Sep 6, 2013
CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. -- Tennessee handed UNC Asheville its first loss of the season Friday afternoon as the Lady Vols claimed a 3-1 victory (16-25, 25-18, 25-21, 30-28) in the Country Inns & Suites Invitational in Chattanooga, Tenn.
Senior libero Ellen Mullins had another record-breaking afternoon as she scooped up 31 digs, the most in four sets in UT history during the 25-point rally scoring era. The reigning SEC Defensive Player of the Week had a UT record 28 digs in three sets (during the 25-point rally era) against Chattanooga Thursday night.
Freshman Jamie Lea led the team with 23 kills, hitting at a .212 clip. Her 23 kills are the third-most in four sets in program history during the 25-point rally scoring era.
Sophomore setter Lexi Dempsey dished out a career-best 47 assists with 14 digs for her second-straight double-double, and third this season. The Palm Springs, Calif., native had a team-leading three aces against the Bulldogs.
UNC Asheville jumped to a 1-0 set lead over Tennessee as the Bulldogs won the first set, 25-16. Senior Whitney Heeres hit .500 with three kills, while Lea, Shealyn Kolosky and Ashley Mariani added two kills apiece.
Lea set the tone in the second set, racking up 11 kills with no errors. She hit .579 while Dempsey handed out 13 helpers. As a team, the Lady Vols hit .306 during the second game.
Tennessee trailed in the beginning of the third set, before a kill by Kolosky tied it up 14-14. Kolosky followed up with another kill and Mullins recorded a service ace to give the Lady Vols a 16-14 advantage. UT would continue to hold the lead for the rest of the set, taking it 25-21, and a 2-1 lead over the Bulldogs. Kolosky served up to aces, while Dempsey and sophomore Megan Hatcher added one service ace apiece to go along with Mullins' one ace.
The two teams battled it out in the fourth set, as the squads were tied on 13 different occasions. UT went on to claim the set and match with a 30-28 win.
Tennessee is now 9-0 all-time against the Bulldogs. UT competes in its third game of the Country Inns & Suites Invitational at 10 a.m. Saturday when the Big Orange takes on UT Martin. The Lady Vols will cap off the tournament facing Charlotte at 6 p.m.