The roar of the crowd when junior Ginger Perinar killed a spike said it best, Alabama volleyball defeated Auburn in four sets.
Foster Auditorium held a season high 1,006 people and was mostly filled by the time warmups started.
“We knew the crowd was going to be here,” libero Kaylee Thomas said. “We definitely could feel the environment being more of a leg up.”
Thomas had her first home start at libero after getting her first start there on Wednesday against Missouri. She set a career high in digs with 19 kills, including six in the final set.
“It’s very exciting,” Thomas said. “I didn’t really have it in my head, but I knew this is my first time wearing the libero jersey, so I figured that I would have more time on the court and be able to have more digs.”
The Crimson Tide was the first team to 21 points in all four sets but struggled to put Auburn away. The Tigers outscored Alabama 15-14 after the Crimson Tide scored its 21st point.
“He (coach Ed Allen) definitely emphasized that he wanted us to be patent,” Thomas said. “If there’s things we can’t control in the set, there will be a turn, and they will come back down to earth. We just need to be patent and consistent and wait for that to happen.”
The only set Alabama lost was the second. It went up 21-20 but was outscored 5-2 in the last seven points of the match.
“I thought we were a little bit tight,” Allen said. “I thought we were in a situation to go up 2-0 and really controlled most of that second set. We didn’t see any overly significant runs.”
Alabama’s hitting percentage was significantly better after losing to Missouri. It hit just .056 at Missouri, while it hit .227 against Auburn.
The biggest two players to get back on track were Doris Carter and Hayley McSparin, as both finished with a negative hitting percentage at Missouri. Carter finished hitting .226, while McSparin led the Alabama starters with .375.
Cidavia Hall finished with eight kills, four of which came in the final set.
“CeCe is coming along,” Allen said. “We would have liked to have had her production throughout the course of the match, not just in that last set. She settled down in that fourth set.”
Alabama takes on South Carolina at home Friday, Sept. 28. The match starts at 7 p.m.