Courtesy of UA Athletics
In its fourth SEC match of the season, Alabama volleyball fell to in-state rivals Auburn (10-4, 2-2 SEC). The road matches dropped Alabama’s overall record to 8-8 and their SEC record to 0-4.
The Crimson Tide claimed two of the eight sets played.
Match One (2-3: 21-25, 25-20, 21-25, 25-20, 5-15)
The Crimson Tide started slow in the first set. Attack errors helped the Tigers jump to 10-5 before taking a timeout.
The timeout helped Alabama close the gap with back-to-back kills from outside hitter Shaye Eggleston and four attack errors from the Tigers.
The late set effort wasn’t enough, and the Tigers won the first set, 25-21.
The Crimson Tide came out strong in the second set. Outside hitter Sami Jacobs created momentum with her second kill of the match. Errors from the Tigers and kills from Eggleston and Jacobs kept Alabama in the lead and forced the Tigers into a timeout.
The timeout didn’t help the Tigers as the Crimson Tide kept its momentum. Despite a four-point run, the Tigers could not overcome the deficit. Eggleston closed out the set with a kill to get to game point and a service ace.
The third set was a tight battle. Eggleston kept the lead in Alabama’s favor. The Tigers tried to close the gap, but back-to-back errors hurt their resurgence.
The two teams were tied four times in the set. The Tigers then went on a four-point run to extend their lead. Alabama started to push late in the set, but it wasn’t enough to claim the win.
After a tough third set, the Crimson Tide snagged the fourth set, 25-20. Eggleston and outside hitter Kendyl Reaugh combined for four kills, which put Alabama in the lead 5-0. Jacobs, Eggleston and middle blocker Laila Smith maintained the momentum. The Tigers never closed the gap.
The Tigers took the decisive fifth set, 15-5. The effort from Smith and right-side hitter Kennedy Muckelroy wasn’t enough to lift the Tide to victory. The Crimson Tide gave away 9 points to the Tigers from service and attack errors.
Smith and Muckelroy picked up two kills. Eggleston led the team in kills with a season high of 17 kills, and Jacobs picked up her first double-double with 12 kills and 18 digs.
Match Two (0-3: 19-25, 14-25, 18-25)
After a long first match against the Tigers, the Crimson Tide failed to bring the energy on Sunday and lost in straight sets.
Auburn’s defense kept Alabama at an overall 0.88 hitting percentage.
From the first set, Auburn had a tight grip on the match. Four errors gave the Tigers the lead, 11-4.
A mid-set push led by Muckelroy and middle blocker Chaise Campbell cut into Auburn’s lead to 16-11. Reaugh claimed two kills, and Smith picked up one kill.
Alabama tried to crack the Tigers’ offense, but the Tigers won the set, 25-19.
The second set felt similar to the first. The Tigers took an early 5-2 lead in the second set from two kills and three attack errors. Alabama could not capitalize on errors from the Tigers in the middle portion of the set.
The Tigers had two four point runs during the second set. The Crimson Tide only scored 14 points as the Tigers closed the set, 25-14.
The Crimson Tide came into the third set with more momentum, but was unable to gain a lead over the Tigers.
Early kills from Muckelroy, Campbell and Reaugh kept Alabama in close reach, but the Tigers pushed away with kills and service aces to lead 10-8.
Muckelroy and Smith hit a combined three kills to close the gap. Alabama was shut down by a 7-point run and trailed 21-12. Campbell earned one final kill for Alabama before Auburn closed out the set with a service.
Smith had a season-high six kills, and Eggleston picked up her season best of 16 digs.
The Crimson Tide will be back at home in its fifth SEC match against No. 5 Kentucky on Oct. 9. The Power of Pink match will be held in Foster Auditorium at 1 p.m. CT and will be broadcast on SEC Network+.
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