GAINESVILLE, Fla.- The University of Alabama volleyball team fell in three games to No. 7 Florida tonight at the Stephen C. O’Connell Center on the University of Florida campus. With the loss Alabama falls to 15-13 overall and 12-7 in the SEC.
I thought after game one we really passed and sided-out better than we have in close to a month,” said Alabama head coach Judy Green. “We were very consistent with that. I liked the fact that we looked comfortable playing with a little bit of a different lineup and I liked the swagger we played with. I though Brooks Webster had a great match tonight. She played like a true L and I am looking forward to Sunday.”
Alabama freshman Alyssa Meuth made her third conference appearance against Florida and tallied five kills on nine attempts to hit .333 for the match. Redshirt sophomore Brooks Webster led the team with a season high 20 kills and hit .372. As a team the Crimson Tide hit .302 and tallied five team blocks.
Alabama played the Gators close in the first game and took its first lead of the match off a kill from Bridget Fuentez at 7-6. Florida retaliated with a string of five points before Meuth broke the run on a kill from the middle. Alabama made a series of two-point runs but could not close the gap on the Gators and Florida went on to take game one 30-21.
In game two, Florida jumped ahead of the Tide in the beginning of the game to take a three-point lead. The Gators extended that lead to a match-high nine points before the Tide could find its offensive rhythm. Alabma, led by Webster, closed the gap to four points with three consecutive points earned and forced Florida to take its first time-out of the match trailing 22-26. Alabama’s run was snapped by a kill from Florida’s Marcie Hampton. The Gators proceeded to run off two more points and give Florida its first game point at 29-24. A block by Lindsey Buteyn stopped the Gators and moved the Tide within four points. However, Florida ended the game on the next point.
Despite the loss, Alabama out-hit, out-blocked and out-dug the Gators. The Tide hit .349 to Florida’s .280 and earned three team blocks to Florida’s one. Alabama’s defense also came up big in game two with 22 digs to the Gator’s 20.
Alabama started off game three with the momentum as the Tide earned the first two points of game three off two big offensive plays. Florida retaliated but Alabama stayed close and tied the game at 7all. The Tide knotted the game again at 10 points on a huge block from Fuentez and Buteyn. Again, Florida answered by earning two-consecutive points but Alabama retaliated with a three-point run and tied the game for a third time at 12 all.
The Gators remained ahead of the Tide for the rest of the game, however, Alabama remained within a few points of the conference leader. The Tide climbed back to within two points of the Gators at 25-27 and forced Florida to take its second time out of the game. Out of the timeout Webster earned her X kill of the match to move the Tide within one point at 26-27. Alabama followed up the point with an error but regrouped and with a kill to move the Tide back within one point at 27-28. Brigitte Slack added on another point with a service ace to tie the game for the fourth time at 28 all.
Alabama committed a hitting error out of the timeout to give Florida match point and the Gators ended the game at 28-30 on a kill from Amber McCray.
The Tide is back in action Sunday as it travels to South Carolina to take on the Gamecocks at 1:00 p.m. ET. The match with South Carolina will be aired live on Fox Sports Net South and live statistics can be found at www.rolltide.com.