Volleyball swept at home by Mississippi State


Courtesy of UA Athletics

Alabama’s Chaise Campbell (23) spikes the ball in the Crimson Tide’s loss to the Mississippi State Bulldogs on Nov. 5 at Foster Auditorium in Tuscaloosa, Ala.

Abby McCreary, Staff Reporter

Surrounded by a crowd of former Alabama volleyball alumni to celebrate Alumni/’90s Day, the Crimson Tide fell in three sets to the Mississippi State Bulldogs in Foster Auditorium Saturday afternoon. 

Head coach Rashinda Reed said that she wished her team would have been able to pull together a win for the special occasion.  

“I’m least happy about how we came out,” Reed said. “We weren’t ready to battle, and we were okay with it.” 

Alabama came out swinging in the first set. The Crimson Tide attackers powered several kills past the Mississippi State blockers, and even the less successful kills managed to throw the Bulldogs’ defense out of system. 

Mississippi State responded with several soft tips and trick sets over the net to keep the Crimson Tide within range. At 21-21, the Alabama offense placed several key kills on the Mississippi State side of the court, giving the Crimson Tide a 24-21 lead.  

For Alabama, the match went downhill from there.  

After a Bulldogs timeout, Mississippi State responded with five points in a row to win the set 26-24. The final point was an ace by the Bulldogs. 

By the second set, the Crimson Tide had lost its confidence. Down 7-3, outside hitter Sami Jacobs stepped up for Alabama. After earning the serve with a successful kill, Jacobs followed up with two aces and a crucial dig to give the Crimson Tide an 8-7 lead.  

From there, the Bulldogs dominated. In the second set, they outnumbered the Crimson Tide in service aces, blocks and, most importantly, points. Trailing by as many as seven points, Alabama eventually lost the second set 25-21. 

To keep the match alive, Alabama needed to win the third set, but the team allowed too many Mississippi State scoring runs, including a three-point lead to start the set and a 10-0 run to end it. The Crimson Tide only tallied 11 points — its lowest record of the season — and six of those points came from Mississippi State errors. The 25-11 loss completed the sweep by the Bulldogs.  

Despite a tough season, Alabama has usually won the smaller battle behind the service line. The team leads the SEC in aces, and Mississippi State sits at the bottom of the conference with half as many. Saturday, though, the Crimson Tide lost the serving battle and only served five aces to the Bulldogs’ eight.  

Mississippi State also had the higher hitting percentage, at .277 to Alabama’s .116. In the third set, the Bulldogs averaged .375 while the Crimson Tide sat in the negatives.  

Although the loss kills the momentum that Alabama carried out of the bye week, the one positive of the match lies in the connection with Alabama alumni. Dozens were honored between the second and third set, and coach Reed said it offered an opportunity for her team to look at the bigger picture. 

“The stories that they had and meeting them showed [the players] that they are a part of something much bigger than themselves,” Reed said.  

Alabama’s next match will be part of a double header against South Carolina in Tuscaloosa next weekend. The Crimson Tide play at 6 p.m. CT on Friday, Nov. 11, and 2 p.m. CT on Saturday, Nov. 12. Both games can be watched on SEC Network+. 

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