After a weekend of losses, Alabama volleyball is back and ready to face Texas A&M this Thursday in College Station. The Crimson Tide’s losses against Arkansas and Tennessee are helping shape this newly revamped team after an injury to its libero, Christina Arenas.
The Tide’s five-set loss to Arkansas and its three-set loss to Tennessee may be tough to handle, but junior outside hitter Andrea McQuaid knows losing is just part of the game.
“Losses are never a good thing, but the only good thing about a loss is learning from it, so that’s what we’re going to do with it,” McQuaid said. “Nobody is happy from a loss, and we’re just going to take what we learn from it and not let it happen again.”
Head coach Ed Allen is preparing for a tough defensive match now that the starting lineup has changed. With a current record of 14-11, Alabama’s defensive skills are going to have to hold against Texas A&M’s defensive strategies.
Hoping to keep the balance the Tide has had all season, Allen has realistic goals for this upcoming match.
“[We want] to hold them under what they hit the last time they were here, which was [around] the mid 300s,” Allen said. “That clearly defines that we want to get better defensively, which is what we are doing. [We also want to] continue the balance that we’ve had for most of the year and involving four kids with pretty close equal distribution in kills.”
Ranked No. 1 in the SEC West, Texas A&M is going to be one of the most difficult matches of the regular season. Though Alabama has already played Texas A&M before, the Tide is more prepared this time, knowing what to expect from the Aggies.
“There’s a lot of taller teams in the SEC,” McQuaid said. “We’re taller than we were last year and we’re still growing, but at the end of the day, if we play our best and they play there’s, it’s just about who wants it more.”
Freshman setter Sierra Wilson is also preparing for an arduous match because Texas A&M plays a very tight game and is very in-sync with each other. Though Texas A&M’s threats are great, Wilson said the Tide can also play a tight game and be very competitive when playing the Aggies.
“It is important that we serve the ball well and pressure them to begin with at the service line,” Allen said. “That translates into a defensive effort or a strong defensive effort just simply because you take them out of some things that they could potentially use [against you].”