The Tennessee Lady Volunteers volleyball team dropped a 3-1 decision to Western Division foe Alabama Sunday in the Stokely Athletics Center. The Crimson Tide came from behind to take the match by the scores of 24-30, 30-22, 30-21 and 30-23. The setback snaps UT's four-match winning streak.
Senior middle hitter Ariana Wilson led the Lady Vols with 17 kills and four blocks. Junior outside hitters Janelle Hester and Kelli Scott also recorded double-digit kill performances as Hester slammed down 16 and Scott posted 11.
Alabama used a balanced attack to take the Lady Vols out of their rhythm, as four players had double-digit kill performances. "I give Alabama a lot of credit," head coach Rob Patrick said. "They played a great match. They took us out of what we wanted to do and once we got in a hole, our team had trouble getting out."
The two squads took turns with the lead at the start of game one. The Lady Vols then ran up a four-point lead and never relinquished it. Tennessee out-hit the Tide .353 to .000 en route to the early match advantage.
The Lady Vols continued to play well in the second stanza and ran up a 17-10 lead. An 11-1 run by the Tide sparked by aggressive front row defense and strong serving, pushing Alabama ahead to win and even the match.
Game three was a back-and-forth affair until a four-point spurt by Alabama gave it the momentum. Alabama kept the pressure on, scoring seven of the last eight points in the game to earn the win and a 2-1 lead in the match.
In the fourth tilt, neither team took a real advantage as the lead volleyed back and fourth with the serve. With the score tied at 17, Alabama threw up to crucial blocks two take a two-point lead. The Tide sealed the affair with a 30-23 win. The Lady Vols fall to 9-7 overall, 3-4 in the SEC, while Alabama improves to 12-5 overall, 5-3 in league play.
UT will try and regroup on Tuesday when they face foe Virginia Tech in the Stokely Athletics Center at 7 p.m.