By Katie Windham/Special to The Tuscaloosa News
The Alabama volleyball team was completely outmatched by 16th-ranked Kentucky in the Power of Pink match Sunday afternoon in Foster Auditorium.
The Wildcats swept Alabama in three sets 25-7, 25-17, 25-7.
“This conference from top to bottom continues to get better, so we can’t play tentative. We’ve got to play with heart, be very resilient,’” said Alabama head coach Lindsey Devine. “We gotta adjust, make those adjustments. And it took us a long time to make adjustments tonight.”
The match started on a high note for the Crimson Tide when senior Hayley McSparin smacked down a Kentucky overpass for a kill on the very first point.
Things quickly went downhill as the Wildcats went on a 9-1 run, and the Crimson Tide did not recover in the first set.
Behind kills from McSparin, Alyiah Wells and Erin Curl, Alabama showed some resiliency in the second set, going back and forth with Kentucky early on.
The Tide was down 12-11 before Kentucky went on another 5-0 run and went on to win the second set 25-17.
Devine called Kentucky a balanced and disciplined team, and it showed in the third set when Kentucky won 25-7 to win the match 3-0.
Even though it was a disappointing outcome for Alabama on the court, it was able to represent the Power of Pink movement by wearing pink jerseys and honoring breast cancer survivors in between sets.
The Power of Pink initiative has an even more personal connection for the Alabama head coach.
“I have a sister that had breast cancer so it’s special for me,” Devine said. “I was pretty proud when I looked around and saw how much pink was in our gym today.”
Alabama (11-7, 3-4 SEC) will face the Florida Gators in Gainesville on Friday night at 6.