Bama looks ahead to UF, UGABy Mary Grace Showfety | 10/16/2012 11:00pm
Alabama volleyball will return to Foster Auditorium on Friday, Oct. 19, at 7 p.m. with a winning attitude.
After what senior Kayla Fitterer called a solid weekend of play, the Crimson Tide is ready to defend their home court by any means necessary.
The Tide traveled to South Carolina on Friday, where they were able to take the Gamecocks in four sets. The final stop over the weekend was to Baton Rouge, La., where LSU battled through four sets to victory over the Tide.
Fitterer said both outcomes were a product of the way the Tide played.
“South Carolina was a really good win for us,” Fitterer said. “We played really well, and it showed. With LSU, we played well, but we could have played better and had that urgency to finish. We should’ve won that fourth game – we were up, and in the end, we just let them sneak some points to win.”
Though the Tide is no stranger to tough competition, the LSU match was especially challenging.
Junior Andrea McQuaid said the team expected a win because the last time the Tigers came to Tuscaloosa, the Tide swept them.
“They were firing on all cylinders because of how bad we beat them here,” McQuaid said. “They were just out for revenge. It was a catfight in warm-ups.”
Looking ahead to what should be a competition-filled weekend of play, the Tide is confident in their abilities, even with teams like Florida and Georgia on the ticket.
Friday night the Tide will take on No. 9 Florida, who remains unbeaten in SEC play. This will be the first meeting of the season with the Gators.
“Florida is a great team,” McQuaid said. “One thing that I’ve learned in college sports is that no one is unbeatable. At any given time, an underdog can beat somebody. We’re not expecting to lose any games this weekend, as with any match. We expect to win, and we’re going to give our best efforts.”
Head coach Ed Allen said Florida will be the Tide’s toughest competition to date.
“Although we felt like Tennessee and Texas A&M were extremely competitive teams, we think Florida is clearly the favorite to win the league at this point,” Allen said.
Sunday, however, will be a rematch between Alabama and Georgia. The Tide traveled to Athens, Ga., in September for what turned out to be a heartbreaking loss in five sets.
“The Georgia team, we competed really hard against, and we should’ve pulled that out for a win, but it will be a good game,” Fitterer said. “They’re going to come here ready to win, and we are too.”
The Florida match comes at a special time in women’s athletics at the Capstone. Keeping with the tradition started by gymnastics head coach Sarah Patterson in 2004, Crimson Tide volleyball celebrates the Power of Pink Initiative.
Power of Pink began as a gymnastics team tradition; in 2009, it spread to the entire women’s athletic department as a way to spread breast cancer awareness in West Alabama.
“We’re thrilled to be able to contribute a match this month for a cause that is significantly important and [that] has touched many of us already or will touch others in the coming years,” Allen said. “We’re happy to help raise awareness, raise funds and support a cause that is clearly worth supporting.”