Crimson Tide Top 5: Volleyball

Throughout the month of June, Bama Central writers will pick the best five players in each Alabama sport, and for each position group in football.
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The volleyball program hasn’t had the team success as some of the other sports at Alabama. The Crimson Tide has reached the NCAA Tournament a handful of times, reaching the second round in 2014.

Volleyball is a relatively new sport. Alabama started the program in 1974, but championship-level competition didn’t start until 1981. Since then, Alabama and the rest of the SEC has been trying to find its footing. Kentucky finally broke through this past season, winning the league’s first national title.

So, the lack of team success in the short history of the program doesn’t mean there haven’t been some outstanding players to come through.

Here are the top five volleyball players from Alabama:

5. Crystal Hudson

A two-time AVCA honorable mention All-American (2006, 07), Hudson left her mark as one of the top middle blockers for the Crimson Tide. She was an instrumental part in leading Alabama to its first NCAA Tournament appearance in 2005, and again in 2006 and 2007.

In 2006, she led the team with 452 kills and 125 blocks. Hudson also posted an .824 hitting percentage against Kentucky, placing her fifth in the individual match records for hitting percentage.

Hudson also held the Alabama record in that category after pulling in a .917 hitting percentage against Oklahoma in 2005. Hudson also was selected to the All-SEC first team as a junior and senior.

4. Nina Foster

Foster burst onto the scene in 1994 and became the first Crimson Tide player to earn honorable mention All-America honors (1995). She also took AVC All-District honors.

Foster was No. 1 in the country in blocks per game (1.90) and second in kills per game (6.02) in 1994.

She ranks second all-time for solo blocks with 115, eighth in block assists with 240 and eighth in kills with 1,289. Foster is also second all-time at Alabama in career hitting percentage at .340.

3. Sierra Wilson

The two-time AVCA honorable mention All-American made her mark with the Crimson Tide setting the table for one of all-time greats Krystal Rivers (more on her in a bit).

Wilson is the program’s all-time assist leader with 5,771, finishing second in the SEC in the 2014 season with 1,529. That was an improvement from her 2013 total of 1450, the highest assist total for a Crimson Tide player since 2005.

Wilson holds the top two spots in Alabama’s records for single-season assists and is the first setter in program history to surpass 1,500 assists in a season. She is Alabama’s all-time leader in matches played with 132.

2. Erin Heffner

One of the top players to ever set foot on the court for Alabama, Heffner was a two-time AVCA honorable mention All-American. She led the SEC in kills per game in 2003-04 and was ninth in the country in 2004 with 5.55 kills per game.

She earned AVCA South District Freshman of the Year honors in 2001. Heffner is on every UA career record list except assists.

She is the Crimson Tide’s all-time leader in attacks with 4785 and is second all-time in kills with 2,090.

1. Krystal Rivers

The 2014 third-team All-American has her name all over the Alabama and SEC record book in her stellar career from 2013-16. She earned honorable mention All-America honors her other three years.

Rivers led the team in kills every year, including an SEC-best 705 her senior season and was named SEC Player of the Year. The 705 kills were second in the nation. In that 2016 season Rivers was also tops in the SEC in attacks (1,628), attacks per set (13.6), total points (803.5), and points per set (6.70).

Rivers led the charge in 2013 as the Crimson Tide earned an NCAA Tournament appearance. She helped Alabama get over the first-round hump the following year as the team earned its first ever tournament win before losing in the second round.

She’s No. 1 in school history with 2,148 kills, 2,506 points, and second on the list in all-time attacks with 4,725. 

Crimson Tide Top 5: Introduction

Linebackers

Softball

Tight Ends

Women's Basketball

Specialists

Women's Golf

Offensive Line

Men's Golf

Quarterbacks

Baseball

Defensive Linemen

Women's Tennis

Men's Swimming

Wide Receivers

Women's Swimming

Nick Saban Assistant Coaches

Running Backs

Women's Track and Field, Cross Country

Men's Tennis

Coaches

Soccer

Men's Basketball

Gymnastics

Defensive Backs