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

No. 12 Tennessee crashes Alabama volleyball’s 2000s-themed party, hands Crimson Tide fourth conference loss

CW / Riley Brown
Alabama volleyball player Chaise Campbell jumps for the ball against Tennessee on Oct. 4 at Foster Auditorium in Tuscaloosa, Ala.

Alabama volleyball’s 2000s-themed party had a few spoilers.  

The Crimson Tide suffered a straight set (14-25, 23-25,18-25) loss to the No. 12 Tennessee Lady Volunteers in a midweek match that had many on their seat. 

This marks Alabama’s fourth conference loss.  

Due to an injury sustained against Kentucky, outside hitter Micah Gryniewicz didn’t see much action in the midweek matchup. Junior Sami Jacobs stepped up in Gryniewicz’s place.  

“I think Sami Jacobs did a really good job of stepping into her role today,” outside hitter Kyla Dunaway said. “Obviously with Micah being out, she’s one of our big players, so I think she killed it. She was super aggressive. She was just working really hard.”  

The offense in this game was led by outside hitter Kendyl Reaugh with eight hits, closely followed by middle blockers Aliyah Wells and Chaise Campbell, each with seven hits. Dunaway contributed four hits, adding to the team’s 30 total kills this game, out of 101 attempted kills.  

Although there were some positive offensive moments, Alabama’s hitting percentage of .139 from the match was below its season average of .263.  

Defensive specialists Francesca Bertucci and Sydney Gholson as well as libero Victoria Schmer, boasted impressive records this game despite the equally impressive offensive opponent. Bertucci had 10 digs, a season high for the junior. Schmer had 11 digs, just one shy of a season record. Gholson and setter Callie Kieffer each had seven digs for the Crimson Tide.  

Tennessee, the No. 1 team in the SEC in blocks and a top team in the country in both assists per set and aces per set, proved to be Alabama’s toughest match yet. Schmer commended her teammates’ understanding of the scouting report, but also stated that the Crimson Tide had to make in-match adjustments too. 

“I think they [Tennessee] did a good job of switching up their shots, because in the first and second set, we were digging a lot of their balls,” Schmer said. “We forced them to do something that they didn’t want to do, so I think after the other team makes those adjustments, we have to be ready to adjust to that as well.”  

The tension reached a fever pitch at the end of set two ended when Wells, the referee and another Tennessee player got into a heated disagreement on whether a ball should have been considered in or out.   

Just moments earlier, Wells received a yellow card for unsportsmanlike conduct due to her enthusiastic celebration of a successful play that earned Alabama a pivotal point in a closely fought match.  

Despite injuring her ankle midgame, freshman setter Callie Kieffer showed grit, delivering 25 assists. She was just three digs away from achieving her fifth double-double of the season. Schmer and Gholson also contributed with four combined assists. 

Jacobs and outside hitter Kaleigh Palmer each recorded one solo block. Wells tallied three block assists, along with Kieffer, Campbell and Reaugh, who contributed two each, and Dunaway added one to complete the defensive efforts.  

Head coach Rashinda Reed continues to have faith in her team and says she sees progress, even in the losses. She believes that as long as the team continues to stay in a good state of mind, winning is inevitable.  

“Our team has fight,” Reed said. “They did not give up, and eventually with that mindset, it’s going to turn into wins. So right now, we don’t talk about that. We just talk about what our goals are, what our roles are, and then just keep working through that.” 

Alabama volleyball will strive to continue building on the positives from Wednesday’s loss as they travel to Gainesville this Sunday, where the team will play the Florida Gators at noon CT.  

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