Volleyball sweeps Mississippi State at homeBy Kayla Montgomery | 11/13/2014 12:40am
The UA volleyball team defeated Mississippi State 3-0 at home last night, advancing to a 21-6 season record. CW | Lindsey Leonard
It may not have been its sharpest match of the season, but the Alabama volleyball team secured its eighth sweep of the season after defeating Mississippi State 3-0 at home last night, advancing to a 21-6 season record.
“We really felt like we could have played better both offensively and defensively,” Alabama coach Ed Allen said. “I thought it was at best a ‘C’ effort. I thought we served the ball much better than what we did on Sunday against South Carolina, which was huge, but I felt like we could have eliminated some of the hitting errors and been smarter attackers than what we were.”
The Crimson Tide opened the first set with a dominant win over the visiting team, notching a .351 hitting percentage compared to the Bulldogs’ .172, with Leah Lawrence knocking in a set-high 6 kills. Although Mississippi State attempted to close the gap to five after trailing 11-19, the Crimson Tide took the set 25-18.
Though Alabama led 15-11 midway through the second set, the Bulldogs tied the score late, forcing the Crimson Tide to keep fighting. A kill by Lawrence ultimately gave Alabama set point, and a block by Lawrence and Krystal Rivers sealed the set 25-22.
Alabama opened set three with a six-point scoring run and surged to an 11-4 lead before Mississippi took its first timeout of the set. The Crimson Tide kept a decisive lead throughout the set, with a kill by Kat Hutson wrapping the set 25-16 and the match.
Although the team came up with the sweep, Lawrence also saw room for improvement in the night’s match.
“I think we could have committed fewer errors than we did,” Lawrence said. “Coach was in the locker room talking about how our play could have been more crisp and we could have won with less errors and just been more organized on the court.”
The team will return to action this weekend, facing off against Georgia on Sunday at 1 p.m. in Foster Auditorium in the second meeting between the two teams this season. The Crimson Tide previously defeated the Bulldogs 3-1 on the road.
“They’re a team that has balance offensively,” Allen said. “They’re going to have four or five kids who are going to get close to equal swings. We’re going to have to be able to defend antenna to antenna.”
Following the Georgia matchup, the team will have only two home matches remaining this season, facing in-state rival Auburn on Nov. 21 followed by its final home match against Tennessee on Nov. 29.
“It’s crazy, the season flies by and I’m always surprised by it every year,” junior Laura Steiner said. “It gives us more of a drive to get done the things we need to do. We know that there’s the potential to get so much better, and we want to prove it. We know how good we are, and we all know that there’s another level we need to come to.”
With only five matches remaining this season, the Crimson Tide needs only three wins to tie the school record for wins on the season at 24, which it earned last year, and four wins to pass the record mark. The team’s 21 current wins mark the second consecutive 20-win season, the first time the team has had back-to-back 20-win seasons since 2004-05.