The Presbyterian College volleyball team used a career-high 16 kills from Samantha Del Toro and a team season high 52 kills and 169 attacks, to rally from a two-set deficit and force a fifth set, only to fall just short to Alabama, 3-2, in its last match of the Crimson-White Tournament in Tuscaloosa, Ala. Alabama took the sets by scores of 31-29, 25-13, 20-25, 22-25, and 15-13.
How it Happened
A close set throughout PC held a 22-19 lead in the first before Alabama came back to tie it up at 23-23. From there was a back and forth battle until the very end. Tied for the sixth time at 29-29, Alabama got quick back to back kills to seal the 31-29 win.
It was all Alabama in the second as the Crimson Tide opened up a 16-5 lead before settling on the 25-13 win.
PC controlled much of the third set, turning a 4-4 tie into a 15-9 lead. Alabama cut the lead to 16-19 before an attack error and four straight kills from Sierra Davis put PC up 24-16. An Ashton Stewart kill a few points later gave PC the 25-20 victory.
Down 14-16 in the fourth, PC mounted a 6-0 run behind two kills and a block by Samantha Del Toro, to take a 20-16 lead. Alabama cut it to two on several occasions, and even to just one at 22-23 off a PC attack error. That would be it as Erin Eulitz came back with a kill and Alabama recorded an error to take the match to a fifth set with the 25-22 Blue Hose win.
In the fifth set Alabama opened up a 4-1 lead, helped by two Krystal Rivers’ kills. PC kept chipping away, never letting Alabama too far ahead, cutting the margin to one at 11-10. The Crimson Tide responded with three straight to get to match point, 14-10. A kill by Del Toro and a block by Stewart and Davis helped PC cut the margin to one again at 13-14, but Rivers responded with her third kill of the set to give Alabama the 15-13 fifth set and match win.
Players of the Match
Samantha Del Toro posted a career-high 16 kills and .371 hitting percentage, her seven in the fourth set sparking the Blue Hose comeback. Sierra Davis added 13 kill, including five in the close 31-29 first set loss. Sara Rogers finished with 45 assists, just four shy of her career best. Three players posted double-digit kills with Mikayla Register leading the way with 19. Del Toro’s three solo blocks was a PC record as well.
Leading Alabama was Brittany Thomas with 17 kills and 21 digs. Alex Tomlak recorded 60 assists.
Stats of the Match
Alabama hit just well enough to win, posting a .201 compared to PC’s .154. The Crimson Tide had more errors, 32-26, as well as kills, 66-52, and blocked the ball five more times total, 11-6. The Blue Hose held the service ace advantage, 8-6, and had 17 more digs, 81-64, as the Blue Hose matched attack for attack, for 169 apiece.
• The match marked the first five-set affair of 2016 for the Blue Hose. PC played in three last season and was 1-2.
• The 60 combined points in the first set, which PC lost 31-29, was the most for the Blue Hose since the 2013 season when PC dropped a 39-41 first set to Coastal Carolina, for a combined 80 points.
• PC wraps up its season-opening 13-match road trip. It ties PC’s longest opening road trek in Division I history, when the Blue Hose started the 2009 season away from Templeton. In 2012, PC played its first 17 of 18 matches on the road.
PC moves to 2-11, while Alabama improves to 10-2.
The Blue Hose open the home and Big South season Tuesday, Sept. 20, at 7 p.m., with a match-up against Charleston Southern.