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Happy Birthday - Feb. 7

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We have a trio of birthdays to celebrate on Rocky Top today: volleyball teammates Taylor Johnson and Bridgette Villano are blowing out the candles, as is swimming and diving's Amy Lubawy

A setter from Temecula, California, Johnson recently completed her first season with Tennessee volleyball after transferring to UT from Long Beach State. She appeared in 22 matches on the year, logging 225 assists at an average of 4.09 per set. She also notched two double-doubles on the year, including a career-best 34-assist, 11-dig performance at Mississippi State. Johnson is 20 years old today.

Taylor Johnson

Also celebrating her 20th birthday is teammate and UT volleyball defensive specialist Bridgette Villano. A native of Davie, Florida, Villano appeared in all 32 matches for the Lady Vols last season and saw significant time at the libero position. She led the team in total digs with 328, ranked second in digs per set 3.01, and had 15 matches of 10 or more digs on the year. 

Bridgette  Villano

Lubawy just concluded her freshman season on Rocky Top after arriving at UT as the No. 1 recruit in the state of Nevada. The Las Vegas native swims freestyle and butterfly and posted career-bests at UNC Wilmington to open the year. At that meet she finished fourth in the 50-yard freestyle (24.76) and was runner-up in the 100-yard butterfly (57.52). 

Amy Lubawy

Happy birthday Taylor, Bridgette, and Amy!

Happy Birthday - Feb. 11

Four -- count 'em -- four VFL birthdays to celebrate on this 11th day of February! Decorated volleyball alumna DeeDee Harrison, football great Jabari Greer, men's basketball alumus Dyron Nix, and former soccer goalkeeper Jessica Rolfs will all be blowing out the candles today.

A native of Nashville, Harrison was a stellar middle blocker for the Tennessee volleyball program, earning All-America status in 2011. The 2012 graduate is UT's career leader blocks per set (1.21) and ranks second in career blocks (161) in the 25-point rally scoring era. She currently plays professionally in Israel for Maccabi Even Yehuda. 

Former Vol football defensive back Jabari Greer was born on Feb. 11, 1982. After a 10-year NFL career spent with the Buffalo Bills and New Orleans Saints, Greer retired from professional football this fall. He started 51 games in the Tennessee secondary during his time on Rocky Top, tallying 147 tackles and two interceptions. He was also a standout track and field athlete who qualified for the 2002 NCAA Outdoor Championships in the 110m hurdles. Greer currently ranks third all-time in the event (13.32). 

We also celebrate the birthday of former Tennessee basketball player Dyron Nix -- a member of the Vols All-Century team. Nix led the SEC in scoring as a junior in 1987-88, putting up 22.2 points per game. For his career at UT, Nix averaged 16.6 points and 8.4 rebounds per contest and his 1,877 career points are the eighth-most in school history. He was drafted 29th overall by the Charlotte Hornets in 1989, but embarked on a 10-year career overseas. Nix passed away on Dec. 16, 2013 at the age of 46.

Today is also the 24th birthday of former goalkeeper Jessica Rolfs. The 2013 graduate battled through two season-ending injuries during her career on Rocky Top, making her first career start on Senior Night.

Happy Birthday - Feb. 9

Today we celebrate the birthday of Tennessee Volleyball middle blocker Shealyn Kolosky! The lone senior on the 2014 squad, Kolosky appeared in 29 matches for the Lady Vols and totaled 113 kills and 54 total blocks. The Wheaton, Illinois, native led UT in total blocks on seven different occasions last season and also led UT in kills twice, including career-best 13-kill performance on Senior Night against Arkansas. An advertising major, Kolosky is Tennessee Volleyball's SAAC representative. 

Shealyn is 22 years old today. Happy birthday, Shea!

Shealyn Kolosky

Inside The T - Wednesday's Look Ahead

The Tennessee Lady Volunteer volleyball team closes out the home schedule tonight at Thompson-Boling Arena and will celebrate Senior Night for Shealyn Kolosky at 6 p.m. ET As a thanks for your support all season long, admission is free for tonight's match. 

Wednesday marks the 35th meeting all-time in a dead-even series between Tennessee and Arkansas. The Lady Vols and Razorbacks have split the previous 34 meetings evenly with the series record knotted at 17-17. UT is 7-7 in Knoxville against Arkansas while holding a slight 8-7 edge in Fayetteville. Head coach Rob Patrick is 16-16 all-time against the Razorbacks, but is 9-3 in matches against current Arkansas head coach Robert Pulliza.

You can watch tonight's match on the SEC Network or catch it online HERE.

