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

3-set defeat against Missouri seals volleyball’s fate as last in the SEC

CW/ Emma Grace Fobas
Alabama volleyball player Kyla Dunaway (#22) hits the ball against Missouri on Oct. 11 in Tuscaloosa, Ala.

Alabama volleyball has found itself with yet another loss for the books; a straight sets lost to Missouri.  

This loss gives Alabama a 0-6 record in the SEC and comes days after a tough battle against Florida, where the team had its longest set of the season — at that point.  

Amid a hat giveaway and the soccer team throwing T-shirts into the stands, the team went for a 28-30 set against the Missouri Tigers, beating its previous record of 27-29 for longest set of the season. 

For most of the season, head coach Rashinda Reed has been able to keep hopes up about the losses and view them as a tool for learning rather than a red mark, but this game was her breaking point.  

“I’m very angry. I’m very disappointed,” Reed said. “I think in every part of the game there was an issue.”  

This game leaves Alabama volleyball No. 13 in the SEC, the lowest ranking possible.  

Alabama couldn’t seem to keep the ball up, and in the moments when the team needed it most, the spark fizzled out. It was Alabama’s second loss in a row in a point-for-point battle after the set went over the standard 25 points.  

Outside hitter Sami Jacobs finds it frustrating how close the team seems to get to victory only to never be able to reach it.  

“We keep saying over and over again, we’re so close,” Jacobs said. “We want to just be done being so close and just be there.” 

On 106 attempted hits, Alabama managed only 38 kills throughout the entire game. This number is much less than Missouri’s 55 kills on 113 attacks, only 7 more attempts than Alabama. 

The team was held together by middle blocker Alyiah Wells and outside hitter Kendyl Reaugh, who had 13 and 11 kills, respectively, along with Jacobs, who is settling into her new role as one of Alabama’s starting hitters with eight kills for the Crimson Tide.  

Reaugh fell just short of achieving her seventh double-double of the season, recording 11 kills and nine digs, needing only one more dig to reach the milestone. Defense specialists Victoria Schmer and Francesca Bertucci, along with setter Callie Kieffer, also showed their defensive skill through 24 total digs, but this was not enough with Missouri’s players amassing 11 more digs than Alabama.  

The blocks in this game were commendable with Wells standing out with a career-best performance of three solo blocks, while Jacobs added another solo block. Outside hitter Kyla Dunaway contributed three blocks, and middle blocker Chaise Campbell made an impact with two of her own. 

Since the start of the season, the team has been grappling with a recurring issue in its serving game. Despite a temporary improvement in recent matches, old habits have resurfaced. In this match, a discouraging eight service errors were recorded.  

However, the team managed to secure six service aces. Jacobs notably led the charge with two of them while Wells, Kieffer, Reaugh and Gholson held the other four.  

Gholson said that despite the team playing well in certain moments, they have no one to blame but themselves for the loss and that they have some things to focus on for their upcoming games.  

“It’s definitely disappointing because I think we’ve been working so hard, and some of the stuff that we worked on in practice and our game plan, it just didn’t translate into that game,” Gholson said.  “So, I really think that it was all on us. We did a lot of good things, but it’s definitely a disappointing loss.” 

The team will head out to Arkansas to play the SEC’s No. 2-ranked team this Sunday at 6 p.m. CT. 

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