Tuscaloosa, Ala. – The Alabama women’s volleyball team posted a 3-1 (23-25, 25-16, 25-13, 25-14) win over the Samford Bulldogs in the final non-conference match of the season on Tuesday night from Foster Auditorium. With the win, the Crimson Tide wraps their non-conference slate with an 11-1 record, while Samford falls to 5-6 overall.
“We let set one get away from us, which was a little disappointing,” head coach Ed Allen said. “The team responded extremely well to win the next three, particularly from the service line, putting a lot of pressure on their serve receive. That really aided our defense tremendously.”
After dropping the opening set 23-25, Alabama dominated the remainder of the match, posting a .362 hitting percentage against the Bulldogs over the last three sets. UA had a .235 hitting percentage in the opening set, committing six error, then committed a total of nine hitting errors over the final three sets. After Samford hit .265 in the opening frame, Alabama held the Bulldogs to a .130 hitting percentage over the final three sets.
Leading the way for Alabama was senior outside hitter Kayla Fitterer, who posted her 27th career double-double with a match-high 17 kills to go along with 16 digs. Fitterer had just three errors on 39 attempts to post a .359 hitting percentage. From the right side, Andrea McQuaid had 11 kills and a .391 hitting mark and Laura Steiner finished the night with 14 kills.
Sierra Wilson had 44 assists and seven digs, while Cristina Arenas had a match-high 19 digs in her fifth straight start as the libero.
The Tide held Samford to a .167 hitting percentage overall, as the Bulldogs had 41 kills on 126 attempts with 20 errors. Lauren Hutchinson led the Bulldogs with 11 kills and Elizabeth Neisler added 10.
Alabama held a 20-17 lead in the opening set, but let the first set slip away as the Bulldogs opened the night with a 25-23 victory. The Tide evened the match at one set each, taking the second set 25-16 behind six kills by Fitterer. After the score was tied at 3-3, Alabama opened a 9-4, before extending its advantage to 19-11 on a kill by McQuaid. UA posted a .333 hitting mark in the second set while holding the Bulldogs to a .125 mark in the frame.
With the score tied at 7-7 in the third set, Alabama went on a 12-2 run to open a commanding 18-9 lead over the Bulldogs. McQuaid served six straight points for Alabama then after a Samford kill, Fitterer served the Tide to a 22-10 lead before UA closed out the set, 25-13.
UA used another commanding effort in the fourth set, outhitting the Bulldogs .314 to .125, en route to a 25-14 win. Alabama got five kills by Steiner in the set, while Fitterer and McQuaid added three each.
Alabama returns to action on Friday with its 2012 SEC opener against LSU. The match between the Crimson Tide and the Tigers is scheduled to begin at 7 p.m., from Foster Auditorium.