Courtside Chat with Alyssa Hilby
ROB PATRICK ON HILBY: "We are excited to have Alyssa back this year to help us shut down some of the great hitters in the SEC. She was a terrific blocker her freshman year and will be able to bring a huge net presence defensively to our team. I also believe that watching from the sidelines for a year allowed her to catch on to the nuances of the position and better understand what we, as coaches, are trying to express from the bench."
2009 (SOPHOMORE): Redshirted after suffering a season-ending knee injury during the summer.
2008 (FRESHMAN): Made her collegiate debut versus Virginia at the Denver Pioneer Classic on Sept. 6...Hit at a .375 clip in that contest with three kills and no errors on eight swings...Also had five blocks...Later that afternoon, tallied three more kills, two digs and three blocks against host Denver...Continued to improve at the Comcast Lady Vol Classic, hitting an incredible .636 against Gardner-Webb with seven kills and no errors on 11 attacks...Also had a then-career-best six blocks in that match...Followed up that performance with five kills and four blocks against No. 17 Illinois later that evening and six kills and six blocks against Dayton two days later...Added six blocks against both Mississippi State and Alabama in the opening weekend of SEC play...Tallied four blocks against both LSU and Georgia before adding three against Kentucky on Oct. 1...Posted six kills and a then-career-high seven blocks, including three solo putbacks, against Louisville on Oct. 8...Provided some offensive firepower at South Carolina two days later, hitting .444 (5-1-9)...Posted a solid defensive effort at No. 9 Florida on Oct. 12, tying her career high with six block assists...Put up a five-kill, five-block performance versus Ole Miss on Oct. 17, hitting .500 with no errors on 10 swings...Posted a career-high four assists and had three digs, four blocks and a pair of kills in a sweep at Mississippi State on Oct. 26...Helped UT to a pair of road victories at Arkansas and Ole Miss by hitting .500 (3-0-6) and .429 (3-0-7), respectively...Posted six blocks and a career-high tying four digs in a loss to No. 12 Florida on Nov. 14, before tallying four kills, four digs and a personal-best eight blocks in a five-set triumph over South Carolina two days later...Had five blocks and a dig in UT's five-set road win at Auburn on Nov. 23...Helped UT take out No. 17 Kentucky in its regular-season finale, tallying four kills, three digs and a team-high five blocks...Hit at a .429 clip in her NCAA Tournament debut at Clemson on Dec. 5 with four kills and just one error in seven swings...Also had a career-high eight blocks and a pair of digs.
HIGH SCHOOL: Despite missing her senior season at Life Christian Academy due to a knee injury, Hilby was the most dominant player in school history, amassing career records for kills, blocks and digs...A two-time first-team All-Nisqually League selection, she led the Eagles to appearances in the state tournament in each of her four seasons, serving as a coach in her senior campaign...As a junior, was named all-area for the Puget Sound Region and took home first-team all-state accolades after guiding her team to a fourth-place finish at the state championships...Also spent one season on the school's varsity basketball team and was named to the honor roll all four years...A member of the Puget Sound Volleyball Club from 2004-06...Also competed for the Kent Juniors Volleyball Club from 2007-08...Played in the Junior Olympics three times, traveling to Atlanta, Ga., and Salt Lake City, Utah, with the Puget Sound squad in 2005 and 2006, respectively, and to Minneapolis, Minn., in 2007 with KJ VBC.
PERSONAL: Is pursuing a degree in psychology...Names Courtney Thompson as her biggest sports influence because she is always pushing herself to be better...Lists kayaking, reading, going to the beach, watching movies and eating as her favorite hobbies...Former teammates playing college volleyball include Kelcey Dunaway (Washington), Meagan Ganzer (Washington State), Bridget Logan (UTEP) and Megan Augustavo (Seattle University)...Chose Tennessee over Penn State, Washington and Wisconsin after originally signing with Washington State...Has three siblings, Mitchell, 19, Nicholas, 16, and Patrick, 10...Alyssa Catherine Hilby, the daughter of Rich and Kammy Sabin, was born on Sept. 18, 1989, in Iowa.