TUSCALOOSA, Ala- Alabama volleyball closed its weekend at the Crimson-White Tournament with a three-set sweep over Southern Miss Saturday afternoon, posting set scores of 25-22, 25-15 and 25-20.
No. 25 Alabama (12-1) fought back-and-forth with Southern Miss (6-6) in the opening set before having to overcome early deficits in the second and third sets to defeat the Golden Eagles. Junior Ginger Perinar led the offense with 12 kills, hitting .370, while junior Hayley McSparin was also in double figures with 10 kills and a .471 clip. Sophomore Meghan Neelon and freshman Mylana Byrd spilt the setting duties with 15 assists each and senior Quincey Gary led the back-row effort with 18 digs. Tied at 4-4 in set one, Alabama started to gather some momentum and pulled ahead 14-10 before Southern Miss called its first team timeout. The Tide maintained its four-point lead until a 4-1 run from the Golden Eagles drew the visitors within one, forcing an Alabama timeout at 20-19. Southern Miss added two more after the break to pull ahead but Alabama jumped back in front late, 23-22, after a block from McSparin and sophomore Doris Carter and the visitors called its last timeout. Back-to-back points for the Tide sealed the 25-22 win.
Southern Miss jumped ahead to a three-point lead to start the second set before a run of three-straight points from Alabama tied it at 7-7 and then a solo block from junior Mahalia Swink three points later gave the Tide a 9-8 lead. After three tie scores, Alabama scored three unanswered and Southern Miss called a timeout down 14-11. The Tide scored four more after the timeout to push its streak to eight unanswered and the Golden Eagles called its final timeout now trailing 18-11. A Southern Miss point in the next rally ended the scoring streak but Alabama remained in control down the stretch, winning 25-15.
The Golden Eagles built an early lead again in the third set but the Tide continued to display its resiliency, eventually tying the score at 12-12. Alabama could not take the lead before the media timeout, trailing 15-14, but kept fighting to take a 20-19 lead on a kill from Carter. The Golden Eagles only scored one point in the remainder of the frame, with the Tide surging to a 25-20 win to complete the sweep.
Alabama opens conference play next week, traveling to Columbia, Mo., on Wednesday, Sept. 19 to face Missouri at 8 p.m. CT live on ESPNU.