Alabama volleyball dominated the Marshall Thundering Herd in the first match of the Hampton Inn Bama Bash, winning 3-1 on Friday morning.
Set four was the most obvious demonstration of the dominance. The Crimson Tide had 17 kills and just one error, leading to a hitting percentage of .500. It won the set comfortably 25-11.
“We picked things up,” outside hitter Mahalia Swink said. “We knew what kind of game we needed to play, and we went out and played it.”
For the most part, the only set that gave Alabama trouble was the third. The Thundering Herd led 9-5 by the time coach Ed Allen called his first timeout. Afterward, Marshall’s lead grew to seven, forcing Allen to take his second timeout early on in the set.
“(Allen) Just said to slow down and play our game,” Swink said. “Our passing was kind of shaky, so we just needed to start with the first pass, and kind of just take it from there.”
After the timeout, Alabama battled back, taking the lead at 20-19, but failed to seal it, losing 25-23.
Allen said the team didn’t approach the start of the third set like it needed to, which forced it to play a fourth and final set.
As Allen has talked about all season long, Alabama has multiple scoring options, and that was evident against Marshall. The Crimson Tide had five players finish with double-digit kills, led by Doris Carter, who finished with 14.
“We’re a really spread out offensive team,” Carter said. “Every hitter contributes almost every game. That’s just who we are at this point.”
Swink, Hayley McSparin, Cedavia Hall and Ginger Perinar were the other four players with more than 10 kills.
As a team, Alabama finished with a .299 hitting percentage, .063 up from its season average. Carter finished with a team high .375 hitting percentage.
Alabama was scheduled to face Georgia Tech in the nightcap. Alabama was still undefeated heading into the matchup.