Dec. 14, 2012
2012 Volleyball Season Review
Under second-year head coach Ed Allen, the 2012 Alabama volleyball team finished the season with an 18-14 overall record, while posting a 7-13 mark in Southeastern Conference play. The Crimson Tide finished the season by winning four of its last six matches, which included wins over Kentucky (3-1), in Tuscaloosa, and Missouri (3-2), in Columbia, Mo., to close out the season.
The Tide opened the year by winning 11 of its 12 non-conference matches, which included an 11-match winning streak, the longest streak since the 2005 squad won 13 straight. As part of the 11-match winning streak, Alabama won the tournament title at the Elon Phoenix Classic, posting a 3-0 record against North Carolina Central, Gardner-Webb and Elon. Junior outside hitter Andrea McQuaid was named the Elon Phoenix Classic Most Valuable Player. UA then won all four matches of the Hampton Inn Bama Bash to win its tournament for the third straight year.
Alabama opened SEC play with a 3-0 win over LSU to snap an 11-match losing streak to the Tigers. It was the first victory over LSU since the 2006 season. UA also picked up conference wins over Mississippi, South Carolina, Mississippi State and Auburn.
With an 18-14 overall record in 2012, Alabama posted its first winning season since 2008, when the team posted a 16-13 record. The 18 victories were the most for the Tide since 2005, when UA had 23 victories en route to the second NCAA Tournament appearance in school history. Alabama’s seven SEC wins were the most since the 2008 season as well, when Bama posted a 9-11 conference mark.
A pair of Alabama freshmen picked up three SEC Freshman of the Week awards this season, as setter Sierra Wilson was the freshman player of the week on Sept. 17, and Laura Steiner won the award on Oct. 15, and again on Nov. 12. Wilson finished her freshman season with 1,293 assists, the 10th most in a single season at Alabama. Wilson led the SEC in total assists, while her 10.87 assists per set ranked second in the conference. Steiner was second on the squad with 306 kills and was 12th in the conference with 3.12 kills per set.
Outside hitter Kayla Fitterer had 362 kills to lead the Tide for the third straight season. Fitterer finished fifth in the SEC with 3.73 kills per set in 2012 and was named second-team All-SEC for the second time in her career. Fitterer finished her career at Alabama with 1,351 career kills to rank seventh all-time in school history. She also added 1,079 attempts this season, ending her time at the Capstone with 4,137 attempts, the second most ever by a Tide player.
Libero Cristina Arenas led the Tide with 443 digs (sixth most in a single season at Alabama) and finished 12th in the SEC with 3.75 digs per set. Freshman defensive specialist Kryssi Daniels played in every set this season and led the conference with 51 aces, while her 0.43 aces per set finished 17th best nationally.
The 2012 campaign with the 21st season for Ed Allen as a women’s volleyball head coach. With an 18-14 record, he posted his 20th winning season as a head coach. The only year he did not have a winning record was his first at Alabama (2011), when the team finished the year with an 11-20 record. Allen now has a career coaching mark of 523-217 for a .707 winning percentage. Allen ranks in the top 30 nationally among active coaches in career wins and career winning percentage.
SEC POSTSEASON AWARDS
The only player off the 2012 Alabama volleyball team to earn all-conference honors was senior outside hitter Kayla Fitterer. Fitterer was a 2012 Second Team All-SEC selection, earning the honor for the second time in her career (2010). Fitterer was fifth in the SEC with 3.73 kills per set for the season, while posting 3.84 kills per set during SEC games only. Fitterer had a .254 hitting percentage for the season, while averaging 2.03 digs per set as well. She led the team with 392.5 points and was eighth in the SEC with 4.05 points per set.
With an 18-14 overall record in 2012, Alabama posted its first winning season since 2008, when the team finished the year with a 16-13 overall record. The 18 victories were the most for the Tide since 2005, when UA had 23 victories en route to the second NCAA Tournament appearance in school history. Alabama’s seven SEC wins were the most since the 2008 season as well, when Bama posted a 9-11 conference mark.
UA POSTS AN 11-1 MARK DURING NON-CONFERENCE PLAY
The Crimson Tide opened the season by winning 11 of its 12 non-conference matches. After opening the year with a 3-0 win over Holy Cross in the Beanpot Classic, UA suffered a five-set loss to Northeastern for its only non-conference loss of the year. Bama closed out the Beanpot Classic with a 3-1 win over Sacred Heart, which began an 11-match winning streak. After dropping the first set to Sacred Heart, the Tide won 20 straight sets before losing the third set to Austin Peay in the Hampton Inn Bama Bash. UA then defeated Alabama State and East Tennessee State in straight sets, before closing out the non-conference portion of its schedule with a 3-1 win over Samford. In 12 non-conference matches that included 41 sets, Alabama lost a total of six sets to non-conference foes.
