Aug 31, 2013
BIRMINGHAM, Ala. ----- The UAB volleyball team added its third win of the season and the second on the day as they defeated Jacksonville State 3-1 (25-23, 21-25, 25-18, 25-16) on Saturday in Bartow Arena. The win moved the Blazers to 3-1 on the season, while Jacksonville State fell to 1-3.
"I thought we played pretty well this weekend," said Head Coach Kerry Messersmith. "Anytime your middle blockers can have 22 and 18 kills in one game is a good sign. Out setter did an outstanding job today passing the ball today too."
Middle blockers Sara Rishell and Kiriana Hirini led the team in kills with 22 and 18 respectively against the Gamecocks. Both set new career-highs in kills while at UAB. Also recording double-digit kills was sophomore Sam Skinner with 14. Skinner hit double-digit kills in three of the four matches this weekend.
The Blazers came out strong in the first set, taking a 14-8 lead that forced a timeout by Jacksonville State. Rishell was a commanding presence on the floor as she put down six of the 14 points. The Gamecocks rallied back out of the timeout and eventually tied the set up at 23-23, but UAB went on the take the set 25-24.
The Gamecocks came out swinging in the second set and took control early. The set remained close as both teams traded points back and fourth with Jacksonville State eventually securing the win 25-12.
Out of the intermission, the Green and Gold came back with a vengeance. They jumped out to a 12-4 lead with the help of Hirini's three kills in five points. Although JSU closed the gap, the Blazers continued to control the set and capped off the 25-18 win with two kills by Rishell.
In the fourth set, The Blazers hit a blistering 54.8 percent in the fourth set while holding JSU to 30 percent hitting. It was Rishell again who led the team with six kills, while Skinner added five to clinch the match with a 25-16 win.
"We've got a ways to go before we are the team that we can be," remarked Messersmith, "but I think this weekend was a great start and we know the things we need to work on."
UAB will be back in action this week when they host Samford on Wednesday, Sept. 4 at 7:00 pm CT in Bartow Arena.
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