TUSCALOOSA, Ala. - Alabama swept Auburn, 3-0, Sunday afternoon in Foster Auditorium. In the win, senior setter Sierra Wilson moved into first place in career assists at Alabama.
Wilson totaled 32 assists in the match, pushing her career total to 5,581, which passes Brigitte Slack's previous career record of 5,578, originally set in 2007. Alabama (14-14, 8-6 SEC) won the first two sets, 25-16 and 25-20, before having to overcome a late 23-20 Auburn (13-11, 5-7 SEC) lead in the third with a 6-1 run to complete the sweep with a 26-24 win in the third. The sweep is Alabama's second in SEC play this season.
The Tide received a boost on offense from junior Krystal Rivers' match-high 15 kills and .364 hitting percentage. Sophomore Kat Hutson was also in double figures with 11 kills on 29 swings. The Tide played well from the service line, scoring eight aces, its highest total in SEC play this year. Sophomore Leah Lawrence led Alabama from the line with three aces while Rivers and Hutson had two each.
With the teams tied at 7-7 in set one, three Auburn attack errors and a service ace by Natalie Murison put the Tide on top, 11-7, as the Tigers took its first timeout. Each team scored four more points to make the score 15-11 and Alabama would extend its lead with three-straight points, all coming on Auburn errors, to make it a seven-point game at 18-11. Leading by seven later, 23-16, another Auburn attack error gave Alabama set point, 24-16, and a kill by Rivers ended it as the Tide won, 25-16.
Similarly to the opening set, Alabama would again pull ahead following a 7-7 tie score in the second set, using an 8-4 run to lead 15-11 at the media timeout. Auburn responded with four-straight points after the break to tie the set but could not take the lead as Rivers ended the run with a kill to give Alabama a slim 16-15 lead. After three more tie scores, the Tide retook the lead with four-straight points, capped by a Hutson service ace, to make it 22-18 as Auburn burned both of its timeouts in the process. The Tigers would only score two more points in the remainder of the set as Alabama held on to win, 25-20, and take a 2-0 match lead into intermission.
Auburn flipped the script in the third set, breaking away following a 7-7 tie to lead 11-7 at Alabama's first timeout. An ace on the next point stretched the Tigers' lead to a match-high five points, 12-7. Later with the same five-point lead, 18-13, Auburn allowed Alabama to cut the deficit to two points with a 3-0 run as a Rivers service ace made it 18-16 to force a Tiger timeout. The teams traded points back and forth as Alabama could not draw any closer than two points, taking its final timeout trailing 23-20 late. With a raucous Foster Auditorium crowd on its feet, Alabama scored three-straight points to tie the set at 23-23 as Auburn took its final timeout. An Alabama block gave the Tide set point but a service error tied it back up at 24-24 before Rivers knocked in back-to-back kills to give Alabama the 26-24 comeback victory and complete the sweep.
Next up, Alabama takes its final road trip of the regular season facing Georgia (5-21, 0-14 SEC) on Friday, Nov. 20 at 6 p.m. CT before heading to South Carolina (11-16, 4-10 SEC) on Sunday, Nov. 22, which starts at 12:30 p.m. CT.