Alabama volleyball remains undefeated through eight matches this season, posting wins over Marshall and Georgia Tech Friday at the Hampton Inn Bama Bash.
The Crimson Tide (8-0) defeated the Thundering Herd (4-6) in four sets, 25-23, 25-19, 23-25, and 25-11 before sweeping the Yellow Jackets (9-1) by scores of 25-17, 25-13 and 25-23.
In the opening match of the day, Alabama took the first two sets over Marshall by before the Herd avoided the sweep with a two-point decision in the third. The Crimson Tide posted a convincing 25-11 win in the fourth to claim the victory. Sophomore Doris Carter led the offense with 14 kills and a .375 hitting percentage. The Tide had five players in double-digit kills, with Carter joined by juniors Ginger Perinar, Mahalia Swink and Hayley McSparin and senior Cidavia Hall. Carter, Swink and Hall all finished the match hitting above .300, with the Tide hitting .299 as a team.
The Tide continued its winning streak with a sweep over Georgia Tech, holding the Yellow Jackets to a .077 clip while hitting .298 as a team. Perinar and Carter both hit above .300 and finished with double-digit kills, with Perinar posting 16 and a .343 clip. Carter added a season-best three aces from the service line, as did Swink.
ALABAMA 3, MARSHALL 1
The teams battled back-and-forth evenly for the first half of the opening set, with neither taking larger than a two-point lead. A kill from McSparin put Alabama ahead 15-14 lead at media timeout and the neck-and-neck affair continued down the stretch. Down 23-21 late, the Tide rallied with three-straight points to reach set point, 24-23, and Marshall called a timeout. A kill from McSparin sealed the comeback victory as the Tide won, 25-23.
Tied 5-5 early in set two, a 6-3 run put Alabama ahead 11-8 as Marshall called a timeout. The Herd quickly burned its second timeout with the Tide ahead 14-9 and three more points after the break further extended the lead to 17-9. Alabama would hold Marshall at arm’s length for the remainder of the frame, eventually winning by six, 25-19, to take a 2-0 match lead.
The Herd jumped to an early 9-4 lead in the third set, forcing the Tide to call a timeout. A 3-1 run from Marshall put the visitors ahead at the halfway mark, 12-5, to force another Alabama timeout. The Tide chipped away at the deficit with a 3-1 run, capped by a service ace from sophomore Meghan Neelon, with Marshall looking to halt the momentum with a timeout now leading 13-8. Alabama would continue to fight back, eventually tying it at 18-18. The score would be tied up three more times in the closing points of the set, but Marshall persevered to win 25-23 and avoid the sweep.
Trailing 2-1 in the fourth, Alabama scored five unanswered pull ahead 6-2 and Marshall called its first timeout. The Herd’s second timeout came after a kill from Carter put the Tide ahead 13-6. Marshall would only score five more points in the remainder of the frame, with Alabama winning by a comfortable margin of 25-11 to claim the four-set victory.
ALABAMA 3, GEORGIA TECH 0
Alabama started the first set on a 5-0 run but Georgia Tech would eventually rally back to draw within one, down 10-9. The Tide held a three-point lead at the media timeout, 15-12, and continued to build on its lead down the stretch. Alabama led by five at Georgia Tech’s team timeout, 18-13, and closed out the frame with a 7-4 run to win, 25-17.
Trailing 2-1 early in the second, the Tide regained the lead with five-straight points before the Yellow Jackets had to call a timeout trailing 6-2. Alabama continued to add cushion to its lead, pulling ahead by seven on a solo block from Hall to force Georgia Tech to call its final timeout down 17-10. An 8-3 run ended the frame with the Tide taking the 25-13 victory to move up 2-0 in the match.
Alabama moved ahead 5-3 before Georgia Tech scored seven unanswered points to swing the set in its favor, 10-5. The Tide clawed back to within one point, with the Yellow Jackets taking a timeout only leading 12-11. Alabama kept it a one-point game in the middle of the set before a run of four straight allowed Georgia Tech to pull ahead 21-16 as the Tide called its final timeout. Alabama scored three unanswered after break, forcing the Yellow Jackets to take a timeout up 21-19. The score was tied at 21-21 and again at 23-23 when a kill from Perinar made it match point for Alabama. Georgia Tech challenged the play but the ruling was upheld and Swink closed it out on the next rally with a kill to win, 25-23, and complete the sweep.
Alabama concludes its weekend at the Hampton Inn Bama Bash facing Northern Illinois Saturday, Sept. 8 at 1 p.m.