Nov. 21, 2013
TUSCALOOSA, Ala. – Alabama (21-8, 8-6 SEC) returns to Foster Auditorium for its final two home matches of the season this week. Alabama hosts the Ole Miss Rebels (13-15, 3-12) on Friday, with first serve scheduled for 7 p.m. CT. The final home match of the season will have the Tennessee Lady Vols (9-20, 1-14 SEC) at Foster Auditorium on Sunday, Nov. 24. The match will be televised on CSS and ESPN3, with first serve slated for 1 p.m. CT. Sunday’s match will be the final home match for seniors Andrea McQuaid and Kelsey Melito. Alabama will honor the seniors in a ceremony prior to the start of the match.
• Faculty & Staff Appreciation Night: Free admission for all Alabama faculty and staff with valid UA ID. Additional family members receive $3 admission.
• Friday Night T-shirt giveaway: FREE T-shirt for the first 100 Alabama students in attendance
• FREE admission w/Chattanooga football ticket
Follow the Tide Online
Live Webcast: RollTide.com
Television: Sunday vs. Tennessee, CSS/ESPN3.com (Melissa Lee and Missy Whittmore)
Last week, Alabama posted a 1-1 record with a three-set win at South Carolina on Friday and a 3-0 loss at No. 5 Florida on Sunday. With a 3-0 win over South Carolina on Friday, the Crimson Tide posted their eighth sweep of the season. The win over South Carolina marked the 50th win at Alabama for head coach Ed Allen, reaching is 50th victory in his 91st match at the Capstone. Alabama enters the week in fifth place in the SEC standings, but tied for fourth with six losses during conference play. For the season, the Tide ranks fourth in the SEC and 28th in the country with 14.02 kills per set, fourth in the SEC and 26th in the nation with 13.17 assists per set and third in the conference and 23rd nationally with a .261 hitting percentage. UA is fifth in the SEC with 1.29 aces per set.
With her first assist against Florida, Sierra Wilson dished out her 2,500th career assist. She finished the match with 32 assists and now has 2,531 for her career. Wilson started her career with 1,293 assists as a freshman, which are the 10th most in a single season at Alabama. This season, she has 1,238 assists in 29 matches and is averaging 11.90 assists per set. She is second in the SEC and the sixth most in the country in assists per set. With Wilson as the starting setter the last two years, Alabama has a 39-21 (.650) record.
Redshirt freshman middle blocker Krystal Rivers leads the Crimson Tide with 87 blocks, with 30 solo blocks and 59 assisted blocks. Rivers’ 30 solo blocks are the seventh most in a season at Alabama, and the most since Shelly Adamcik had 32 in 2000. Rivers tied Andrea Miller for seventh with one solo block against Florida. Rivers needs two more solos to reach Adamcik’s total of 32. In the season opener against Seton Hall, Rivers had a career-high five solo blocks, which rank as the fourth most in a match in school history, equaling Adamcik, Miller and Mavis Reed totals.
Head coach Ed Allen is in his third season with the Crimson Tide and 22nd overall as a head coach. With a 21-8 record this season, Allen has a 50-42 record at the Capstone, bringing his career record to 544-225 (.707).
The Mississippi Rebels enter Friday’s match with a 13-15 overall record with a 3-12 mark in SEC play. Ole Miss has dropped its last three matches to Texas A&M, Georgia and No. 17 Kentucky, respectively. For the season, the Rebels average 12.3 kills per set with a .212 hitting percentage. Ole Miss also averages 2.21 blocks, 1.35 aces and 12.5 digs per set.
Leading the Rebels’ offensive attack is Nakeyta Clair with 2.54 kills per set. Clair also leads the club with a .304 hitting percentage and 118 total blocks to average 1.16 per set, good for fifth in the SEC. Ty Laporte is second on the team with 2.44 kills per set and Melanie Crow adds 2.35 per set. Kristen Brashear leads the team with 2.44 digs per set and is one of three players on the squad to average over two digs per set.
Friday’s match will mark the 62nd meeting all-time between the two schools. Alabama holds a 42-19 advantage overall. The teams split the season series last year, with both teams winning on their home floor. The Rebels posted a 3-1 win over the Tide in the most recent meeting, when the teams played in Oxford, Miss., on Nov. 21, 2012.
Following a 3-0 loss to the No. 7 ranked Florida Gators on Wednesday night, Tennessee enters the weekend with a 9-20 record and a 1-14 mark in SEC play. The Lady Vols, currently 13th in the SEC standings, have lost their last six matches. The last win for Tennessee was a 3-0 victory at South Carolina on Oct. 25. Tennessee averages 11.51 kills per set with a .157 hitting percentage this season. The Lady Vols also average an SEC leading 17.74 digs per set, while averaging 1.86 blocks and 0.76 aces per set.
Tennessee is led by Jamie Lea’s 3.09 kills per set. Ashley Mariani leads the team with 255 kills, to average 2.52 kills per set and Whitney Heeres adds 2.24 kills per set. The team leader in digs is Ellen Mullins, as she leads the SEC and ranks third in the country with 5.78 digs per set. Mullins is also the school’s all-time digs leader. After recording 11 digs against Florida in Wednesday, she now has a school-record 1.756 digs. Raina Hembry has a team high 69 blocks.
Sunday’s match between the Tide and Lady Vols will mark the 45th meeting all-time between the two schools. Tennessee holds a 33-11 advantage overall after winning the last 10 matches in the series. In the most recent meeting, Tennessee posted a 3-0 win over the Tide when the two teams met in Knoxville, Tenn., on Oct. 28, 2012.
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Alabama wraps up the 2013 regular season with road matches at Mississippi State and LSU. The Tide travels to Starkville, Miss., for a Wednesday match against the Bulldogs, with first serve scheduled for 7 p.m. CT from the Newell-Grissom Building. The regular season closes against the LSU Tigers on Saturday, with first serve slated for 1 p.m. CT, from the Pete Maravich Center in Baton Rouge.