Sep 4, 2013
BIRMINGHAM, Ala. ----- The UAB volleyball team continued its hot streak with a 3-0 win at home over the Samford Bulldogs on Wednesday night in Bartow Arena. The Blazers improved to 4-1 on the season, while Samford fell to 3-2.
"There were a couple of areas we wanted to clean up coming into tonight," head coach Kerry Messersmith said. "We missed a lot of serves over the weekend so we wanted to come in and clean that up but remain aggressive and I think the kids did a good job."
The Green and Gold landed nine service aces to just eight errors against the Bulldogs. Senior Ally Slaughter connected on four of the nine aces to lead the team. Just behind her was sophomore Sam Skinner who had three.
Skinner also led the team with 12 kills. It was the fourth-straight game she has tallied double-digit kills. Junior middle Kirina Hirini notched 11 kills to finish second on the team. Hirini hit an impressive .562 from the floor.
On the defensive side, Hirini and fellow middle Sara Rishell both grabbed four blocks. Rishell was a strong presence at the net for the Blazers as three of her four blocks were solo.
Becca Howard, the reigning Conference USA Setter of the Week, dished out 34 assists to propel the team to the straight-set win. Five different players tallied kills on the night.
"Our passing was fantastic tonight, which allowed us to run our middles. Right now if we can pass like that our middles are going to be very hard to stop. Becca (Howard) does such a nice job with decision making."
UAB came out strong in the first set, jumping out to a 14-8 lead to force a Samford timeout. The Blazers kept up the scoring as they hit a clip of .435 and quickly took the first set win 25-16.
The Blazers opened the second set with a 6-0 run, but Samford fought back to within one to make the score 11-10. Then three service aces in a row from Slaughter allowed the Green and Gold to pull away and eventually win 25-21.
In the third set, UAB took control and never relinquished as Skinner hit three straight kills to close out the 25-14 win. Samford was held to just .031 attack percentage in the final set.
The Blazers will hit the road for the Middle Tennessee Invitational that begins Friday, Sept. 6 and ends Saturday, Sept. 7 in Mufreesboro, Tenn. UAB will face North Dakota, Austin Peay and Virginia Tech over the weekend.
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