Julie Knytych set up 51 kills for UT in today's 3-0 win.
Sept. 5, 2004
LOS ANGELES, Calif.
The University of Tennessee volleyball team (2-0) hit an impressive .417 and .480 in games one and two of a sweep over Duke (0-2) at the LMU Four Points Sheraton Volleyball Classic on Saturday morning, 30-27, 31-29, 30-28. The game-one hitting percentage was the team's highest in 16 matches dating back to game four (.452) of a 3-1 victory over South Carolina on Oct. 10, 2003. Game two's average was last succeeded when UT hit .487 in game three of a 3-1 victory over IUPUI on Sept. 19, 2003, a span of 23 matches. The Lady Vols hit .412 in their victory over the Jaguars, the last time UT hit greater than .394 in a match.
"We played a high level of volleyball against a very good team with big blockers and athletic diggers," Head Coach Rob Patrick said. Junior middle blocker Kristen Andre (Kelseyville, Calif. / Kelseyville H.S.) led the Lady Vol offense with 17 kills and a .536 hitting percentage (17-2-28).
"With Kristen, we almost expect her to hit that well after hitting .348 last year and the time she put in this summer to lift and run," Patrick said. "I'm really happy for her that it's showing this early in the season."
She was followed close behind on the stat sheet by freshman outside hitter Yuliya Stoyanova (Sofia, Bulgaria / 81 SOU Victor Hugo H.S.), who accounted for 13 kills and only one hitting error, resulting in a .462 average (13-1-26).
"Duke had a hard time reading the ball off Yuliya because she is a lefty," Patrick said. "(Setter) Julie Knytych did a nice job of learning when and with what tempo to set Yuliya. Yuliya had aggressive swings putting it through the seams in the blocks."
Junior outside hitter Amy Morris (Michigan City, Ind. / Penn State) recorded 11 putaways while sophomore middle blocker Sarah Blum (Tulsa, Okla. / Bishop Kelley H.S.) hit .500 (10-1-18). Knytych (LaGrange Park, Ill. / Lyons Township H.S.) recorded 51 assists.
In game one, Tennessee jumped out of the gates, taking a 12-5 lead before Duke
battled back, tying the game at 19 with a 14-7 run. The squads battled
back-and-forth the rest of the way as neither team could garner more than a
two-point lead until a Blue Devil attack error gave UT the final winning
margin of 30-27. Tennessee hit. 417 in the game, out-pacing Duke's .268
Blum highlighted a 5-1 Lady Vol run in game two with four kills to give UT a 10-6 advantage. Duke would fight back and tie the game, 17-17, and the squads once again battled tight the rest of the way, with only two two-point advantages the duration of the game, one with Duke ahead 21-19 and the other when Morris put the game away, 31-29, with a sizzling kill. Tennessee out-hit the Blue Devils in game two, .480-.367.
Tennessee ran out to another early lead in game three, 10-5, and extended it to 18-12 before Duke battled back to tie the game, 24-24. Tennessee scored three of the final four points to put away game three, 30-28, and the match, 3-0. Stoyanova had two kills, including the final one, in the mini-run. The Lady Vols out-hit the Blue Devils in game three, .283-.275.
UT concludes its play at the tournament tonight at 7:30 PDT, facing the host Loyola Marymount Lions, ranked No. 18 in the USA Today/CSTV poll and No. 17 by RichKern.com.