BATON ROUGE, La. -- Alabama closed out its regular season with a 3-1 win against LSU, overcoming a 21-25 loss in the opening set to win three-straight sets by scores of 25-20, 25-19 and 25-18.
Alabama (20-11, 9-9 SEC) ends its regular season with 20 wins, marking the third time in the last four seasons with at least 20 wins, the first such stretch in program history. Today's win marks the fourth-straight over LSU (9-20, 4-14 SEC) and gives the Crimson Tide six wins in its final seven matches of the season.
Krystal Rivers led the way with 30 kills, pushing her school-record career total to 2,148, and also led the team with a .306 hitting percentage and earned 10 digs for her 10th double-double of the season. Brittany Thomas finished two kills shy of a double-double with eight kills and 12 digs along with a career-high six blocks. Natalie Murison led the team with 18 digs while Shannon Mikesky and Alexa Tomlak split setting duties with 18 and 12 digs, respectively.
Alabama led 3-2 early in set one before LSU scored five unanswered points to pull ahead 7-3. The Tigers soon extended its lead to five points, forcing the Tide to take a timeout trailing 10-5. LSU eventually pulled ahead by seven, 13-6, and maintained the seven-point lead until Alabama's second timeout of the frame with the score 20-13. Later trailing 22-14, Alabama scored four-consecutive points to draw within four as LSU took its first timeout up 22-18. The Tigers maintained its four-point lead down the stretch, finishing off the set with a shallow serve that found the floor for an ace to win, 25-21.
An early 4-1 lead by the Tide was trimmed to just one point by the Tigers to make it 5-4 before Alabama stretched back ahead with a 6-1 run to make it 11-5 and force an LSU timeout. The Tide continued to pull away in the middle of the set, eventually moving ahead 18-9 as the Tigers took its second timeout. LSU would draw as close as four points but Alabama would remain in front, eventually winning the set 25-20 to even the match at 1-1.
Alabama scored five unanswered points to open the third set but LSU eventually fought back to tie the set at 9-9 and the Tide took a timeout two points later with the Tigers on top 11-9. Alabama wasn't down for long though, scoring five-straight points to retake the lead 14-11 as LSU took a timeout. The Tide continued its run with three unanswered points after the break to extend its lead to 17-11 and the Tigers burned its final timeout. The streak eventually stretched to 11-straight points, bringing the score to 20-11 before LSU earned a kill to make it 20-12. The Tigers continued the trim the deficit, forcing the Tide to take a late timeout leading 22-16. Alabama reached set point, 24-18, and won, 25-19, to take a 2-1 match lead.
With LSU up 3-2 early in set four, Alabama scored five-straight points to swing the lead back in its favor, 7-3. The Tigers took its first timeout with the Tide leading 11-5 and its second with Alabama on top 17-9. The Tide took a double-digit lead at 19-9 and reached match point with an eight-point lead, 24-16. LSU scored two points to keep the match alive but Alabama eventually won it, 25-18, on a kill by Mahalia Swink to win the match, 3-1.
Today's match concludes the 2016 regular season for Alabama. The NCAA Tournament field will be announced on Sunday, Nov. 27 at 8 p.m. CT live on ESPNU.