Alabama State falls to Florida A&M in regular season finale

MONTGOMERY, Ala. | Alabama State (15-16, 12-4 SWAC) dropped a 3-2 match in their regular season finale against Florida A&M inside the Dunn-Oliver Acadome on Sunday afternoon.

HOW IT HAPPENED

  • In a match between teams near the top of the conference standings, Florida A&M started strong early on, scoring the first point and taking a 12-9 lead early on.
  • On the next rally, Jada Rhodes (Tallahassee, Fla.) earned her first kill of the set off an assist from Madison Beasley (Gilbert, Ariz.) to spark a run to help the Hornets tie the score at 15-15.
  • After a Rattler point and a timeout, the teams battled over the remainder of the set, with neither team gaining more than a two-point edge until an error from Alabama State to find themselves down 23-20.
  • After another Hornet timeout, the Rattlers finished the first set moments later with a kill to take the opener 25-22.
  • The second set was also a close one, as the teams found themselves tied nine times and had five lead changes in the frame.
  • The two teams remained within a single point of each other until another kill from the combination of Beasley and Rhodes put the Hornets up 10-8 and again at 11-9.
  • Alabama State extended their lead to four points after an attack error at 20-16 to force a Florida A&M timeout and finished the set with a 25-20 win to tie the match after two.
  • The Rattlers recovered in the third set, gaining their first lead at 2-1 and never trailing again, despite Alabama State timeouts to attempt to slow momentum.
  • Florida A&M extended their lead to double figures at 17-8 and continued to pull away to win the third by a score of 25-10.
  • With their backs against the wall, Alabama State responded in the fourth, coming back from an early deficit to take a 13-11 lead on a run sparked by Rattler turnovers.
  • After a called timeout, the teams remained close, as Alabama State called a timeout later after finding themselves down 19-18.
  • With the score at 21-21, the Hornets gained a two-point lead after kills from Kalysia Bates (Phenix City, Ala.) and Emersen Belles (Gilbert, Ariz.).
  • Each team responded with answers when facing match point, with Amaya Finley (Stockton, Calif.) earning two key kills before two Rattler errors gave the Hornets the 29-27 to force the fifth and final set.
  • The two teams continued their close contest in the fifth set, tying 12 times and experienced five lead changes throughout the frame.
  • After an 8-8 tie, Alabama State scored three unanswered to gain the 11-8 edge and forced a Florida A&M timeout.
  • Out of the break, the Rattlers responded with a run of their own to tie the game again at 14, and the two teams remained in striking distance of each other until a Hornet error gave the Rattlers the game by a score of 21-19.

GAME NOTES

  • The Hornet had four players with double-digit kills for the second straight match, led by Rhodes who registered an 18 kill, 12 dig double-double. Bates finished with 15 kills, six blocks and two digs, while Finley finished with 12 kills and five digs followed by Alexis Ratliff (Atlanta, Ga.) who logged 10 kills and two digs.
  • Senior McKenzie Boland led Alabama State with 31 assists in her home finale to go along with seven digs and an ace, while Beasley finished with 24 assists and seven digs.
  • Belles finished with a team-high 26 digs on the night, while also recording five assists and two aces for the Hornets.

UP NEXT
Alabama State will return to the court next week for the Southwestern Athletic Conference Championships, hosted in Huntsville, Alabama beginning on Friday, November 19.

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