AUBURN, Ala. – The Alabama volleyball team snapped a four-match road losing streak to the Auburn Tigers with a 3-1 (17-25, 25-15, 25-14, 25-15) Southeastern Conference win in front of a record crowd of 1,810 fans at the Auburn Arena on Wednesday night. With the win, the Crimson Tide improves to 13-3 overall and 1-1 in SEC play, while the Tigers fall to 9-5 overall and 0-2 in conference play.
The victory snapped a four match losing streak for the Tide in Auburn, as Alabama last won beat the Tigers on the road on Nov. 2, 2008.
Three players produced double digits in kills for the Tide, as redshirt freshman middle blocker Krystal Rivers led the way with a match-high 18 kills and a .484 hitting percentage. Freshman outside hitter Brittany Thomas added 15 kills with a .306 percentage and sophomore outside hitter Mattie Weldy came off the bench to contribute a season-high 10 kills with a .308 hitting mark.
As a team, Alabama out-hit the Tigers .297 to .041. After the Tigers posted a .375 hitting percentage in the opening set, the Tide defense stepped up to hold the Tigers to a .038 mark in the second set, a -.057 number in the third and a -.125 in the fourth set. The Tide combined for 12 blocks in the match as Rivers led the way with seven, three solos and four assisted.
For the Tide, Alabama opened the match with a .132 mark in the first set, before hitting .375 in the second, .400 in the third and .321 in the fourth. After committing eight hitting errors in the first set, Alabama had just eight hitting errors in the final three sets combined.
Sophomore setter Sierra Wilson, who is second in the SEC and eighth in the country in assists per set, dished out 47 assists to average 11.75 per set. The Tide averaged 13.50 kills per set in the match.
Sophomore libero Kryssi Daniels led the Tide with 11 digs and freshman defensive specialist Bria Green matched her season-high with 10.
Katherine Culwell led the Tigers with 10 kills and Sarah Wroblicky had a match-high 20 digs.
Alabama got out to a 5-1 lead in the first set, but had a hard time holding onto the lead as the Tigers posted a 25-17 victory for a 1-0 lead in the match.
It was a different story for the Tide in the second set, as Bama out-hit the Tigers .365 to .038. Alabama got seven kills from Rivers in the second set, as she was 6-for-9 with one error in the set. With Alabama leading 5-4 in the set, the Tide went on an 11-2 run to open a commanding 16-6 lead, before winning the set 25-15.
In the third set, the Crimson Tide continued to roll as they posted a 25-14 win to take the lead in the match. With the score 12-10, Alabama closed the set with a 13-4 run, while holding the Tigers to a .057 hitting percentage.
After the Tide fell behind 3-2 in the fourth, Alabama went on a 10-0 run to open a 12-3. The lead got as big as 13 (17-4) before the Tigers put on a late rally to get within six, 19-13. From there the Tide closed out the set with a 6-2 finish and close out the match in four sets.
The Crimson Tide returns to the court on Sunday, Oct. 6, when it hosts the third-ranked Florida Gators at 1:30 p.m. CT from Foster Auditorium.