Sept. 11, 2004
A 30-19, 30-21, 30-19 victory by the University of Tennessee volleyball team over Tennessee-Martin on Saturday afternoon at the Domino's Pizza Lady Vol Classic gave UT a 5-0 mark for the first time since 2000 and only the second time in the past 18 seasons. A team hitting percentage of .404 was the team's highest since a 3-1 victory over IUPUI on Sept. 19, 2003, a span of 26 matches. The Lady Vols have hit higher than .300 in four consecutive matches.
Thirteen Lady Vols were able to see action in the match, including two players seeing their first floor action of the season and two more playing in their second match.
"We were able to play some people who deserve to play and don't see a lot of playing time," Head Coach Rob Patrick said. "I was really pleased that we did not have any drop-off in production. Our hitters played a low-error match while still taking big swings. Julie did a real nice job setting and getting the ball to where hitters like the ball. I was really happy to see Joselyn (Johnson) get in there and play a lot and play consistently well. Heather (Harrington) came in and did a real nice job, playing consistently in the other middle spot."
Johnson hit .400 (9-3-15) and Harrington contributed a kill and a block. Senior outside hitter Michelle Piantadosi (Boca Raton, Fla. / Olympic Heights H.S.) led the offense with a career-high .722 hitting percentage on 14 kills in 18 attacks with one hitting error. Freshman Yuliya Stoyanova (Sofia, Bulgaria / 81 SOU Victor Hugo H.S.) also had a solid match, recording 13 kills and a .522 hitting percentage. Senior outside hitter Whitney Gifford (York, Pa. / Dallastown H.S.) played her best match of the year so far, hitting .455 (5-0-11). Junior setter Julie Knytych (LaGrange Park, Ill. / Lyons Township H.S.) contributed to the hitting attack with 42 assists.
Sophomore defensive specialist Cynthia Buggs (Compton, Calif. / Long Beach Poly H.S.) led the defense with 11 digs while 10 other Lady Vols recorded at least one dig.
The Lady Vols were in control the entire match, taking a 10-5 lead in game one and recording a 30-19 victory. For the game, Piantadosi hit .833 (5-0-6), Stoyanova recorded an .800 clip (4-0-5) and Johnson hit .667 (5-1-6).
Game two saw UT win comfortably, 30-21, led by Knytych's .667 hitting percentage (2-0-3).
Five service aces, two each by Gifford and Buggs and one from Knytych, encompassed a 7-2 run to give Tennessee a 27-14 lead on its way to a 30-19 victory. Piantadosi hit 1.000 in the game (4-0-4) and Stoyanova hit at a .500 clip (5-0-10).
Dating back to the last match of the 2003 season, the Lady Vols now have a six-match winning streak, the team's longest since a six-match stretch from Sept. 16-26, 2000.
In this morning's action at the Domino's Pizza Lady Vol Classic, Wake Forest swept No. 24 Purdue, 30-22, 30-19, 30-27. Tonight, Tennessee-Martin faces Wake Forest at 5 p.m. and the Lady Vols conclude the tournament with a match-up versus Purdue, slated for a 7 p.m. start time.