Nov. 20, 2012
TUSCALOOSA, Ala. - Alabama (17-13, 6-12 SEC) 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 (11-16, 5-13 SEC) 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 (19-10, 10-8 SEC) at 6:30 p.m. CT, from Hearnes Center in Columbia, Mo.
FOLLOW THE TIDE ONLINE
Live stats will be available through RollTide.com for both matches. Wednesday’s match at Mississippi will be televised live on Cox Sports Television and CSS will show the match on Thursday morning at 7 a.m. CT. There will not be a live audio broadcast available for either match through RollTide.com. Friday’s match can be viewed at MUTigers.com.
PLAYERS TO WATCH
Last week, Kayla Fitterer had 38 kills to lead the Tide and averaged 4.22 kills per set against South Carolina and Auburn. Against the Gamecocks, Fitterer had a season-best 26 kills on a season-high 82 attempts. Cristina Arenas had back-to-back 22-dig matches against South Carolina and Auburn last week. Arenas has had double-digits in digs in the last seven matches. Katherine White had 12 kills with a .500 hitting percentage against Auburn. White averaged 2.0 kills per set with a .414 hitting percentage last week.
Kayla Fitterer NOW SEVENTH IN KILLS AT BAMA
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 322 kills this season, Fitterer now ranks seventh in school history with 1,311 career kills. She had 26 kills against South Carolina to move past Nina Foster for eighth, then with 12 against Auburn she passed Sue Farris for seventh.
SCOUTING THE MISSISSIPPI REBELS
Mississippi enters this week with an 11-16 overall record following a 1-1 record last week. After defeating Mississippi State, 3-0, the Rebels lost to Arkansas, 3-1, to fall to 5-13 in SEC play this season. The Rebels have lost six of their last seven matches overall. Mississippi averages 12.9 kills per set with a .211 hitting percentage for the season. The Rebels average 14.6 digs per set, while posting 2.08 blocks per frame as a team.
Kara Morgan leads the way with 3.03 kills per set, which ranks 16th in the SEC. Morgan also chips in with 2.06 digs per set. Allegra Wells adds 2.49 kills per set and Ty Laporte chips in with 2.23 per frame. Nakeyta Clair leads the team with 1.06 blocks per set, Amanda Philpot averages 9.27 assists per set, and Ashley Veach’s team-leading 4.33 digs per set ranks sixth in the conference.
Wednesday’s match between Alabama and Mississippi will mark the 61st meeting all-time between the two schools. Alabama holds a 42-18 record all-time against the Rebels, following a 3-1 win over Mississippi in Tuscaloosa back on September 28. After Mississippi posted a 3-1 win over the Tide in Oxford last season, the Rebels hold a 13-11 lead when the teams play at Mississippi. The teams have split the last 10 meetings, dating back to the 2007 season.
SCOUTING THE MISSOURI TIGERS
Missouri enters the week with a 19-10 overall record and are in fourth place in the SEC Eastern Division with a 10-8 conference mark. The Tigers posted a 1-1 record last week, after losing to Texas A&M in four sets and defeating Mississippi State in three. Missouri, which is 4-2 in its last six matches, ranks second in the SEC with a .261 hitting percentage, but are ninth in the conference with 13.06 kills per set. Missouri is first in the SEC with 2.69 blocks per set (24th nationally) and third in the conference with 1.29 aces per set.
Lisa Henning leads the SEC and ranks eighth in the country with 4.67 kills per set. Henning, who is hitting .271 for the season, also contributes 2.70 digs per set. Whitney Little adds 2.35 kills per set and is fourth in the SEC with a .366 hitting percentage. Little’s 1.35 blocks per set leads the conference and is 25th nationally. Molly Kreklow averages 10.50 assists per set and Sarah Meister leads the team with 344 digs to average 3.62 per set.
Friday’s match between Alabama and Missouri will mark the third ever meeting, and the second of the season between the two schools. Following a 3-1 win on October 7, Missouri is 2-0 all-time against the Crimson Tide. When Alabama plays at Missouri on Friday, it will mark the first time the teams have played in Columbia, Mo.
LOOKING BACK AT LAST WEEK
Alabama posted a 1-1 record last week, falling to South Carolina, 3-2 (20-25, 12-25, 25-17, 25-20, 7-15), on Friday, before defeating Auburn, 3-1 (25-22, 25-17, 11-25, 25-14), on Sunday. The win over Auburn snapped a six-match losing streak to the Tigers. Alabama posted a .167 hitting percentage for the weekend, while averaging 11.67 kills per set in the two matches. Kayla Fitterer led the Tide with 4.22 kills per set. Middle blocker Katherine White had 12 kills and a .500 hitting percentage against Auburn to finish the week with 16 kills and a .414 hitting mark. Kanesha Burch added 14 kills, with a .323 hitting percentage, and added six blocks (3 solo, 3 assisted) in the two matches.
ALABAMA QUICK HITTERS
Alabama’s 3-1 win over Auburn on Sunday marked the 17th win of the season and secured the Tide’s first winning season since 2008 when the team posted a 16-13 overall record ... The Crimson Tide’s 3-1 win over Kentucky marked the 16th of the season, which secured at least a .500 season ... Alabama is 16-0 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 ... 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 .230 hitting percentage. UA ranks 62nd nationally in hitting percentage ... Alabama is fourth in the SEC with 1.25 aces per set.
• Sierra Wilson is third in the conference with 10.81 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 30 matches, Wilson has made 3,029 sets and has committed just 15 ball handling errors, which is one handling error for every 200 sets ... Wilson had 47 assists and 14 digs against South Carolina to notch her team-leading seventh 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 ... Wilson has 1,189 assists this season, which ranks 14th at UA, she needs 88 more assists to move into the top 10 at Bama for assists in a single season.
• Kayla Fitterer continues to lead the team with 3.66 kills per set this season, which ranks eighth best in the SEC ... During SEC play, Fitterer is averaging 3.75 kills per set with a .256 hitting percentage ... Fitterer ranks second among active players in the SEC in career kills as she trails Arkansas’ Jasmine Horton’s total of 1,750.
With four aces last weekend, Kryssi Daniels continues to lead the SEC in aces with 49, while her conference best 0.45 aces per set ranks 14th in the country.
• With 22 digs against both South Carolina and Auburn last week, libero Cristina Arenas reached the 20-dig mark for the seventh time this season, bringing her career total to 11 … Arenas tied an Alabama home match record with 30 digs against Missouri (10/7) ... For the season, Arenas averages 3.76 digs per set (4.04 dps in SEC play) to rank 12th in the conference ... Arenas has been the starting libero for Alabama in the last 23 matches and is averaging 4.21 digs per set in that role.
• 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 is second on the squad with 273 kills, and her 3.07 kills per set is 14th in the SEC ... Steiner has the second most kills in the conference by a freshman ... she had a career-high 20 kills against Kentucky and was named the SEC Freshman of the Week for the second time this season.
NEXT FOR THE TIDE
With the matches against Mississippi and Missouri this week, Alabama will wrap up its 2012 season.
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