This semester in sports at The University of Alabama

Tzali Nislick, Staff Reporter

Fall semester sports are right around the corner. The Alabama football team looks to defend its 18th National Championship, while the women’s soccer and volleyball teams aim to build off disappointing seasons. 



After a dominating campaign in which the Crimson Tide went undefeated and won the National Championship, the football team will see new faces heading into the new campaign. 

Former Alabama football player Mac Jones, Najee Harris, DeVonta Smith, Jaylen Waddle, Alex Leatherwood and Patrick Surtain II were all first-round picks in April’s NFL Draft. 

That puts pressure on their successors, particularly sophomore quarterback Bryce Young, especially after head coach Nick Saban said Young is approaching “seven figures” in name, image and likeness deals. Young, the former No. 2 overall player in the 2020 recruiting class, earned A-Day game MVP honors after completing 25 passes for 333 yards and a 59-yard touchdown.

He will need to replicate his A-Day performance over the course of a full season if the Crimson Tide hopes to defend the National Championship. 

This team’s defense should be among the nation’s best. It contains standouts Will Anderson Jr., Christian Harris, Christopher Allen, Josh Jobe, Jordan Battle and Malachi Moore. Alabama also gained Tennessee transfer Henry To’o To’o. 

Alabama brings in the nation’s No. 1-ranked recruiting class, featuring seven five-star recruits. 

The Crimson Tide, with all its new and old faces, begins its season against Miami on Sept. 4 in Atlanta. The first game played at Bryant-Denny Stadium will be against Mercer on Sept. 11, followed by a rematch of last year’s SEC Championship game against Florida on Sept. 18. 


Women’s Soccer

The women’s soccer team comes into the new year with high hopes following a solid 2020 season led by goalkeeper McKinley Crone. Crone posted 77 saves last year, putting her second in the SEC and 14th in the country. She did not miss a beat in her first year after transferring from Oklahoma.

Also returning is sophomore midfielder Felicia Knox, who led the team with four goals in 2020. Head coach Wes Hart enters his seventh season with a 51-51-13 record. That mark is on par with the Tide’s 7-8-2 record a year ago. 

Alabama closed last year on a 5-3 run and took No. 8 Clemson to overtime in the season’s final match. Alabama’s first regular season match is Aug. 19 against Jacksonville State in Tuscaloosa. 


Men’s Golf

The Alabama men’s golf team ended last season on a sour note after the team failed to qualify for nationals in an underwhelming performance at the 2021 NCAA Stillwater Regional. After qualifying for regionals for the 16th consecutive season, anything less than a National Championship run is considered a letdown for the Crimson Tide. 

The team lost last year’s seniors, Davis Shore and Wilson Furr. However, it signed Junior College All-American Dillon West and freshman Jones Free to the program.

While playing at Jefferson State Community College last season, West led his team to a top-10 finish at NJCAA Nationals. He and Free, the former No. 7-ranked golfer in the state of Alabama, are expected to play integral roles for the Crimson Tide this fall.

Alabama men’s golf’s first match is Sept. 10 for the Maui Jim Invitational in Scottsdale, Arizona.


Women’s Golf

Former Alabama women’s golf star Stephanie Meadow put on quite the show at the Tokyo Olympics, finishing seventh overall as a member of Team Ireland. 

The Crimson Tide returns eight players, including four seniors and sophomore Benedetta Moresco. During media availability on Monday, head coach Mic Potter discussed the importance of Moresco’s presence on the team. 

“Benedetta Moresco is our leading returner. She was SEC Freshman of the Year after only beginning with us in January,” Potter said. “She made her presence felt in a short time and will be the not only one of the leading returners in the SEC, but in the nation.”

The program now turns its focus to the start of its 48th season — its 17th under head coach Mic Potter — which is slated for Sept. 13 at the ANNIKA Intercollegiate in Lake Elmo, Minnesota. 



The women’s volleyball team looks to improve from a 7-15 record in 2020 in a strong SEC. Alabama faced three top-seven-ranked opponents — Missouri, Florida and Kentucky — last season. 

On Monday, head coach Lindsey Devine shared her expectations for the season. 

“I’m looking for our team to build upon the things we had put as our goals last year,” Devine said. “We’re going to continue being a strong service team and putting pressure on our opponents.”

Last season, Alabama served 117 aces, just six fewer than their opponents’ total of 123. Alabama served an average of 1.5 aces per set. Senior Abby Marjama was the team leader with 23 aces. 

Alabama added a host of newcomers during the offseason. The team added transfer students Sarah Swanson and Dru Kuck and signed six freshman students, including two-time Tennessee Gatorade Player of the Year Shaye Eggleston. 

The team opens its season on Aug. 27 against Austin Peay State University, and its first SEC opponent is Texas A&M on Sept. 22. 


Track and Field

After impressing in the Tokyo Olympics, Alabama track and field looks to continue its dominance in the fall semester. 

Alabama alumni Remona Burchell and Kirani James each won medals. Burchell won gold for Jamaica in the women’s 4×100-meter relay. James won bronze for Grenada in the men’s 400-meter race. Fellow alumnus Jereem Richards placed eighth in the men’s 200 meters. 

The College Sports Information Directors of America announced Thursday that a program record of six track and field athletes earned Academic All-America honors, including Mercy Chelangat, Tamara Clark, Daija Lampkin, Samantha Zelden, Vincent Kiprop and Jake Spotswood. 

Lampkin became the first person from the women’s program to receive three Academic All-American honors. 

Alabama track and field’s first meet is Sept. 4 at the Memphis Twilight Classic.