COLLEGE STATION, Texas – Alabama and Texas A&M needed five sets to decide Friday’s contest, with the Crimson Tide ultimately coming out ahead, 3-2, with set scores of 19-25, 25-14, 25-16, 14-25 and 15-10.

Alabama (18-6, 5-5 SEC) dropped the opening set to Texas A&M (12-8, 5-3 SEC) before rallying with convincing wins in the second and third sets to take a 2-1 match lead. The Aggies posted its own double-digit win in the fourth set to force a deciding fifth, but the Tide held steady to win by five points in the fifth and take the match.

The match was just Alabama’s third five-set match of the season, its first in conference play. The Tide is now 3-0 in five-set matches this year.

On the offensive end, junior Hayley McSparin led the team with a season-high 14 kills and .462 hitting percentage. Junior Mahalia Swink was just behind with 10 kills while also stuffing a season-best six blocks on defense. Sophomore Meghan Neelon paced the offense with 24 assists, adding 19 digs for her seventh double-double of the year, her fourth in conference play. Senior Quincey Gary’s team-leading 24 digs pushes her career total to 1,323, which puts her 37 away from third-place on Alabama’s career record list.

Alabama moved ahead 3-1 after a block from senior Cidavia Hall and Swink but a 6-1 run from Texas A&M quickly swung the lead in the Aggies’ favor, 7-4. Texas A&M increased its lead to five points before Alabama spent its first timeout trailing 12-7. The Tide took its second timeout trailing 20-16 and would eventually drop the opening set, 25-19.

Tied at 3-3 in the second, a 7-2 run put the Tide ahead 10-5 and the Aggies took its first team timeout. Alabama continued to increase its lead, moving up by nine before Texas A&M spent its second timeout, 18-9. A kill from McSparin after the break put the Tide up by double digits and the margin would remain the same at set point, 24-14, with an attack error from the Aggies giving the Tide the 25-14 win to even the match at 1-1.

Alabama got off to a hot start in the third, scoring six unanswered points before Texas A&M was forced to take an early timeout. A kill stretched the streak to seven before a service error gave the Aggies their first point. A service ace from Neelon made it a double-digit game, 15-5, before a 4-1 run from Texas A&M cut the lead to seven points, 16-9, and Alabama took a timeout. The Tide soon found itself back ahead by nine points following a block from McSparin and freshman Mylana Byrd and the Aggies took its final timeout trailing 21-12. Alabama was looking for set point up 23-13 before Texas A&M scored three-straight. An Aggie service error eventually brought up set point for the Tide, 24-16, and an ace from sophomore Kaylee Thomas sealed the 25-16 set win to take a 2-1 match lead.

Four quick points from Texas A&M to start the fourth forced Alabama to take an early timeout trailing 4-0. The Tide burned its second timeout soon after, trailing 9-3. The Aggies’ lead hit the 10-point mark at 15-5 and maintained it down the stretch, eventually winning 25-14 to force a fifth set.

Trailing 2-1 in the fifth, Alabama scored six straight to swing the lead in its favor, 7-2. A 4-0 run from Texas A&M drew the home team within one and the Tide took a timeout with its lead trimmed to 7-6. A kill from McSparin made it 8-6 at the mid-set switch and back-to-back kills from Byrd and McSparin gave the Tide a 10-6 advantage before the Aggies took their second timeout. Alabama held strong to close out the set and the match, winning 15-10.

Next up, Alabama returns home to host Ole Miss Sunday, Oct. 28 at 5 p.m. CT on ESPNU.