Courtside Chat with Leah Hinkey
ROB PATRICK ON HINKEY: "She really did a fantastic job last year of rehabbing her knee in order to come back and start every match for us, but I thought she got a little tired at the end of the season just because she wasn't at 100 percent all year. I look for her to have a breakout season this year. She is one of our very hardest workers and has put herself in a position to lead our team both on and off the court due to her experience as a fifth-year senior. I'm excited to see what she can do now that she is completely healthy again."
2009 (REDSHIRT JUNIOR): Returned to a starting role after missing a majority of the 2008 campaign with a knee injury...Is currently fourth in UT history with 452 career blocks and second with an average of 1.27 blocks per set...Opened the season with a pair of strong performances on Aug. 29, pounding out kill totals of seven and eight against Tennessee Tech and Western Kentucky, respectively...Also had three blocks against the Golden Eagles and four putbacks versus the Hilltoppers...Tallied four blocks against Notre Dame in the second match of the Xavier Invitational...Earned all-tournament team honors at the Carolina Classic, Sept. 11-12, after hitting .383 for the weekend....Closed out the tournament with the second-best single-match hitting percentage in school history, blasting away to the tune of a .923 attack average with 12 kills on 13 swings and no errors versus Marshall...Also had eight blocks in that match...Hit at a .375 clip in UT's SEC opener at LSU on Sept. 18 with seven kills and one error on 16 swings...Added 10 kills on .500 hitting versus Arkansas on Sept. 25....Continued her strong play with seven kills and five blocks against Ole Miss on ESPNU two days later...Posted a solid all-around effort in a four-set win at South Carolina on Oct. 2 with eight kills, four digs and six blocks...Helped UT sweep Georgia on Oct. 9 by hitting .667 with six kills and no errors on nine swings....Also added three blocks in that contest before posting four putbacks against Auburn two days later...Tallied eight kills and eight blocks in a 3-1 triumph at Alabama on Oct. 16...Tallied six putbacks in a four-set win at No. 7 Kentucky on Oct. 21...Generated nine kills, two blocks, one dig and an assist versus No. 20 LSU five days later...Helped UT claim a hard-fought, 3-2, victory on the road over Arkansas on Nov. 1 by hitting .455 with seven kills and just two errors on 11 swings...Also had six blocks in that contest...Notched her first ace of the year in a sweep over Mississippi State on Nov. 6, to go along with 10 kills on .600 hitting, two digs and three blocks...Followed that up with a .500 attack average (9-1-16) and four blocks in a 3-0 triumph against Alabama two days later...Reached double-digits in kills for the fourth time in 2009 and hit .316 (10-4- 19) in a five-set victory at Georgia on Nov. 15...Also tied her season-high with eight blocks in that contest...Contributed five kills, three blocks and a season-high two assists in UT's 3-1 victory over No. 13 Florida on Nov. 22...Finished one off her career-high with 13 putbacks in a dramatic, five-set triumph over 10th-ranked Kentucky to conclude the regular season...Hit .357 (7-2-14) and had 10 blocks in the team's NCAA opener versus Duke.
2008 (JUNIOR): Started the first four matches of the season for UT...Tied for the team high in blocks in each of the first three contests...Recorded six blocks against Chattanooga at the Marquette Kickoff Tournament on Aug. 29...Posted a seven kill, eight block performance versus Houston the next day...Closed out the competition with five kills, five blocks, two aces and a pair of digs against Marquette...Had four kills on six swings with no errors in the first set against Iowa at the Denver Pioneer Classic before suffering a season-ending knee injury.
2007 (SOPHOMORE): Recorded double-digit kills in 20 of the team's 29 matches in 2007...Helped lead UT to a 1-1 record at the AVCA Showcase with solid performances against both No. 1 Nebraska and No. 21 Utah...Tallied six kills versus the Huskers and seven against the Utes...Also added the fourth-highest single-match block total in school history in the five-match win over Utah with 13 putbacks...Named the MVP of the Comcast Lady Vol Classic after hitting a team-best .509 in the tournament...Collected 32 kills in the tournament, the second most on the team...Five aces against Appalachian State demolished her previous career high of two set against Auburn and Florida last season...Also recorded a personal best in hitting percentage with an amazing .619 mark (14-1-21) in UT's victory over Belmont...Added another all-tournament performance at the State Farm Illini Classic, Sept. 7-8...Put down a career-high 16 kills in a personal-best 31 swings versus Creighton before recording the first double-double of her career against Marquette with 10 kills and 10 blocks...Has played well in conference action, accumulating double digits in kills 14 times in 18 matches, including a career-high tying 16-kill performance in a 3-1 triumph at Auburn and her second career double-double (13 kills, 10 blocks) versus Auburn on Oct. 28...Notched her third double-double with 14 kills and career-high 14 blocks versus South Carolina on Nov. 11...Matched her career best with 16 kills and set a personal high with 40 attacks versus Kentucky on Nov. 14...Hinkey's success carried over to the classroom as well, as she earned a spot on the 2007 SEC Fall Academic Honor Roll.
2006 (FRESHMAN): Earned mention on the 2006 SEC All-Freshman Team following a stellar rookie campaign...Made a significant impact, starting in 28 of the team's 31 matches...Her 133 blocks ranked her third on the team, while her 221 kills were good enough for fifth...Blocks per game average of 1.19 ranked seventh in the SEC...Recorded double-digit kill totals in 10 matches...Opened her career with a bang, tallying 13 kills, four blocks and a .458 hitting percentage in the team's season-opener against Virginia on Aug. 25...Followed that up with a 12-kill, six-block performance against Miami (Ohio) the following day...Posted three consecutive double-digit kill efforts against Arkansas, Louisville and Ole Miss from Sept. 17-22...Also set personal bests in all three contests, recording eight block assists against the Lady Backs, 28 attacks versus the Cardinals and a .526 hitting percentage against the Rebels...Closed out the season with career highs in kills and digs with 14 and four, respectively, against Duke in the first round of the NCAA Tournament...Traveled to Italy and Croatia with the USA/Bring it Promotions u20 Development Team coached by UT head coach Rob Patrick to compete in the 2007 European Global Games, July 22-26.
HIGH SCHOOL: Ranked 74th among high school seniors by PrepVolleyball.com...Spent two years as captain of the Glenwood Springs High School squad...Named to the Denver Post and Rocky Mountain News first-team all-state lists...Also earned accolades as a member of the first team All-Western Slope Conference...Helped lead GSHS to the Colorado 4A (the second-highest level) state tournament in 2003, 2004 and 2005...Competed with the Colorado Juniors club team, which qualified for the Junior Olympic national championships... Saw success on the track team as well, helping the 4x100 and 4x200-meter relay squads to school-record times...Named to the academic honor roll.
PERSONAL: Majoring in psychology with a minor in communications...Highest sports ambition is to earn All-SEC and All-America honors as well as win a national championship...Lists her father as the biggest influence in her sports career and life...Chose Tennessee because of the great coaching staff and the support that women's athletics receives...Has one brother, Trevor, 26...Leah Elizabeth Hinkey, the daughter of Bob and Mary Hinkey, was born on April 27, 1988, in Glenwood Springs, Colo.