Volleyball wins exhibition over South Alabama

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Volleyball wins exhibition over South Alabama

CW / Hannah Saad

CW / Hannah Saad

CW / Hannah Saad

CW / Hannah Saad

Halle Bonner, Staff Reporter

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Alabama opened up its season on Saturday afternoon with a 3-2 exhibition win over South Alabama. The Crimson Tide won the first two sets 25-22 and 25-13, lost the next two 25-21 and 25-20, and won the fifth 15-11.

Players switched in and out consistently throughout the game. Head coach Lindsey Devine said exhibition matches give opportunities to see how players perform in a more game-like situation and experiment with new lineups.

“Exhibition matches are an opportunity to see where the growth is that we have done as a team, and individually what our players have taken in and been able now to implement,” Devine said. “The variations with the rotations was planned.”

Freshman middle blocker Alyiah Wells was impressive in her first game action for the Crimson Tide, totaling 11 kills and leading the team with five blocks.

“Alyiah is a special athlete and a special person,” Devine said. “She’s just a competitor. I like the energy she brings to the court. She’s fast off the floor and you know I don’t think she played like a freshman tonight.”

Wells said the team’s camaraderie helped her stay composed in her debut, but she still found room for improvement in her game.

“I feel like I wasn’t that nervous just because of the bond I have with the girls, so that made it a lot more comfortable,” Wells said. “I feel like I didn’t execute as well as I wanted to on my blocking, but I tried to make up for it with an offensive game. I feel like I was very smart with my shots and seeing the floor and being aggressive throughout the game, as well as getting up different balls and giving 100 percent effort.”

Redshirt junior Ashley Homan, who led the team with 14 kills, was honest in her assessment of the win: encouraging at some points, disappointing in others. Alabama did hold on to win the match, but while holding the lead, it allowed a 9-0 run in the third set and a 6-1 run in the fourth.

“We were on a little bit of a roller-coaster,” Homan said. “We did really well. There were some really exciting moments and there were really low moments, so to just keep that consistency and work on everything that the coaches have taught us. We are fighters, as you can tell. It’s gonna be a great season. We’re gonna focus on the process, you know process of a product right now, and then we’re going to be snapping.”

Alabama opens its regular season on Friday in Buffalo, New York, with a 9 a.m. game against Marist and a 5 p.m. game against Buffalo.