ANNAPOLIS, Md. – Alabama volleyball remained undefeated on the young season with a four-set decision Friday over Navy. The Crimson Tide posted set scores of 28-26, 23-25, 25-19 and 25-23 in the victory.
Alabama (4-0) was led on the offensive end by sophomore Doris Carter’s 19 kills, while junior Ginger Perinar and senior Cidavia Hall also finished in double figures with 14 and 10, respectively. Navy (2-2) played on its heels in serve receive, as the Tide tallied a season-best eight service aces, four of which came from junior Hayley McSparin. The Highland, Ill., native also led the team with a season-best seven blocks.
The teams battled evenly to open the first set, with neither gaining a lead larger than one point until an Alabama blocking error put Navy ahead 7-5. The Midshipmen extended its lead with a 4-1 run before the Tide was forced to call a timeout trailing 11-6. Later down 13-8, Alabama closed the gap with five-straight points to tie it at 13-13 and Navy took its first timeout. With the score tied 16-16, Alabama scored three unanswered to lead 19-16 before Navy aimed to halt the momentum with its final timeout. Trailing by the same margin later, 22-19, the Midshipmen scored five-straight to retake the lead and reach set point, 24-22. A Navy service error and a kill from Hall tied it back up at 24-24 and the Midshipmen would reach set point two more times but the Tide would rally to knot the score up each time. A kill from Carter gave Alabama set point, 27-26, and a kill from McSparin off an overpass would sealed the 28-26 victory.
Trailing 5-1 early in set two, Alabama rattled off three-straight to make it a one-point game, capped by back-to-back service aces from senior Quincey Gary. The Tide eventually evened the score at 6-6 before a hard kill from McSparin put Alabama in front for the first time in the set, forcing a timeout from Navy. The teams would be tied seven more times before Alabama scored three straight to gain some breathing room at 19-16 and force Navy to burn its final timeout. The Midshipmen quickly tied it out of the break at 19-19 as the Tide called its first team timeout. Tied again later at 23-23, Navy scored back-to-back points to win, 25-23, and even the match at 1-1.
With Navy leading 5-4, Alabama rallied with four straight, including a pair of kills from Carter and an ace by junior Mahalia Swink, to pull ahead 8-5 as the Midshipmen called a timeout. Later up 9-7, the Tide widened the gap with six unanswered points before Navy called its final timeout now trailing 15-7. Alabama led by seven at the 20-point mark and eventually held on to win by six, 25-19.
Alabama jumped ahead 6-4 early in set four but Navy retook the lead with six-consecutive points before the Tide took its first timeout trailing 10-6. With the Midshipmen leading by five, Alabama responded with five unanswered to tie the score at 14-14 before Navy took a timeout. Alabama added back-to-back points after the break to move in front by two but Navy would quickly tie it back up at 17-17. After five more tie scores, a block from Swink and Hall gave the Tide a late 23-22 lead and the Midshipmen took its final timeout. An Alabama service error tied it at 23-23 before a kill from Carter made it match point and she and McSparin teamed up for the match-winning block as Alabama took the frame, 25-23, and the match, 3-1.