Volleyball loses undefeated status

Abby McCreary, Staff Reporter

In Houston, we have a problem. 

Alabama volleyball suffered two consecutive losses at the University of Houston’s Flo Hyman Collegiate Cup.  The Crimson Tide (3-2) lost their undefeated status after taking on the Oregon State Beavers (1-2) and their host, the Cougars (4-1), Friday.  

“Looking to rebound on Saturday,” the Alabama volleyball Twitter account said, turning attention to the rest of the weekend. 

Oregon State (2-3: 22-25, 18-25, 25-20, 25-18, 7-15) 

The Crimson Tide won every set where they scored first, but unfortunately they only scored first in the third and fourth. The first set went back and forth in the beginning, but after the Beavers took the lead with a 5-0 scoring run, they never fell behind again, winning the set 25-22.  

Oregon State carried that momentum into the second set to eventually go on an 8-point scoring run, bringing the score to 24-14. A series of serves from outside hitter Abby Marjama set up a potential late comeback, but the Crimson Tide still lost the second set 25-18.  

In the third set, Alabama finally managed to string some points together to avoid the shutout, winning 25-20.  

Going into the fourth set behind 1-2, the Crimson Tide attacked with renewed zeal. They tallied an impressive 20 kills, nearly half of which belonged to Marjama. Outside hitter Micah Gryniewicz had five kills of her own as well as two service aces. Together, they led Alabama to a dominant 25-18 win that brought the match to a tie. 

Despite the Alabama momentum, Oregon State scored first in the tiebreaker and from there, never gave up the lead. The comeback building up over the last two sets was not enough, and Alabama fell 7-15 and 2-3 in the match.  

Houston (0-3: 20-25, 15-25, 16-25) 

Although Alabama scored first, Houston led most of the first set. They stayed close on the Cougars’ heels, but after Houston led 3-2, Alabama never took the lead again, losing the set 20-25.  

The second set was much of the same, but this time, Alabama fell to 3-9 despite scoring first. Houston dominated most of the set, even though the Tide had more kills. Houston led the set 24-16 when they issued a challenge, overturning the Alabama point and giving the Cougars a 25-15 win in the second set.  

Houston middle blocker Isabel Theut and outside hitter Abbie Jackson led the third set in kills, combining for more than half of Houston’s total 12. Alabama had just one less, but still lost the set 25-16, leading to a straight 3-0 sweep for Houston.  

Service errors could be to blame for Alabama’s losses. The Crimson Tide had 21 errors to the Beavers’ one, and 16 to the Cougars’ six.  Last weekend, the Crimson Tide were able to make up for their service errors with aces, but on Friday, the Beavers led in aces 7-6, and the Cougars 6-4.  

Although the weekend started off with some tough losses, the Crimson Tide has one more chance at a win in Houston. Saturday afternoon at 1:30 p.m. CT, Alabama will play Central Arkansas (3-1) who also lost to Houston in straight sets.

Questions or comments? Email Austin Hannon (Sports Editor) at [email protected]