Oct. 30, 2011
Tennessee solidified its place atop the SEC volleyball standings and soccer picked up an impressive road victory to highlight the UT athletics weekend.
Head coach Rob Patrick's Lady Vols improved to 13-1 in SEC play after their weekend home sweep of Florida and South Carolina. It was Tennessee's second win over both squads this season and pushed the Lady Vols to a one game lead over second-place Kentucky with six games remaining.
A crowd of better than 2,000 fans turned out for Friday's night's 3-1 triumph over Florida.
"I can't say enough about the support of the crowds we have been getting here at Thompson-Boling Arena," Patrick said. "Florida could not go on a lot of runs because our team was really elevated by the energy that the crowd provided. We been on the road a lot and fighting the others team's crowd and energy. I was really excited to see how active the crowd was in the match and our team responding from it.
Soccer had the unusual situation of having its Friday night match at Georgia become a split-doubleheader of sorts. The Lady Vols and Bulldogs were scoreless in the 21st minute when a faulty bank of lights on the Tennessee defensive end caused the delay until Saturday. No worries, though, as UT scored twice to claim a 2-0 victory and wrap up the third seed for this week's SEC Tournament beginning Wednesday in Orange Beach, Ala.
Men's golf closed the fall portion of its schedule with a fifth-place result at the Cabo Collegiate in Mexico. Sophomore Danny Keddie finished third individually for his best collegiate showing. The Vols' next tournament is just before Valentine's Day.
And football dropped a 14-3 decision Saturday to SEC Eastern Division-leading South Carolina. The Vols host Middle Tennessee for Homecoming festivities this weekend at Neyland Stadium.
The No. 20 University of Tennessee volleyball team gave the second largest crowd in UT history a lot to cheer about Friday evening, as the Lady Vols defeated No. 13 Florida in four sets, 25-15, 17-25, 25-23, 25-21, in front of 2,012 rowdy fans at Thompson-Boling Arena. "For us, it was a pretty emotional match," Lady Vols head volleyball coach Rob Patrick said. "We didn't talk about it just being another match. We talked about it being as one of the biggest matches that we would play this year. Our kids prepared for this match as well as they prepared for any match."
Tennessee (19-3, 12-1) now is the lone team in the SEC with one conference loss and plays in front of its home crowd in four more conference matches this season. Entering the match, the Gators (17-4, 10-2) were on an eight-match winning streak and had not dropped a set since falling to UT on Sept. 25, in a five-set thriller on ESPNU.
Lady Vols 3, South Carolina 0
Coming off an emotion win just two days prior over No. 13 Florida, the No.20 University of Tennessee volleyball team showed no signs of a letdown, sweeping South Carolina, 25-13, 25-20, 25-14, on Sunday afternoon at Thompson-Boling Arena. Tennessee (20-3, 13-1) hit at a season-high mark of .446 against the Gamecocks (11-12, 2-11), while limiting the USC offense to a mere .108 clip. In the match, four Lady Vols hit over .400. Freshman Tiffany Baker hit a career-best .519 against the Gamecocks, as she belted a match-high 15 kills, while only committing one error on 27 swings. She also registered her third double-double on the year and second of the week, as she added 12 digs to go along with her 15 kills.
Next: Wednesday at Louisville, 7 p.m.; Sunday vs. Mississippi State, 1:30 p.m. // FULL SCHEDULE
ATHENS, Ga. - On Saturday afternoon, in the resumption of Friday night's delayed regular-season finale, the #20 Tennessee Lady Vol soccer team fought off any potential distraction, getting goals from sophomore forward Caroline Brown and senior forward Emily Dowd to roll past Georgia, 2-0.
With its victory, Tennessee (14-5-0, 7-4-0 Southeastern Conference) secured the third-seed in next week's SEC Tournament in Orange Beach, Ala., and will open its stay in the league's showcase event Wednesday in a 2:30 p.m. Central time (3:30 p.m. Eastern) contest against Kentucky.
