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Alabama Volleyball On The Road This Week

ALABAMA ATHLETICS COMMUNICATIONS
Thursday, October 11, 2012
Women’s Volleyball

Alabama Volleyball Travels to South Carolina and LSU This Week

Crimson Tide looking for consistent showing on the road this week

TUSCALOOSA, Ala. - Alabama (13-6, 2-5 SEC) will play a pair of road matches against Southeastern Conference opponents this week. The Tide opens the week on Friday night at South Carolina with a 6 p.m. CT match from the Volleyball Competition Arena. For Sunday’s match, Alabama will travel to Baton Rouge, La., for the second match of the season against the LSU Tigers. The match against LSU is scheduled to begin at 1 p.m. CT from the Maravich Center.

Follow the Tide Online

For this week’s road volleyball matches, fans can follow the action live on the internet through RollTide.com or the host school’s website. For the South Carolina match, a live audio broadcast and livestats will be available through RollTide.com, while a video webcast will be available on Gamecocksonline.com. On Sunday against LSU, live audio will be provided through TideTV on RollTide.com, while the livestats will be provided by LSUsports.net.

Players to Watch

Cristina Arenas, who averages 3.41 digs per set, has been the starting libero for Alabama for the last 12 matches. Since entering the starting lineup against Lamar on Sept. 7, Arenas is averaging a team-leading 4.10 digs per set. In the Tide’s only match last week, she had a career-high 30 digs in the four-set match against Missouri. Arenas averaged 7.5 digs per set in the match, as the 30 digs tied an Alabama home match record and marked the sixth highest total in a single match in school history. Freshman setter Sierra Wilson had 42 assists and 14 digs against Missouri to notch her team-leading fourth double-double of the season. Wilson also added four kills, two block assists and one ace in the match and had just one error, that coming as a hitting error

Scouting the South Carolina Gamecocks

South Carolina (13-6, 2-6 SEC) enters Friday’s game with a six-match losing skid after opening the year with 13 straight wins. The Gamecocks, who opened SEC play with two wins, are third in the conference with a .272 hitting percentage, are fifth with 13.93 kills per set and sixth with 14.93 digs per set.

The team leader in kills is Juliette Thevenin with 4.15 per set. Thevenin, who also averages 2.64 digs per set, ranks third in the SEC in kills. Cara Howley and Bethanie Thomas add 2.38 and 2.30 kills per set respectively. The team’s leader in digs is Paige Wheeler with 250 for the season to average 3.97 per frame. The team’s blocks leader is Darian Dozier with 0.82 per set.

After splitting the season series in 2011, Alabama holds a 22-17 advantage over the Gamecocks all-time. Over the last 10 meetings, each team has won five matches, as each team has won on their home court the past two years. Alabama is 5-11 all-time in matches played at South Carolina.

Scouting the LSU Tigers

The LSU Tigers (7-11, 3-6 SEC) dropped their first match of the week to Tennessee in five sets, after splitting matches against Georgia (L, 2-3) and South Carolina (W, 3-0) at home last week. The Tigers are 12th in the SEC with a .194 hitting percentage, while its opponents are hitting .225 this season.

Leading the Tigers in 2012 are Desiree Elliott and Madie Jones, whom average 3.55 and 3.46 kills per set, respectively. Jones leads the team with 3.74 kills per set during SEC action. Helen Boyle, who averages 3.28 kills per set in conference matches, adds 2.70 kills and 2.54 digs per set for the season. The team leader in digs is Meghan Mannari with 4.22 per set. Malorie Pardo is seventh in the SEC with 10.42 assists per set and Khourtni Fears is fifth in the conference with a team-high 1.13 blocks per set.

Sunday’s match between Alabama and LSU will be the 56th meeting all-time. LSU holds a 32-23 advantage. UA snapped an 11-match LSU winning streak in the all-time series with a 3-0 win over the Tigers in Tuscaloosa on Sept. 14. Alabama has lost the last eight matches played in Baton Rouge.

Kayla Fitterer Closing in on 1,200 Career Kills and UA Top-10

Senior outside hitter Kayla Fitterer entered her final season with 989 career kills in 81 matches played at the Capstone. Fitterer had 10 kills in the season opener against Holy Cross and then became the 13th player in school history with 1,000 career kills with her first against Northeastern in the second match of the season. She reached the 1,000-kill mark in her 83rd career match at Alabama. With 202 kills this season, Fitterer now ranks 11th in school history with 1,191 career kills and needs 56 kills to pass Jennifer Bibber for 10th. Fitterer ranks second among active players in the SEC in career kills as she trails Arkansas’ Jasmine Horton’s total of 1,584.

Looking Back at Last Week

In its only match last week, Alabama suffered a 3-1 loss to the Missouri Tigers on Sunday. Laura Steiner led the Tide with 14 kills, Kayla Fitterer added 10 and Kanesha Burch had a season-high 10 kills with a .300 hitting percentage. Sierra Wilson posted a double-double with 42 assists and 14 assists. Cristina Arenas had a match-high 30 digs against the Tigers. With the loss to Missouri, Alabama is now 0-2 all-time versus the Tigers.

Alabama Quick Hitters

• Alabama is currently second in the SEC with 1.38 aces per set to rank 78th in the country.

• UA is fourth in the SEC with a .174 opponent hitting percentage, while ranking seventh in the conference with a .234 hitting mark.

• With 13 wins this season, UA has its most victories in a season since 2008 when the Tide posted 16 victories.

Player Notes

• Kayla Fitterer leads the Tide with 3.74 kills per set to rank fifth in the SEC.

• Kryssi Daniels leads the SEC with 34 aces, and her 0.50 aces per set rank 11th nationally.

• Sierra Wilson is second in the SEC with 10.88 assists per set and 15th in the conference with 0.24 aces per set. Wilson posted her team-leading fourth double-double of the season on Sunday versus Missouri.

• Cristina Arenas tied a school home match record with 30 digs against Missouri on Sunday, and averaged 7.50 digs per set in the match. The 30 digs were the sixth most in a single match in school history. Arenas leads the team with 3.41 digs per set, which is 13th best in the SEC.

• Laura Steiner had 14 kills against Missouri and continues to be the second option on the outside for Alabama. Steiner is averaging 2.96 kills per set as a freshman.

Next for the Tide

Alabama returns to Foster Auditorium for a pair of home SEC matches against No. 11 Florida and Georgia next week. When the Crimson Tide hosts nationally ranked Florida on Friday night at 7 p.m. CT it will be the annual Tuscaloosa Toyota Power of Pink Night. UA closes the weekend with a Sunday afternoon match against the Georgia Bulldogs with first serve set for 1:30 p.m. CT.

Like Alabama Volleyball on Facebook and follow it on Twitter @AlabamaVball.

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