TUSCALOOSA, Ala. – The Alabama volleyball team (9-10, 1-8 SEC) will wrap up the first half of Southeastern Conference action on Wednesday, Oct. 20, when it travels to Starkville, Miss. to take on Mississippi State (10-10, 2-7 SEC). First serve is slated for 7 p.m. CT.
"We have a tighter turnaround time to prepare for Mississippi State than we usually do, but we have made sure to keep the intensity level up in practice to get ready for this match," Alabama head coach Judy Green said. "We need to keep working on blocking and our offensive tempo. We want to get faster as we go along because that is how we are going to beat teams. This team is right there (when it comes to winning). We just need to keep after it."
This will be the Crimson Tide's third straight match on the road, as it dropped two road contests last weekend. On Friday, Alabama took the opening set in Lexington against Kentucky by a dominating score of 25-15, but the Wildcats responded quickly to take the final three sets 25-22, 25-19, 25-12 to win the match 3-1. Senior Alyssa Meuth put down a career-high 20 kills on the night, which was also the highest total in the match. Fellow senior Kayla Schmidt tossed in her fourth double-double of the season with 25 assists and 15 digs. On Sunday, the Tide dropped a tight three set match to No. 24 Tennessee 25-17, 25-21, 26-24. Meuth once again recorded double digits in kills, while sophomore Kayla Fitterer led all hitters with 14 kills on the night. Fitterer is currently fifth in the SEC in kills per set with 3.44. Meuth now sits at seventh in the SEC in kills per set, averaging 3.27, while Schmidt is ninth in assists per set with an average of 6.28.
Mississippi State enters the contest on a four-match losing streak, including sweeps last weekend at Kentucky and Tennessee. Senior Ashley Newsome paced the attack for the Bulldogs, recording 21 kills and seven total blocks in those two matches. She now stands second in the SEC with 88 total blocks, averaging 1.24 per set. Senior libero Kayla Woodard has also been very active this season for Mississippi State, scooping up 319 digs so far this season, good for third in the SEC.
Alabama has dominated the series with the Bulldogs, owning a 39-14 record. Mississippi State did pick up a 3-0 victory last season at home, their first victory over the Tide since 2006.
Alabama will return home for a match on Sunday, Oct. 24, against Mississippi at 1:30 p.m. CT in the CAVE. Earlier this season, the Rebels took down the Tide 3-0 in Oxford.