Volleyball beats Mississippi State in straight sets


By Jake Arthur

James Benedetto, Staff Reporter

Alabama got back on track after it  beat the Mississippi State Bulldogs in straight sets.

The Crimson Tide had one of its better hitting performances of the season, finishing the match with .256 hitting percentage and committed only 17 attacking errors. Coach Ed Allen commented that the teams balance offensively is what led Alabama to a good win over a tough Mississippi State.

“I thought we did better job of defending particularly our off-side defender in the front row and that needs to continue to grow,” Allen said. “Our setters located the ball reasonably well and gave hitters the opportunity to apply some pressure. I think after we settled down in the first set we began to serve the ball not only consistently but with more aggression.”

Doris Carter had a double-double finishing the match with 13 kills and 14 digs. Mahalia Swink had one of her best performances this season, finishing the match with 13 kills and was one dig shy of a double-double. Swink finished second in hitting percentage with a .407, the second highest hitting percentage of her career at Alabama.

“It was a lot of fun,” Swink said. “Meghan was giving me good balls and my team’s energy was high and they were supporting everyone. I didn’t know that I was that close to a double-double I was just out there playing my game.”

Swink was dominant especially when the game was still up for grabs in the second set. Swink recorded two kills and a serving ace to help spur a 4-0 scoring run to give the Crimson Tide an 18-16 lead. After forcing the Bulldogs to take a timeout, the junior recorded two more kills including the kill to give Alabama set point.

“It’s quite a boost, she hit over .400 in the match and passed the ball extremely well, maybe one of her better passing and attacking matches of the year,” Allen said. “When [Swink] does that it takes a lot of pressure off of our left side and we are looking for her to grow defensively as well.”

Senior Quincey Gary also achieved a personal milestone in the match against Mississippi State. Gary moved into fourth all-time in career digs at Alabama. Her nine digs give her a career total of 1,269 as she looks to continue to move up the all-time list.

“There’s been a lot of records that have been broken or set over the last five or six years,” Allen said. “She’s another kid that’s moving up the ladder and hopefully she’ll be able to solidify herself as one of the top three ever to play here. She’s a very deserving kid who works hard every day, tries to be a great leader and a great teammate and do the necessary things to be competitive.”

Alabama goes back on the road against Arkansas as the Crimson Tide look for conference win number four.

“We need to come in and have a few solid days at practice so that we can continue to improve. I think that it is something we have to strive for in the last month of the season is the desire to rapidly improve and that will have everything to do with how we finish in the SEC,” Allen said.