Volleyball splits double header at VCU Invitational

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Volleyball splits double header at VCU Invitational

CW / Hannah Saad

CW / Hannah Saad

CW / Hannah Saad

CW / Hannah Saad

Alabama opened its weekend at the VCU Invitational with a three-set match win against Navy at 9 a.m. and came back at 5 p.m. for a five-set loss against VCU.

Alabama (4-0) and Navy (2-2) fought back and forth through two tight sets to start the match. The Crimson Tide took a match lead with a score of 25-21 in the first set and 25-22 in the second. Leading 14-11 just past the halfway mark in the third, Alabama closed the frame with a 11-2 run to win, 25-13, and cap the sweep.

“We were patient and followed our game plan,” coach Lindsey Devine said in a press release. “Once we got to the third set, the patience proved to be the difference. We emphasized the attackers being available and increasing their range when they attack.”

Graduate outside hitter and defense specialist Brooke Kuhlman was the leading point scorer for the Crimson Tide, finishing with 11 kills and a service ace. She was one dig shy of a double-double with nine and hit .304.

In its second match of the day, Alabama received its first loss of the season against VCU.

Alabama rallied from a 25-17 loss in the first set to defeat VCU (4-2) in the second, 25-18. The Rams retaliated in the third set, once again winning by eight points. A big run late in the fourth propelled the Crimson Tide to a 25-17 win, which evened it at 2-2. VCU pulled through to win by three.

Freshman middle blocker Alyiah Wells led all players with 16 kills, hitting .483 and had team-leading four blocks. Senior outside hitter Ginger Perinar was also in double figures with 12 kills. Junior setter Meghan Neelon added a career-best four service aces.

“Firstly, I’d like to congratulate VCU on the win. I think they played more consistently than we did,” Devine said. “We talk a lot within our team about the way we train in practice and how that translates to the game. You can try to create as much as you can in practice but, when it comes to the game-time atmosphere, at the end of the day you have to be able to execute. Tonight, we struggled with our consistency.”

Alabama wraps up its weekend against NC State (2-2) on Saturday, Sept. 7 at 1 p.m.