TUSCALOOSA, Ala. - Alabama volleyball earned a commanding sweep victory over Georgia, 3-0, Sunday afternoon to cap its home weekend.
Alabama (10-12, 4-4 SEC) only allowed Georgia (5-15, 0-8 SEC) to lead the match once early in the opening set, but the Crimson Tide were otherwise in total control of match. Alabama won each set by an increasing margin, winning the opening frame, 25-18, before winning 25-17 and 25-15 in sets two and three, respectively.
Leah Lawrence had a strong performance in the middle, hitting a season-high .625 along with a team-leading four aces. The team as a whole was strong from the service line, knocking in eight aces, the Tide's highest total in SEC play this season. Alabama's second middle blocker Emily Stebbins also played a strong match, hitting .500 with nine kills and a team-leading five blocks while Krystal Rivers was Alabama's leader in kills from the right side with 10 kills.
Georgia took a brief 5-4 lead early in the opening set, but Alabama eventually bounced back to retake the lead, 9-8, and would not relinquish the lead for the remainder of the match. A kill by Brittany Thomas gave the Tide a four-point lead at the media timeout, 15-11, and three-straight kills after the break stretched it to seven points as Georgia took a timeout. Alabama continued to extend the lead, up 23-17 at Georgia's final timeout, and eventually closed it out at 25-18.
Alabama got off to a scorching start in the second set, leading 10-2 as Georgia took its first timeout. The Tide maintained its lead through the middle of the set, hitting the 20-point mark with a kill by Rivers and a service ace by Lawrence, leading 20-13. A block by Sierra Wilson and Stebbins gave Alabama set point, 24-15, and after two points by the Bulldogs, a kill by Stebbins sealed the win as the Tide won, 25-17, to take a 2-0 lead into intermission.
Leading 4-2, Alabama scored four unanswered points to stretch the lead to six points, but Georgia fought back to draw within three, 9-6. Three-straight points by the Tide made it 12-6 at the halfway point as Georgia took a timeout. Later with the same six-point lead, a kill by Rivers made it 18-11 as Georgia took its final timeout. Alabama scored four-straight points out of the break to take a double-digit lead, 22-11, before Georgia responded with a point to break a seven-point run. Alabama reached set point with a 10-point lead, 24-14, and won the game by the same margin, 25-15, to complete the sweep.
Next up, Alabama hits the road for a midweek SEC contest at Missouri (18-2, 6-1 SEC) on Wednesday, Oct. 28 at 7 p.m. live on the SEC Network. The Tide defeated the Tigers earlier this season in Tuscaloosa, 3-2, on Oct. 11.