Nov. 17, 2013
BIRMINGHAM, Ala. – The UAB volleyball team registered a 3-1 victory against Conference USA foe Charlotte on Sunday afternoon in Bartow Arena. Sunday’s match marked the squad’s final home game of the 2013 regular season and the final one for seniors Rachel Fairbanks, Becca Howard, and Ally Slaughter.
“They are phenomenal kids, in every aspect,” head coach Kerry Messersmith said of the seniors. “They will be greatly missed. They have been key players for us. Ally has started since she was a freshman, at least part-time. Rachel has been a phenomenal libero for us, leading the conference in digs per game, right now. Becca, not enough could be said about Becca. This has been her year to shine and she did.”
UAB (20-13, 7-7) fell in early hole to Charlotte (12-17, 2-12), dropping the first set, 25-22. The Blazers would not be denied on Senior Day, though. UAB came out and won each of the next three sets to take home the victory.
“It’s always good to get a win,” commented Messersmith. “The win is not the important thing for us, it’s the fact that we played well. We played with a lot of emotion and energy. I think we just looked like we were in a little bit of a rhythm offensively that we haven’t been in since Becca went down.”
Junior Kiriani Hirini led the way for the Blazers, recording 19 kills on the day. Fellow junior Sara Rishell had 18 kills, as well. Slaughter, in her final regular season match at Bartow Arena, tallied her second straight double-double (13 kills, 12 digs). Fairbanks led the team with 21 digs, while Howard had a team-best 57 assists.
The Blazers will now enter postseason play, taking part in the 2013 Conference USA Tournament. The conference tournament begins in Murfreesboro, Tenn. on Thursday, Nov. 21.
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