TIDE WRAPS UP SEC ACTION WITH 7-13 RECORD
With a 7-13 record against Southeastern Conference opponents, Alabama posted the most conference wins since the 2008 squad won nine SEC matches. UA opened SEC play with a 3-0 win over LSU, its first victory over the Tigers since 2006. Alabama also posted big conference wins over Kentucky, Auburn and Missouri over the final four weeks of the season, to close out the year by winning four of its final six matches.
Kayla Fitterer FINISHES 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 362 kills in 2012, Fitterer ranks seventh in school history with 1,351 career kills to pass Sue Farris. In her final match, she had 26 kills against Missouri, including the kill on match point in the fifth set to give the Tide the victory over the Tigers.
FITTERER THIRD IN CAREER ATTEMPTS AT ALABAMA
With 1,276 attempts in 2011, Kayla Fitterer posted the seventh most in a single season at UA and entered the season with 3,058 attempts for her career to rank eighth all-time at the Capstone. After tallying 1,079 attempts in 2012, she wrapped up her career with 4,137 attempts to pass Bridget Fuentez for second all-time.
Cristina Arenas TOP-10 IN DIGS FOR A SINGLE SEASON
Junior libero Cristina Arenas posted the sixth most digs in a season at Bama, when she led the Crimson Tide with 443 digs in 2012. Arenas, who averaged 3.75 digs per set, started as the UA libero for the final 25 matches of the year. Arenas reached double-digits in digs in 23 matches, which included 22-of-25 as the starting libero. She had seven 20-dig performances, including a career-high 30 against Missouri on Oct. 7, to tie an Alabama home match record. As the starting libero in 2012, Arenas averaged 4.16 digs per set.
Sierra Wilson CRACKS TOP-10 IN ASSISTS
Sierra Wilson recorded a career-high 64 assists in a five-set win over Missouri to close out the 2012 campaign, and closed out a stellar freshman season with 1,293 assists, giving her the 10th most assists in a single season at Alabama. Wilson almost reached the top-10 on the career assists list as well, as she was just 29 assists shy of Erin Price, who ranks 10th at UA with 1,322 career assists. Wilson’s 1,293 assists were the most by any setter in the SEC in 2012, while her 10.87 assists per set ranked second best in the conference.
Kryssi Daniels LEADS SEC IN ACES AS A FRESHMAN
From the beginning of the season when she had eight service aces in the Beanpot Classic, freshman defensive specialist Kryssi Daniels led the SEC in aces all year. Daniels finished the season with a conference-high 51 aces to average a conference-best 0.43 aces per set. Daniels, who ranked in the top 10 nationally most of the season, finished the year 17th in the country with 0.43 aces per set.
WILSON AND DANIELS ONLY PLAYERS TO SEE ACTION IN EVERY SET
Freshmen Sierra Wilson and Kryssi Daniels were the only two players on the Alabama roster to play in all 119 sets during the 2012 season. Additionally, Wilson was the only player on the Tide roster to start every match. Cristina Arenas played in 118 of the 119 sets, missing just the third set at Tennessee following an ankle injury.
HEAD COACH Ed Allen POSTS ANOTHER WINNING RECORD
The 2012 campaign was the 21st season for Ed Allen as a women’s volleyball head coach. With an 18-14 record, he posted his 20th winning season as a head coach. The only year he did not have a winning record was his first at Alabama, when the team finished the year with an 11-20 record. Allen now has a career coaching mark of 523-217 for a .707 winning percentage. Allen ranks in the top 30 nationally among active coaches in career wins and career winning percentage.
ALABAMA QUICK HITTERS
Alabama was 16-0 when it posted a better hitting percentage than its opponent and was 13-2 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 ... For the season, Alabama ranked eighth in the SEC with a .233 hitting percentage, which was 66th nationally ... Alabama was fourth in the SEC with 1.22 aces per set.
Laura Steiner EARNS SEC FRESHMAN OF THE WEEK HONORS
Twice during the 2012 season, Laura Steiner was named the SEC Freshman of the Week. Steiner earned her first conference honor on Oct. 15, after leading the Tide with 33 kills against South Carolina and LSU, to average 4.12 kills with a .333 hitting percentage that week. Her second honor came on Nov. 12, after she posted a career-high 20 kills to lead Alabama to a 3-1 win over Kentucky.
