By Jordan Benson | Assistant Director of Athletic Strategic Communications Alabama State University
DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. | Alabama State started off their two-game stretch in the Sunshine State with a 3-1 win over Bethune-Cookman on Friday afternoon in Moore Gymnasium.
HOW IT HAPPENED
- The opening set between the Hornets and Wildcats began as a close one, with the teams tying five times in the first 10 combined scores.
- With the score tied 5-5, Alabama State went on a run to claim a 13-7 advantage over Bethune-Cookman and did not trail again in the set.
- The Hornets continued their strong play in the opener, extending their lead to double-digits a few rallies later at 20-10 and went on to take the set 25-14.
- Bethune-Cookman responded in the second set, starting off with a 7-3 run to force an Alabama State timeout.
- Sophomore Jada Rhodes (Tallahassee, Fla.) led the Hornets in the first with five kills, while Kalysia Bates (Phenix City, Ala.) added four followed by Mahogany Vinson (Richton Park, Ill.) had three.
- The Hornets responded with a run of their own, coming within two points at 11-9, after a kill from Bates assisted by McKenzie Boland (Stockbridge, Ga.) to force a timeout from the Wildcats.
- The two teams traded scores over the next few rallies, with Bethune-Cookman taking a 17-13 lead after an ace and did not surrender their lead and tied the match 1-1 after a 25-21 win in the set.
- The third set was also a battle, with the Wildcats earning a slight edge early before the Hornets fought back to tie the ball game at 10-10.
- After seeing the score tied four more times over the next few points, Alabama State was forced to call a timeout to slow momentum after Bethune-Cookman took a 17-15 lead.
- The Hornets responded out of the break with a 10-1 run to not only retake the lead but take the set by a score of 25-18.
- The fourth set saw the most ties in the match with eleven along with three lead changes.
- After trading points to start the set, Bethune-Cookman took the first two-point lead at 9-7, and later at 13-11 moments later.
- A few rallies later, Alabama State took a 14-13 lead after a kill from Rhodes, forcing a Wildcat timeout.
- After the final tie of 16-16, the Hornets clinched the game with a final run, this time a 6-4 run to finish the set 25-20 and take the match over the Wildcats.
- The Hornets extended their current win streak to three games after the win over the Wildcats.
- Bates led Alabama State offensively, finishing with 18 kills along with four blocks, two digs and an ace, while Vinson logged 14 kills and two blocks on the afternoon.
- Rhodes recorded her second double-double of the year, with 11 kills and 14 digs to go along with an ace and an assist.
- Junior Emersen Belles (Gilbert, Ariz.) recorded 23 digs, three assists and an ace at libero, while Boland finished with 29 assists and a .453 set percentage in the win.
- Reigning SWAC Newcomer of the Week Alexis Ratliff (Atlanta, Ga.) also extended her double-digit kill streak with four consecutive matches, as she finished with 11 kills and a block on the day.
The Hornets will head to Tallahassee, Florida for a match against Florida A&M on Sunday, October 17 in the Al Lawson Center. First serve is scheduled for 1 pm.