Kristen Andre attacks from the outside in tonight's 3-0 win over Wake Forest.
Sept. 10, 2004
The University of Tennessee volleyball team moved to 4-0 on the season with a 30-21, 30-24, 30-15 victory over previously undefeated Wake Forest on Friday night at the Domino's Pizza Lady Vol Classic. Junior middle blocker Kristen Andre (Kelseyville, Calif. / Kelseyville H.S.) was on fire in game one, recording 10 kills and hitting .538 (10-3-13). For the match, she led the Lady Vols with a .440 hitting percentage (16-5-25) and five blocks.
"Kristen had another great match as usual," Head Coach Rob Patrick said. "Her impact on the game is far more than that she just led us in kills. It opened up the outside hitters because by the middle of the second game, their middle blocker had to go with her on the slide behind the setter, which opened the court for the outside hitters to hit against only one block or a big split in the block."
Four Lady Vols compiled nine kills each, including freshman outside hitter Yuliya Stoyanova (Sofia, Bulgaria / 81 SOU Victor Hugo H.S.), junior outside hitter Amy Morris (Michigan City, Ind. / Penn State), sophomore middle blocker Sarah Blum (Tulsa, Okla. / Bishop Kelley H.S.) and senior outside hitter Michelle Piantadosi (Boca Raton, Fla. / Olympic Heights H.S.). Junior setter Julie Knytych (LaGrange Park, Ill. / Lyons Township H.S.) recorded 44 assists. Defensively, senior outside hitter Whitney Gifford (York, Pa. / Dallastown, Pa.) led the squad with 10. Knytych had eight, while defensive specialist Cynthia Buggs (Compton, Calif. / Long Beach Poly H.S.) compiled seven.
The Lady Vols kept their hot hitting going, recording greater than a .300
hitting percentage (.339) for the third consecutive match. The last time
Tennessee had a similar three-match stretch came in last season's Blue Demon
Invitational from Sept. 19-20 against IUPUI, Miami University and DePaul.
Tonight, UT recorded hitting percentages in each game of .340, .250 and .441.
Tennessee held Wake Forest to a .126 hitting percentage.
"The one thing we have been working on is being organized defensively and, after we transition, through our offense," Patrick said. "I thought we did a very good job identifying who Wake Forest's main hitters were in serve receive and in their transition offensively and frustrated them a little bit with two blocks always in front of them.
"The other thing that was very impressive was that I thought we controlled the ball very well in serve receive. (Libero) Annie Sadowski (Wheaton, Ill. / Wheaton-Warrenville H.S.), Amy Morris and Whitney Gifford did a great job of getting our offense started with great passing. There were also very few digs that we did not control. We were able to dig the ball to a position where somebody could set the ball to one of our main hitters, so we were on attack the entire match, putting Wake Forest on their heels a little bit.
"The third thing is we served very tough and Wake couldn't run the type of offense they would have liked with their very athletic and talented hitters. When they're in system, they're very hard to stop."
In game one, neither squad grabbed greater than a three-point lead until a kill from Stoyanova brought Sadowski to the serving line with Tennessee leading, 11-8. The Lady Vols then went on to score seven more points to grab an insurmountable 18-9 lead, highlighted by a couple of kills from Morris. Wake Forest could get no closer than seven the rest of the game.
Game two saw Wake Forest take control early, jumping out to a 10-5 advantage. "I was a little disappointed at the end of first game and the beginning of game two," Patrick said. "We were getting a little unfocused, making unforced errors. I didn't want that to happen because Wake Forest is too good of a team to give them any points. I felt we had to keep pressure on them the entire match to be successful and when we didn't, they took advantage of even our smallest miscues."
UT then roared back with a 15-5 run to take a 20-15 lead. Andre put the game away with a kill.
After the Demon Deacons took a 3-0 lead in game three, the Lady Vols got a side out on a Wake Forest attack error and gave the ball to Sadowski to serve, who had another long stint on the line as UT would take a 7-3 lead. Game three was never in doubt again as the Lady Vols took a 19-9 lead and pulled away, 30-15. Stoyanova led the UT attack in the final game, recording four kills on five attacks for a .800 hitting percentage.
After dropping the first game of the season to Villanova on Sept. 3, UT has won 12 consecutive games, the longest such streak since UT won 15 consecutive games in a span encompassing the final match of the 2001 season and the first four in 2002. Tennessee has moved to a 4-0 start for only the third time in the past 16 seasons.
In tonight's other match, No. 24 Purdue defeated Tennessee-Martin, 30-17, 30-18, 30-19. Action continues on Saturday with four matches. Wake Forest faces Purdue at 11 a.m., Tennessee plays Tennessee-Martin at 1 p.m. while Tennessee-Martin takes on Wake Forest at 5 p.m. and the Lady Vols face Purdue to conclude the tournament at 7 p.m.
|Tennessee||vs.||Wake Forest||Tennessee, 3-0|
|Wake Forest||vs.||Purdue||11 a.m.|
|UT-Martin||vs.||Wake Forest||5 p.m.|
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