Brown and Dowd each recorded their team-leading 11th goals of the campaign as the Big Orange continues to be the only squad in the conference with two players that each possess 10+ goals and 25+ points. On Dowd's 64th minute goal, junior midfielder Kylie Bono and senior forward Chelsea Hatcher were credited with their sixth and fifth assists of the year, respectively.
Next: Wednesday vs. Kentucky at SEC Tournament, Orange Beach, Ala., 2:30 p.m. Central time // FULL SCHEDULE
Tennessee didn't have any trouble finding big plays on defense Saturday night against South Carolina. Turning those big plays into points, though, was another story.
The Vols couldn't take advantage of two prime opportunities deep in Carolina territory in the second half and fell to the 14th-ranked Gamecocks 14-3 in Neyland Stadium.
"We're just a mess on offense. Can't run it. Struggle to throw it," UT coach Derek Dooley said. "Had it twice in the red area and turned it over. I don't know what else we can do defensively."
Tennessee's offense, without its two most productive players in quarterback Tyler Bray and wide receiver Justin Hunter, struggled again. The Vols finished with just 186 yards of total offense and managed just three points despite getting inside the South Carolina 30-yard line four times.
Next: Saturday vs. Middle Tennessee, 7 p.m. // FULL SCHEDULE
Danny Keddie climbed into a tie for fourth place Friday and Tennessee improved by seven strokes and one place to fifth in the standings heading into the final round of the Cabo Collegiate.
Keddie shot 1-under-par 70 on the Club Campestre Golf Course in San Jose del Cabo, Mexico. The sophomore continues to shine in the fall portion of Tennessee's season, taking over the team lead in scoring average (73.18) and posting his seventh round of par or better.
The Vols shot 4-over 288 as a team Friday to improve to fifth place at 15-over 583. UT trails first-place Arkansas (557) by 24 strokes, but the next three teams are within reach heading into Saturday's final round. Southeastern Louisiana is second at 7-over 575, followed by a tie for third between St. Mary's and San Francisco, both at 13-over 581.
Garrick Porteous and Rick Lamb carded 1-over-par 72s, with Jay Vandeventer adding 74 to close out the Tennessee scoring. Porteous is vying for his third top-20 finish in four tournaments this fall, while Lamb's 72 matched his UT low score. Vandeventer is looking for his best finish since placing seventh at the season-opening Carpet Capital Collegiate.
Keddie fired his best round of the season for the second straight day, shooting 68 to climb to a third-place result in San Jose del Cabo, Mexico. Keddie finished the tournament shooting 71-70-68 for a 4-under-par total of 209. It also marked his fifth top-10 result in just 12 career collegiate events.
The top nine teams held their positioning over the course of Saturday's final round at Club Compestre Golf Course. Tennessee closed with its best score of the week, a 2-over-par 284 that left the Vols at 17-over 869.
The Vols received a pair of even-par 71s from Garrick Porteous and Jay Vandeventer, with Darren Renwick adding 76. Rick Lamb closed with a 78 and Marshall Talkington, playing this week as an individual, ended on a strong note with 70.
Next: Feb. 13-14 at San Diego Intercollegiate Classic, Chula Vista, Calif. // FULL SCHEDULE
Women's Basketball vs. Carson-Newman (exhibition), Tuesday, 7 p.m.
Men's Basketball vs. Carson-Newman (exhibition), Thursday, 7 p.m.
Men's Tennis at USTA/ITA National Indoor Intercollegiate Championships, Flushing, N.Y., Thursday-Sunday
Men's and Women's Swimming and Diving at South Carolina, Friday, 2 p.m.
Men's Tennis at Crimson Tide Fall Championships, Tuscaloosa, Ala., Friday-Sunday
Rowing at Head of the Hooch Regatta, Chattanooga, Saturday, 9 a.m.