Serving the campus of the University of Alabama since 1894

The Crimson White

Serving the campus of the University of Alabama since 1894

The Crimson White

Serving the campus of the University of Alabama since 1894

The Crimson White

Starting strong: Alabama volleyball begins 2023 season with three wins

CW / Emma Grace Fobas
Alabama volleyball player Victoria Schmer (#7) going to hit the ball in a match against Mississippi Valley State at Foster Auditorium on Aug. 25 in Tuscaloosa, Ala.

In front of the hometown crowd in Foster Auditorium, Alabama volleyball put on a show, winning all three of its matches against Mississippi Valley State, Saint Louis and Mercer.  

 “I think they did well,” Alabama head coach Rashinda Reed said. “I felt really good about it, and I’m excited about the future of the program.”  

 Using the strategy outside hitter Micah Gryniewicz called “the fiery five,” the Crimson Tide showed a killer instinct and didn’t give the opponents any momentum. 

Game one: Mississippi Valley State (3-0: 25-8, 25-10, 25-14)  

This game was led by outside hitters Gryniewicz, scoring 8 points, and Sami Jacobs, scoring 7. Middle blocker Alyiah Wells scored six points. These three scored 21 of the 36 kills for Bama this game.  

 Setters Callie Kieffer and Gabbi LeBlanc were in it to win this game. Kieffer had 19 assists and LeBlanc had 12, each with zero errors. Kieffer also got two aces against Mississippi Valley, which helped secure Alabama’s 3-for-3 win against the Devilettes. 

 Both Kieffer and libero Sydney Gholson recorded six digs and zero errors. 

 “I’m proud of our ladies right now. We were doing many things in practice that they implemented in the matches, and that’s all you can ask for,” Reed said. “They stayed composed and respected the opponent and played at a high level. I would love for them to keep that same mentality for tomorrow.”  

 Game two: Saint Louis (3-0: 25-9, 25-17, 25-20)  

Wells and outside hitters Kendyl Reaugh and Gryniewicz led the team in kills this game, each with 8 points. These three each had a block assist, and Gryniewicz pulled out a serve ace to help the Crimson Tide win against Saint Louis.  

 Kieffer’s 26 sets and zero errors did not go unnoticed this game; she was able to set up hit after hit against Saint Louis’ defense and had a kill and an ace this game. Keiffer was also responsible for eight digs this game.  

 Victoria Schmer led the team in digs; the 5-foot-4-inch libero was hot on the tail of any kill Saint Louis attempted to make and was able to recover 12 of them. Schmer also led the team in service aces, scoring six in this game, and Kendyl Reaugh, scoring four set aces for the team. 

 Game three: Mercer (3-0:18-25W, 16-25W, 21-25W)  

Reaugh and Gryniewicz had fantastic games against Mercer, having 14 and 12 kills, respectively, on 27 attempts. The players flaunted not just their offensive skills but also their defensive skills, with Reaugh having 14 digs and Gryniewicz having six digs.  

 The team also did very well with blocking, with middle blocker Chaise Campbell having four blocks, including a solo, doubling Mercer’s No. 1 blocker Lillian Beardsley’s two and zero solo blocks. 

  Liberos Sydney Gholson and Schmer kept the fight alive with their combined 20 digs, most of which kept the ball in play long enough for Bama to land a kill on Mercer’s defensive specialists.   

Gholson and Schmer managed to be everywhere the ball was, which was a large part of what helped the Crimson Tide secure their victory.  

 By the end of the last set, the crowd waited with anticipation to see if they would be getting another set from Mercer after the losses before. Mercer picked back up at the end of the game and was able to leave the Foster Auditorium with a 21-25 loss against Bama, but even though it was a loss for the Bears, it was a better loss after losing 18-25 in the first set and 16-25 in the second.  

 “We’re just proud of how well our team played together for our first opening weekend,” Reaugh said. “We have some younger people on the team and some returners, so I think everyone played really well together.”  

 By the end of the game, the togetherness that showed throughout the weekend helped the Crimson Tide secure a perfect 3-for-3 record, a trend we can only hope to see more of throughout the rest of the season. 

 Alabama volleyball is on the rise, with Gryniewicz scoring 28 points, Reaugh scoring 28 points, and Wells scoring 20 over the weekend, a combined 76 kills over three games. These ladies are ready for whatever this season brings. 

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