be Faculty/Staff Appreciation Night, with all UA employees receiving free admission with their ACTion card. Sunday will be Senior Day, as Kayla Fitterer and Leigh Moyer make their last home appearance of their careers against Auburn and will be recognized in a pregame ceremony. It will also be Youth day 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 a post-match autograph session with the team.
Players To Watch
For the second time this season, outside hitter Laura Steiner was named the Southeastern Conference Freshman of the Week. Steiner earned the honor after leading the Crimson Tide to a 3-1 win over Kentucky last Friday night at Foster Auditorium. In the match, Steiner had a career-high 20 kills to average 5.0 kills per set against the Wildcats. For the season, Steiner ranks 12th in the SEC with 3.12 kills per set, while averaging 3.16 kills per set during conference action.
Scouting the South Carolina Gamecocks
South Carolina comes into Friday's match with a 16-13 overall record, which includes a 4-13 mark in SEC play. The Gamecocks have dropped six of their last seven matches, with its only win during that stretch coming on Nov. 9, against Mississippi State in a 3-0 victory. SC averages 13.62 kills per set to rank seventh in the SEC and the team hitting percentage of .253 ranks third in the conference.
The Gamecocks are led by Juliette Thevenin, who averages 4.20 kills per set to rank third in the SEC, Thevenin adds 2.59 digs per set, which is second on the squad. Thevenin, who is hitting .287 for the season, ranks 35th in the country in kills per set. Bethanie Thomas adds 2.32 kills per set and Cara Howley chips in with 2.15 kills per frame. Setter Taylor Bruns averages 9.26 assists per set and libero Paige Wheeler averages 4.05 digs per set to rank eighth in the SEC.
Friday's match between Alabama and South Carolina will mark the 41st meeting all-time. Following a 3-1 win over SC back on Oct. 12, Alabama holds a 23-17 advantage in the series overall. Bama has won five of the last seven meetings, but the teams have split the last four overall. UA is 13-5 when hosting the Gamecocks.
Scouting the Auburn Tigers
Auburn, who will play at Tennessee on Friday night before making the trip to Tuscaloosa, enters the week with a 17-9 overall record, with an 8-8 mark in SEC play. The Tigers have won four of its last five matches, but are coming off a 3-1 loss at home to Texas A&M on Sunday. Auburn ranks fifth in the SEC with 13.73 kills per set, while its team hitting percentage of .226 ranks ninth in the conference. The Tigers are second in the SEC with a .168 opponent hitting percentage, and rank fourth in the league with 2.46 blocks per set.
Sarah Bullock leads the team with 3.43 kills per set to rank 11th in the SEC and Katherine Cullwell ranks 16th in the conference with 3.08 kills per set. Camila Jersonsky, who is third in the SEC with 1.12 blocks per set, added 2.55 kills per set with a .375 hitting percentage, which is also third in the conference. Chelsea Wintzinger leads the team with 6.31 assists per set, while Ciara Richards chips in with 5.14 assists per frame. Sarah Wroblicky is seventh in the SEC with a team-high 4.10 digs per set.
Sunday's match between Alabama and Auburn will mark the 74th meeting all-time between the two schools. Alabama leads the series 43-30 overall, but Auburn has won the last six meetings. The Tigers defeated Bama, 3-1, when the teams squared off in Auburn on Sept. 23. UA is 21-12 all-time when the teams play in Tuscaloosa.
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 284 kills this season, Fitterer now ranks ninth in school history with 1,273 career kills, after passing Jennifer Bibber (1,246) for 10th and Brooks Webster (1,257) for ninth. Fitterer now needs 17 more kills to pass Nina Foster for eighth and 33 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 1,718.
Looking Back at Last Week
In its only match of the week, Alabama upset Kentucky, 3-1 (25-23, 15-25, 25-18, 25-20), on Friday night at Foster Auditorium. En route to the win, the Crimson Tide got a career-high 20 kills from freshman outside hitter Laura Steiner. Kayla Fitterer had her sixth double-double of the season, and 31st of her career, with 11 kills and a team-high 13 digs. Alabama out-hit the Wildcats .256 to .176 in the match, after the Tide held UK to a -.062 hitting mark in the third set and a .098 mark in the fourth set.
Alabama Quick Hitters
The Crimson Tide is coming off a 3-1 win over Kentucky for its 16th win of the season, which secured at least a .500 season ... Alabama is 15-0 this season when it posts a better hitting percentage than its opponent and 13-1 when recording more digs than its opponent ... 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 ... 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 .236 hitting percentage. UA ranks 62nd nationally in hitting percentage ... Alabama is fourth in the SEC with 1.26 aces per set.
• Sierra Wilson is third 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 28 matches, Wilson has made 2,754 sets and has committed just 13 ball handling errors, which is one handling error for every 211 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 3.59 kills per set this season, which ranks eighth best in the SEC. During SEC play, Fitterer is averaging 3.67 kills per set with a .262 hitting percentage. Kryssi Daniels continues to lead the SEC in aces with 45, while her conference best 0.45 aces per set ranks 16th 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 3.66 digs per set (3.92 dps in SEC play) to rank 12th in the conference ... Arenas has been the starting libero for Alabama in the last 21 matches and is averaging 4.13 digs per set in that role. Kelsey Melito had a career-high 16 digs against Mississippi State on Nov. 4. 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 a career-high 20 kills against Kentucky and currently ranks 12th in the SEC with 3.12 kills per set.
Next for the Tide
The Alabama volleyball team wraps up the 2012 season with a pair or road matches during Thanksgiving week. The Crimson Tide travels to Oxford, Miss., on Wednesday, Nov. 21, to take on the Mississippi Rebels, with first serve slated for 7 p.m. CT, from the Gillom Sports Center. The season comes to a close on Friday, Nov. 23, when Bama takes on the Missouri Tigers at 6:30 p.m. CT, from Hearnes Center in Columbia, Mo.
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