By Zach Fidel
Special to The Tuscaloosa News
It’s Alabama vs. Auburn. Enough said.
The Iron Bowl of volleyball is Wednesday night at Auburn, live on the SEC Network. The Crimson Tide comes into the showdown riding a two-match winning streak and sits at 16-8 overall and 4-6 in the SEC . Alabama leads the all-time series with a 46-31 record dating back to 1974.
Auburn is 12-8, 5-6 in league play.
For fans of this storied rivalry between the two schools, it’s another opportunity for state bragging rights. However, UA coach Ed Allen likes to look at this match as just the next one on the schedule.
“We really don’t look at it any differently than we do playing anyone else, but it’s an in-state rival so we want to come away with the victory,” Allen said. “I do know the general public look at this rivalry as big brother verses little brother, but I don’t know if I approach it any differently with my players.”
Cidavia Hall, a redshirt junior from Dothan, doesn’t have the same viewpoint as Allen. Growing up in Alabama, she had to pick Alabama or Auburn. Even though Dothan is closer to Auburn, Hall learned how to say “Roll Tide” instead of “War Eagle” at an early age.
“This match is personal, growing up from Alabama you had to choose your side,” Hall said. “It’s a lot of anxiousness going into this match. I really want to beat them. I don’t want to beat them just a little bit; I really want to take a toll on them.”
Hall played two years at Wallace State Community College before coming to Alabama. She led her team to two consecutive Alabama Community College Conference Tournament titles.
Out of the 20 players on the Alabama team, two are from the state. The other is senior Leah Lawrence, a native of Huntsville. Lawrence knows it’s always a tough environment when the team travels into Auburn.
“It’s definitely a big rivalry match for us, they always get a ton of fans in their gym when they know we’re coming,” Lawrence said. “For us, it’s going to be a great atmosphere to play in. We want to thrive in those type of environments.”