Sierra Wilson NAMED SEC FRESHMAN OF THE WEEK
Setter Sierra Wilson was named the Southeastern Conference Freshman of the Week, as announced by the conference office on Sept. 17. En route to her weekly honor, Wilson helped the Crimson Tide post a 2-1 record that included victories over Samford (3-1) and LSU (3-0). As a team, Alabama hit .247 for the week as Wilson tallied 114 of the Tide’s 130 assists in the three matches. Wilson averaged 10.36 assists per set and added seven kills, 22 digs (2.00 dps) and four total blocks.
ADDITIONAL PLAYER NOTES
• Andrea McQuaid was third on the team with 221 kills to average 2.05 kills per set. McQuaid also chipped in with 1.63 digs per set to finish fourth on the squad. McQuaid reached double-digits in kills in nine matches, including a season-high 14 against Northeastern. She had a hitting percentage over .300 in 12 matches, including a .400 mark eight times. She had as season-high .522 hitting percentage at South Carolina, when she had 13 kills with one error on 23 attempts.
• In her first season with the Crimson Tide, Kanesha Burch appeared in 25 matches with 75 sets played. Burch got off to a slow start before appearing in the starting lineup for the last 17 matches of the season. Burch finished the year with 1.56 kills per set and a .274 hitting percentage and led the Tide with 0.81 blocks per set. Over the final 17 matches as a starter at middle blocker, Burch averaged 1.61 kills and 0.81 blocks per set.
• Laura Steiner was second on the squad with 306 kills, and her 3.012 kills per set was 13th in the SEC. Steiner, who had the second most kills in the conference by a freshman, had a career-high 20 kills against Kentucky to help the Tide to the upset victory. The two-time SEC Freshman of the Week honoree reached double-digits in kills in 21 matches, including the final six of the season, and led the Tide in kills nine times.
• Walk-on Kelsey Melito played in 84 sets during her junior season as a defensive specialist. Melito finished the season with 127 digs to average 1.51 digs per set. Melito reached double digits in digs in five matches, including a career-high 16 in a four-set win at Mississippi State.
BEANPOT CLASSIC RECAP
Alabama posted a 2-1 record in the Beanpot Classic to open the season. UA opened the year with a 3-0 win over Holy Cross before suffering a 3-2 loss to Northeastern. Bama closed the tournament in Boston, Mass., with a 3-1 win over Sacred Heart. Andrea McQuaid earned all-tournament honors after posting 2.83 kills and 2.58 digs per set, with a .333 hitting percentage for the Crimson Tide. Wilson was also an all-tournament selection after averaging 11.33 assists per set in the three matches.
ALABAMA CAPTURES TITLE AT ELON PHOENIX CLASSIC
In a trip to Elon, N.C., Alabama posted a 3-0 record in the Elon Phoenix Classic to bring home the tournament title. Alabama posted straight set wins over North Carolina Central, Gardner-Webb and Elon in the tournament, as Andrea McQuaid was named the tournament MVP. McQuaid earned MVP honors after posting 30 kills (3.33 kps) in the tournament with a .410 hitting percentage. She also averaged 2.11 digs and 0.33 blocks per set. Pricilla Duke-Ezeji averaged 4.33 kills per set in the tournament and was also named to the all-tournament team and Sierra Wilson was named to the team after averaging 11.78 assists and 2.22 digs per set in the three matches.
TIDE GOES 4-0 TO WIN HAMPTON INN BAMA BASH
Alabama extended its winning streak in the Hampton Inn Bama Bash to 10 matches, following victories over Lamar, Austin Peay, Alabama State and East Tennessee State. Sierra Wilson made her third all-tournament team after posting 12.08 assists per set in the four matches and Katherine White was selected to the team after posting 25 kills and a .467 hitting percentage in the tournament.
CRIMSON TIDE SIGNS TWO DURING EARLY SIGNING PERIOD
The Crimson Tide went West to land recruits Bria Green, a utility player from Carson, Calif., and Brittany Thomas, an outside hitter from Chandler, Ariz. Green is a four-year varsity letter winner at Bishop Montgomery High School in Torrance, Calif. Green, a Carson, Calif., native, is a three-time All-Del Ray League selection, is a two-time All-California Interscholastic Federation Southern Section honoree. This season, Green helped BMHS make a deep run in the CIF Southern Section playoffs. Green played club volleyball for the Mizuno Long Beach Volleyball club where she helped the squad to a junior national championship in 2011, when she earned All-American honors. Thomas, a 6-0, outside hitter from Chandler, Ariz., is a four-year varsity letter winner at Hamilton High School. In 2012, Thomas was named to the Under Armour watch list and was a named to the Prepvolleyball.com Top 150 Senior Aces list. Thomas played her club volleyball for Club Red 17-Mizuno, where she helped the team win the Denver Crossroads U-17 Open in 2011.