Volleyball plays LSU in annual Power of Pink match

Abby McCreary, Staff Reporter

Alabama volleyball’s first conference win of the season was last Wednesday against the University of Missouri Tigers, and they hope to take their second against the LSU Tigers Wednesday night at Foster Auditorium. 

The match will also be the annual Power of Pink match, since the original Friday night matchup against Alabama State University was canceled. 

“It’s a great opportunity to represent something bigger than ourselves,” says libero Victoria Schmer. “It’s a great way to bring awareness to the subject and play for something bigger than ourselves for one game out of the year.” 

While the Crimson Tide rested this weekend, the Tigers played in Gainesville, Florida, losing a pair of matches to the No. 15 Florida Gators.  

Of the four teams ranked above them in the SEC standings, Florida is the only one that the Tigers haven’t tallied a win against. LSU has beaten Arkansas and Auburn, and has split a series with No. 16 Kentucky. For the Tigers, it’s mostly a game of outlasting their opponent.  

Six of their eight SEC matches were taken to five sets, and all four of their wins came from five-set matches. 

Although Alabama has struggled with consistency and endurance throughout the season, head coach Rashinda Reed said that she hopes to carry the momentum of last week’s game into this week. 

“That wasn’t just progress, it was a win, and in three sets, so that was a big deal for us,” Reed said. “It’s just continuing to build on the things we have been doing.” 

Individually, it was also an important game for middle blocker Alyiah Wells who was named this week’s SEC Offensive Player of the Week. Although she tallied an impressive 14 kills and only two errors during the game, Reed says that her impact extended beyond the offense.  

“She [Wells] willed us over the finish line,” Reed said. “Alyiah just kept that energy up for us and that bode well for her offensively as well.” 

Wells will go head-to-head with LSU’s Ella Larkin, the libero who leads the SEC with 4.39 digs per set and was a 2021 SEC Freshman of the Week. The Tigers’ defense averages almost 15 digs per set whereas Alabama has almost 13. 

While Alabama wants to add another SEC victory to its win column, the Wednesday night Power of Pink match will be important to the program as well. 

The Alabama volleyball program will be remembering Kristye Hall Chastang, the first scholarship athlete after the volleyball program was reinstated at the University in 1989. Chastang passed away last week, and Reed said it’s important to remember her contributions to the program. 

“It [The match] is meaningful because we’re going to honor her [Chastang] at the Power of Pink match,” Reed said. “She’s been a real part of this community, and part of evolving and growing the culture is knowing the history of Alabama volleyball. Our players need to understand the history of Alabama and all the players who walked through these doors because we’re all united, we are all bleeding crimson and white.” 

The Power of Pink match against LSU will begin Wednesday, Oct. 19 at 8 p.m. CT at Foster Auditorium on ESPNU. 

Questions or comments? Email Austin Hannon (Sports Editor) at [email protected]