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Aug. 29, 2011

Tennessee's first home weekend of the 2011-12 sports calendar was a good one, as a pair of Lady Vols teams combined for a 4-1 record.

Rob Patrick's volleyball squad swept all three games in the Comcast Lady Vol Classic, but needed a rally from 2-0 down Saturday night to edge Maryland in the finale. Earlier wins at Thompson-Boling Arena came against Ohio on Friday and Villanova on Saturday morning.

In soccer, UT bounced back from a one-goal loss Friday to eighth-ranked UCLA and blanked 18th-ranked Texas A&M 1-0 Sunday in the First Tennessee Lady Vol Classic at Regal Soccer Stadium. The team improved to 3-1 for the first time since 2007.

Early-season excitement surrounding both teams didn't go unnoticed. Soccer drew 2,046 Friday night for its fifth-largest home crowd, while volleyball pulled out the 3-2 comeback against Maryland in front of 1,938 -- the second-largest home crowd in program history.

Volleyball (3-0 for the weekend)

Lady Vols 3, Ohio 2
With three freshmen starting and senior leader Kayla Jeter out for the season with a knee injury, the Lady Vols were looking for players to take charge on court.

In a close match to start the year, those individuals were sophomores Kelsey Robinson and Carly Sahagian.

Robinson posted a career-high 27 kills and Sahagian pitched in 21 digs to guide a young Lady Vols lineup to a 23-25, 25-13, 18-25, 25-17, 15-7 comeback victory over Ohio.

Lady Vols 3, Villanova 0
The Tennessee Lady Volunteers marched on in their second match at the Comcast Lady Vol Classic with a 3-0 sweep over Villanova at Thompson-Boling Arena.

Tennessee (2-0) took early leads in the first and third sets and rallied in the middle set to record its first sweep of the season 25-18, 27-25, 25-19. The Lady Vols had an SEC-leading 19 sweeps last season, including 11 at home.

Lady Vols 3, Maryland 2
Teetering on the brink of a three-game loss, junior Jasmine Brown and the Tennessee Lady Volunteers kept their focus.

With Brown serving, Lady Vols fought off multiple match points in the third game and turned around the match late in a 3-2 victory over Maryland to win the Comcast Lady Vol Classic on Saturday night.

Next: Friday at Illinois, 7 p.m. CT; Saturday versus Dayton (noon CT) and Houston (5:30 p.m. CT), in Champaign, Ill. // FULL SCHEDULE

Soccer (1-1 for the weekend)

UCLA 2, Lady Vols 1
In front of the fifth-largest crowd in Regal Soccer Stadium history (2,046) on the opening evening of the First Tennessee Lady Vol Classic, the Tennessee Lady Vol soccer squad battled valiantly but saw its upset bid undone by #8 UCLA scores at 80:27 and 84:22 as the Bruins rallied for a 2-1 victory.

Big Orange senior forward Chelsea Hatcher granted UT the lead at 62:02 by registering her initial goal of the 2011 campaign off an assist from junior midfielder Kylie Bono.

For the match UCLA out-shot the Lady Vols, 21-11, but led Tennessee only 7-4 in both shots on frame and corner kicks.

Lady Vols 1, Texas A&M 0
An outstanding Lady Vol defensive effort and a first-half penalty kick conversion from sophomore forward Caroline Brown helped the Tennessee soccer squad (3-1-0) to an impressive 1-0 victory over #18 Texas A&M on a bright and sunny Sunday afternoon at the Regal Soccer Stadium during final day action of the First Tennessee Lady Vol Classic.

The crucial penalty call was drawn by the slick footwork of UT junior Alexis Owens at 34:16. The Carmel, Ind., native managed to get past diving Aggie goalkeeper Jordan Day inside the 18-yard box, forcing the net-minder into a tripping call that left no option but for the head official to point to the penalty spot. For Brown the penalty kick conversion raised her team-leading total to four goals over the first four matches of 2011.

Next: Friday vs. Middle Tennessee, 7 p.m.; Sunday at UNC Greensboro, 2 p.m. // FULL SCHEDULE

Upcoming This Week in Other UT Sports
Men's and Women's Cross Country at the Belmont-Vanderbilt Opener, Friday, 5:30 p.m. CT, in Nashville
Football vs. Montana, Saturday at 6 p.m.
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