Women’s volleyball looks to bounce back after tough opening series

After their first match was postponed, UA Women’s Volleyball (0-1, 0-1) started their season last week with two back-to-back games against No. 7-ranked Missouri (1-0, 1-0). Both matches were held at Foster Auditorium.

“It’s really hard to beat a team when they don’t give up. If you have confidence in the training you’re going to have confidence in the match,” head coach Lindsey Devine said after the match.

In Wednesday’s match, Alabama pushed the Tigers to four sets but still came up short 3-1 (25-22, 25-19, 25-17, 28-26). The Crimson Tide had a hitting percentage of .213, while the Tigers had a slightly higher percentage of .267. 

Freshman outside hitter Kendyl Reaugh made her debut on the court and finished the night with 16 kills. Sophomore right-side hitter Kennedy Muckelroy set her career-high of 15 kills with just 24 swings and three attack errors. Muckelroy went for a .500 hitting percentage and acquired four aces. 

“We were challenged by them to string those points together,” Devine said. “They’re a very great team.”

In Thursday’s match, Missouri defeated the Crimson Tide 3-0 (25-16, 25-19, 25-19). The Tigers had a total of eleven blocks against Alabama’s one. Junior outside hitter Abby Marjama started for the first time with the Crimson Tide and led the team with 13 kills and two service aces. Marjama had a hitting percentage of .346 and two aces. 

“Abby is one of those players that comes into practice every day and she works extremely hard, and I knew that Mizzou wouldn’t have anything on her except for a scouting report so they would have to make adjustments on the fly,” Devine said. “I talked to Abby about the things we wanted her to do and she came tonight ready to play and she walked away with a good night.”

Junior outside hitter Abby Marjama came from watching on the sidelines in the first match to starting for the first time with the Crimson Tide.

“I was able to watch from the back-court, and it was really beneficial,” Marjama said. “It gave me confidence coming into this game.” 

Marjama led the team with 13 kills and two service aces. Marjama had a hitting percentage of .346 and two aces.  

Devine and Marjama believe that the team will be able to go into their SEC-filled season with confidence and positivity, but said there are things the team needs to focus on. 

“The serve-pass game has to be something that is really stressed this week,” Devine said. “Florida is an explosive team we got to make sure we slow them down so our block will be an emphasis.”

The Florida Gators (2-0, 2-0) just notched a win against the Auburn Tigers (0-2, 0-2). Last season, the Crimson Tide was not able to pull a win from the then-ranked No. 13 Gators. As for this season, the Gators have a .241 hitting percentage, while the Crimson Tide has .195. 

Redshirt junior outside hitter T’ara Ceaser leads the Gators with 23 kills. Junior outside hitter Thayer Hall comes right behind her with an average of 13 kills. 

The Crimson Tide will be on the road to face the Florida Gators on Friday, Oct. 30 at 6 p.m. and Saturday, Oct. 31 at 2 p.m. Friday’s match will be streamed on SEC Network.