No. 25 Volleyball loses first game of season


By Joseph Field

James Benedetto, Staff Writer

Alabama’s undefeated streak ends at the hands of No. 15 Purdue.

The Boilermakers defeated the Crimson Tide in straight sets, limiting Alabama to under 30 percent in hitting. Prudue was able to frustrate the Crimson Tide into making errors that it has not made all year.

“I don’t think [the game] is indicative of the team we have,” coach Ed Allen said. “We struggled being able to match that intensity throughout the course of the match.”

Allen harped on that the Crimson Tide made too many mental errors in the match. Alabama only registered one block in the match, a season low. Alabama also committed six serving errors and only took the lead five times throughout the game.

“We mentally broke down a little bit,” sophomore Meghan Neelon said. “We keep talking about trying to be together as a team on and off the court, so I think our mentality kind of broke down.”

The mental errors became evident when Purdue took a 20-18 lead in the second set. Over the next six points, Alabama was only able to muster up one point during the run.

In the third set, it did not get much better. The closest Alabama got to tying Purdue was being down 3-2 early in the third set. The Boilermakers went on three separate runs where they scored three or more points, including a run where Purdue rattled off five straight points.

“Its all about trust,” Neelon said. “We need to trust each other on the court and we need to trust our communication. We did not have that tonight, but tomorrow is a new day.”

The Crimson Tide struggled in just about every aspect of the match. Purdue had seven aces in the match, a season high for aces given up by Alabama. Alabama struggled to pass the ball. The 36.8 passing percentage was 16 points lower than Purdue’s.

“They had solid size at the net, but it makes it doubly difficult when you don’t pass well,” Allen said. “We just didn’t pass the ball well. They had more serving aces against us then we have given up at any point this season and they had the ability to keep us out of system.”

The Crimson Tide return home to face Southern Miss, who pushed No. 15 Purdue to five sets. Alabama looks to have some questions answered when they take on the Golden Eagles.

“[Purdue] was a good test for us and there are other teams in the SEC that have that size and we need to get used to that style of play. We need to work from their in practice,” said Neelon.