ATHENS, Ga. -- Alabama volleyball opened its final road weekend of the regular season Friday night with a three-set sweep over Georgia.
Alabama (15-14, 9-6 SEC) held Georgia (5-22, 0-15 SEC) under 20 points in two of the three sets, winning 25-18 and 25-16 in the first two before edging out a close 25-22 win in the third to secure the sweep. The win is the second over the Bulldogs this season and marks the fourth straight in the all-time series for the Crimson Tide. Alabama hit a season-high .360 as a team in the win, totaling 50 kills for its highest total in a three-set match this season. Krystal Rivers ended the night with a match-high 23 kills, her highest in a three-set match this season, along with a scorching .556 hitting percentage and seven digs. Sierra Wilson posted her fifth double-double of the season, totaling 48 assists and 10 digs, while Kat Hutson was in double-figures on offense with 15 kills and a .393 hitting percentage.
Errors early in the first set cost Alabama, as Georgia pulled ahead 9-6 with seven of its nine points coming on Tide errors. A kill by Hutson and back-to-back errors by the Bulldogs allowed Alabama to tie the match back up at 9-9 and then eventually retake the lead at 11-10. Later, tied at 13-13, consecutive errors by Georgia gave Alabama a two-point lead at the media timeout, 15-13. The Bulldogs would tie the set with two-straight points out of the break but the Tide would hold the lead for the remainder of the set, closing it out with a 10-3 run to win, 25-18.
After six tie scores early in set two, Alabama scored back-to-back points to take an 8-6 lead and would continue to extend its lead to five points as Georgia took its first timeout of the set trailing 13-8. Each team scored five more points before a service ace by Natalie Murison made it 19-13, forcing Georgia to take its second timeout. The Tide continued to cruise down the stretch, eventually winning the set by nine points, 25-16, to take a 2-0 match advantage into intermission.
Set three was neck-and-neck in the opening stages, with nine tie scores before a kill by Rivers gave Alabama a slim 12-11 edge at the halfway point. Tied at 13-13, a 5-2 run by the Tide made it a three-point game, 18-15, as the Bulldogs took a timeout following an ace by Wilson. Georgia responded after the break with three-straight points to tie the set at 18-18 and would remain tied four points later, 22-22. Looking to close out the match, kills by Rivers and Hutson gave Alabama match point, 24-22, and a block on the outside by Hutson and Bruna Evangelista ended the set, 25-22, to win the match for Alabama.
Alabama concludes the weekend with its final road match of the regular season, facing South Carolina (11-16, 4-10 SEC) in Columbia, S.C., on Sunday, Nov. 22 at 12:30 p.m. CT.