After dropping the opening set, Alabama volleyball rallied with three-straight set victories to win the match, 3-1.
With a raucous crowd packing Lockhart Gymnasium, Alabama (14-6) dropped the opening set to Alabama State (16-8), 21-25, but rebounded with wins in sets two, three and four by scores of 25-22, 25-13 and 25-21, respectively. Sophomore Mahalia Swink led the offense with 15 kills while senior Leah Lawrence and sophomore Ginger Perinar were also in double figures with 10 each. Freshman Meghan Neelon was two digs shy of a double-double, earning 42 assists and eight digs. Senior Natalie Murison tallied a season-high three aces from the service line and junior Quincey Gary led the defense with 16 digs.
The lead traded back and forth early in set one, with Alabama retaking the lead on a kill by Lawrence, 9-8, and using a 5-2 run to add some distance before Alabama State took a timeout trailing 14-10. The Hornets fought back after the break to tie the set at 15-15 and eventually take an 18-17 lead. Alabama took its first timeout trailing 21-19 and its second timeout at set point, trailing 24-21 at set point. The Hornets would win the set on the next point, 25-21.
Alabama State jumped ahead 5-2 early before Alabama responded with seven-straight points to lead 9-5 and force the Hornets to take a timeout. Alabama State quickly fought back to tie the frame at 10-10 and, after eight more tie scores, the Hornets managed to pull ahead 21-19 and the Tide took a timeout. The lead swung back in Alabama's favor as a service ace by Gary made it 22-21 and Alabama State took a timeout. Consecutive blocks by Neelon and Lawrence would close out the set for Alabama, winning 25-22 to even the match at 1-1.
Leading 4-3 in set two, Alabama scored four unanswered points to extend its lead to 8-3 before Alabama State took a timeout. The Tide scored three more points before the Hornets scored to break the streak with Alabama now in front 11-4. The Tide continued to extend its lead, moving ahead by double digits at 19-9 and the Hornets called a timeout. Alabama held on to win set three, 25-13, and take a 2-1 match lead.
Alabama built an early lead in set four, starting the frame with five-straight points. Alabama State fought back within one point three times before tying the set at 12-12. The Hornets would fall behind before tying the set again at 18-18. The Tide retook the lead on a kill by Lawrence and remained in front for the remainder of the set, winning 25-21 to claim the 3-1 match victory.
Next up, Alabama resumes SEC play in Baton Rouge, La. against LSU (13-4, 4-2 SEC) on Sunday, Oct. 15 at 1 p.m. CT