#4/5 Tennessee (4-0) plays its first road game of the 2014-15 season on Wednesday, as the Lady Vols face Chattanooga (3-2) at The McKenzie Arena (10,928) at 7 p.m. ET.

This marks the 34th meeting between the Lady Volunteers and the Lady Mocs, with Tennessee holding a 26-7 advantage in the all-time series that dates back to 1924. UT is 8-2 vs. UTC on the Lady Mocs' home floor, with the Big Orange suffering only one loss to the Lady Mocs in Chattanooga since 1973, an 80-71 setback on Nov. 9, 2012, in Holly Warlick's first game as head coach of the Big Orange.

The game will be shown on the SoCon Digital Network, which you can watch free HERE.
You can also listen live HERE.

CBS Sports Network premieres HOOPS CONFIDENTIAL: VETERANS CLASSIC, a behind-the-scenes look at the inaugural Veterans Classic at the Naval Academy, a season-opening college basketball event featuring Tennessee, VCU, Michigan State and Navy. The show debuts tonight at 9 p.m. ET.

The 30-minute show features exclusive coverage as the basketball teams from Tennessee Michigan State and VCU had the rare opportunity to get a glimpse of what life is like as a midshipman at the Naval Academy. The teams observe morning colors, tour the Naval Academy and have dinner with enlisted sailors and marines. Additionally, first-year Vols head coach Donnie Tyndall receives an honorary Navy Officer's sword.

Dempsey Making Her Mark on Rocky Top

In only her second year with the Lady Vols, junior setter Lexi Dempsey is quickly climbing up the career rankings and closing in on Tennessee records. The UT Daily Beacon's Trenton Duffer takes a closer look into Dempsey's time at Tennessee and all that she has already accomplished in Knoxville.

Earlier this season, Dempsey climbed into ninth place on Tennessee's career assist list and currently holds 1,730 career assists to her name. She also ranks seventh all-time in assists per set with 8.48.

Daily Beacon: Lexi Dempsey shows Volunteer talent on volleyball court


Daily Beacon: VB Weekend Preview

Two tough SEC matchups await the Tennessee volleyball team this weekend as it prepares to face defending SEC champion Missouri at home on Friday night before traveling to Auburn for a Sunday afternoon clash. Friday's match gets underway at 7 p.m. ET at Thompson-Boling Arena while Sunday's is slated for a 2:30 p.m. first serve. Both matches will air on SEC Network +, the online, digital component of the SEC Network. 

The Daily Beacon's Trenton Duffer previews UT's upcoming weekend.

Beacon: Tennessee VB Weekend Preview

With the Tennessee volleyball team set to wrap up its longest homestand of the season with a pair of contests this weekend, Trenton Duffer of The Daily Beacon takes a closer look at the matchups that await the Lady Vols on Friday and Sunday.

UT takes the floor for its annual Dig Pink match at 7 p.m. on Friday night against No. 13 Kentucky, while LSU arrives in Knoxville on Sunday for a 1:30 p.m. matinee. Currently, UK is in first place in the SEC with a 4-0 conference record while LSU is 2-3 in league play.

Taylor White of the Daily Beacon takes a closer look at the rise of freshman Kendra Turner up the Tennessee volleyball depth chart. 

The Louisiana native ranks second on the team in total kills and is just one of three Lady Vols to have eclipsed the 100-kill mark this season. She has 113 total kills, good for 2.57 per set, and holds the top hitting percentage (.187) on the team for players that have logged at least 200 attacks. Earlier this season, Turner hammered 19 kills against Kennesaw State -- the highest individual output for UT this year.

Ranking among the team leaders in kills, blocks, and digs, Tennessee sophomore Jamie Lea has been demonstrating the tools necessary to a six-rotation player throughout the 2014 season. The UT Daily Beacon's Trenton Duffer took a closer look into Lea's all-around game and the impact its had on the Lady Vols this year. 

Currently, Lea ranks first on the team in kills per set (2.84), fourth in digs per set (2.20), and fifth in blocks per set (0.57)

Bawcombe Coming Off Big Weekend for UT

True freshman outside hitter Kelsey Bawcombe will make her first foray into SEC play this weekend riding a strong outing over four matches at the DISH Lady Vol Classic. The California native totaled 35 kills, 31 digs, and 10 total blocks on her way to earning the honor, helping Tennessee to a 2-2 record. In the Lady Vols' gritty 3-2 win over Mercer, Bawcombe recorded her first career double-double behind a career-best 17 kills and 15 digs. She has started each of the last three matches for Tennessee. Patrick Maccoon of The Daily Beacon documents the freshman's rising role as conference play approaches. 

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