Alabama defeats LSU in straight sets
TUSCALOOSA, Ala. -- Alabama concluded its season with a three-set sweep over LSU Friday night in Tuscaloosa as the Crimson Tide celebrated the careers of its senior class.
Alabama (17-15, 11-7 SEC) hit .350 as a team in the win, defeating LSU (9-20, 5-13 SEC) by scores of 25-13, 25-20 and 25-14 in straight sets. Krystal Rivers led the team with 16 kills and just one error, hitting .600, while Kat Hutson finished with 15 kills and a .480 hitting percentage. Senior Sierra Wilson finished the night with 43 assists, bringing her final school-record career total to 5,771. Three players finished with double-digit digs, led by Kryssi Daniels and Natalie Murison with 11 each, while Wilson's 10 marks her seventh double-double of the season.
With the win, Alabama secured a fifth-place finish in the SEC. Alabama has finished with double-digit wins in SEC play in each of the last three seasons, the first such stretch in program history.
Tied 2-2 early in set one, Alabama scored six in a row to lead 8-2 and held onto the six-point lead later, 14-8, as a service ace by Daniels made it 15-8 at the media timeout. Alabama scored a pair of points before an LSU timeout and then added three more after the break to cap an 8-0 run as the Tide pulled ahead 20-8. LSU took its final timeout of the set trailing 22-9 but Alabama held on to win the opening frame, 25-13.
Alabama held on to a slim lead early in set two but started to pull away at the 10-point mark, scoring four unanswered to lead 14-8. Leading by six again later, 16-10, back-to-back kills by Rivers stretched it to 18-10 as LSU took its first timeout. With Alabama leading by the same margin later, 22-14, LSU started to close the gap with a 5-0 run to draw within three trailing 22-19. Two points later, a kill by Hutson gave Alabama set point, 24-20, and Hutson put away the set with another kill to win 25-20, and take a 2-0 match advantage.
Tied at 1-1 in the third, five-straight points by Alabama made it 6-1 as LSU had to burn an early timeout. The Tide kept the run going with kills by Rivers and Emily Stebbins after the break before the Tigers responded to make it 8-2. Alabama led by seven points, 14-7, at LSU's second timeout and hit the 20-point mark with an eight-point lead, 20-12. Each team scored two points to make it 22-14 and consecutive errors by the Tigers set up senior Laura Steiner for the final kill on senior night as Alabama won the set, 25-14, and the match, 3-0.
Tonight's match concludes the regular season for Alabama. The NCAA Tournament field will be announced on Sunday, Nov. 29 at 8 p.m. CT live on ESPNU.