Alabama Volleyball Opens Bama Bash with Four-Set Win over Houston – University of Alabama Athletics

TUSCALOOSA, Ala. – Behind a raucous crowd at Foster Auditorium, Alabama volleyball opened its weekend at the Bama Bash with an exciting four-set win over Houston on Friday by set scores of 25-23, 22-25, 25-19 and 25-20.

Alabama (6-4) handed Houston (9-2) just its second loss of the season, splitting the first two sets before taking back-to-back victories in the third and fourth. The Crimson Tide won the battle at the service line, scoring eight aces opposed to just two from the Cougars, while limiting service errors to five while Houston saw nine errant serves. The Alabama defense was particularly strong at the net, finishing with 11 team blocks for the Tide’s seventh match this season in double figures.

Sarah Swanson finished with a career-best four solo blocks and five block assists to lead the team. The four solo blocks are the most for an Alabama player in a match since Leah Lawrence against Alabama State on Oct. 12, 2017. Abby Marjama and Kennedy Muckelroy tied for the team lead with 11 kills with Marjama adding 10 digs for her first double-double of the season. Emily Janek also scored a double-double with 19 assists and 15 digs, splitting setting duties with Brooke Slusser who was just three shy of her season best with 22 assists.

Alabama reached set point first in the opening set, 24-20, before Houston rallied to make it 24-23 and force a Tide timeout. Serving the tie the score, the Cougars sent it into the net for a service error as the Tide won, 25-23. Alabama took a 15-9 lead in the second set but Houston quickly rallied to tie it at 15-15 and eventually take the lead at 19-18, ultimately winning the set 25-22 to tie the match. The Tide held the early momentum in set three, taking a 9-3 lead, and remained in front the rest of the way to win by the same margin at 25-19. An early Cougar lead in the fourth was quickly overcome by an 8-1 run from Alabama to make it 13-7. Houston would draw as close as two points at 20-18 but the Tide held them at bay, winning 25-20 to seal the four-set win.

From Head Coach Lindsey Devine

“We’ve talked all week about being fearless and tonight was a great example across the board of all the little things we worked on this week in preparation for this match. There were three steps that we talked about. Attack the adversity, then make sure you’re in your head with positive thoughts and then because you’re making those statements, good things will come. That cycle and mental approach really helped our players believe that we would be strong and successful tonight.”

Stat Leaders


  • Set 1: Alabama 25, Houston 23
  • Set 2: Houston 25, Alabama 22
  • Set 3: Alabama 25, Houston 19
  • Set 4: Alabama 25, Houston 20

Match Notes

  • Alabama now had double-digit team blocks in seven of its 10 matches this season
  • The eight service aces are its second-highest total of the season
  • The Tide is now 3-1 at home this season and 3-1 when winning the first set
  • Sarah Swanson’s four solo blocks are a career high and the most for any Alabama player since Leah Lawrence against Alabama State on Oct. 12, 2017
  • Abby Marjama earned her first double-double of the season (11 kills, 10 digs) while Emily Janek earned her fourth (19 assists, 15 digs)

Up Next – Bama Bash

  • Saturday, Sept. 18 vs. Western Carolina – 10 a.m. CT
  • Saturday, Sept. 18 vs. Tennessee Tech – 6 p.m. CT
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