TUSCALOOSA, AL. – The Alabama volleyball team (5-2) defeated Alabama A&M (2-5) by a score of 3-0 (25-12, 25-21, 25-17) Tuesday night in the CAVE. The Crimson Tide was led in hitting by sophomore Kayla Fitterer, who put down a match-high 14 kills, while Kelsey Anderson scooped up a match-best 19 digs.
"From a sideout perspective, we were very steady and consistent today," said Alabama head coach Judy Green. "It was good for us to see a team like Alabama A&M that plays a completely different type of defense than we do. It is nice to get another win under our belt as a team."
Joining Fitterer with double-figure kills was senior Alyssa Meuth with 12. Senior Kayla Schmidt led the Alabama setting duo with 21 assists, while senior Calli Johnson had a hand in four of Alabama's five blocks. Fitterer also added a trio of service aces.
The first set belonged to the Tide, as Alabama opened up a 7-1 lead over the Bulldogs. Alabama A&M was able to close the gap to three points at 11-8, but the Tide would go on an 8-1 run to put away the set, eventually taking it 25-12.
The Bulldogs put up a fight in the second set, racing out to a 6-3 lead. Alabama didn't take its first lead of the set until 12-11, but Alabama A&M regained the lead with two consecutive points. The set remained close the rest of the way before the Tide scored the final five points of the set to win it 25-21.
Alabama used the momentum from winning the second set to take an early lead in the third. However, the Bulldogs kept within striking distance, eventually taking a 14-12 lead. The Tide answered with a 9-1 run, and Alabama A&M would not get closer than four points the rest of the set.
Alabama stifled the Bulldog attack, holding Alabama A&M to a .046 hitting percentage compared to the Tide's .299 clip. Alabama doubled the Bulldogs in kills 42-21, and led in assists 38-18. Both teams recorded five service aces, and the Tide narrowly edged Alabama A&M in blocks 5.0-4.0.
"In the first set we were able to score pretty much at will," Green added. "In the second, Alabama A&M played better defense and was able to dig up what we were hitting at them. We have hitters that attack the ball with a lot of heat. Now, we just need to get them to learn where to put the ball to score. I thought we had great contributions from Kayla Fitterer, Leigh Moyer, Alyssa Meuth and Kelsey Anderson tonight, and Mary Catherine Aune and Morgan Hendrix really gave us new energy off the bench."
Alabama returns to action Friday, Sept. 10 when it heads to San Marcos, Texas for the CenturyLink Premier. The Tide will take on North Texas at 10 a.m. CT followed by Tennessee-Martin at 5 p.m. CT. Alabama closes out the tournament with host-institution Texas State at 2 p.m. CT on Saturday.