Sept. 12, 2002
The University of Tennessee Lady Vol volleyball team recorded a 3-1 (30-15, 30-19, 28-30, 30-24) triumph over Virginia Friday night in the second game of the Toyota Lady Vol Classic in Stokely Athletics Center. In the first contest, East Carolina was shutout by Rice 3-0 (30-16, 30-16, 30-28). The Lady Vols improved to 7-1 on the season, while the Cavaliers fell to 3-6 with the loss. Rice will enter tomorrow's action with a 4-5 mark, while ECU's record now stands at 2-7.
With an early 2-1 lead in the first frame, senior outside hitter Kelli Scott's powerful jump serve elevated the Big Orange to an 8-1 advantage thanks to two service aces and a barrage of UVA errors. UT took a double-digit lead at 12-2 when freshman middle blocker Kristen Andre recorded one of her career-high 14 kills on the night. Tennessee cruised to a 30-15 victory in game one.
The Orange and White continued to pour the pressure on in game two, but Virginia kept things interesting by never letting UT build a lead of more than four during the first 25 points. The Lady Vols slowly increased their lead, however, and reach a 10-point advantage at 26-16 when Scott drilled one of her game-high 16 kills. Scott also finished the match with 16 digs for her fourth double-double of the 2002 campaign. Tennessee eventually claimed the second game by a 30-19 count.
It appeared that the Lady Vols would run away with game three when Tennessee jumped out to a 5-0 lead behind the serving of junior defensive specialist Alex Compeau, who recorded a season-high 12 digs for the match. The Cavaliers struck back with a relentless defensive effort and took a substantial advantage at 17-10, but the Lady Vols charged back and evened the game at 21-21 when sophomore middle blocker Michelle Piantadosi recorded her second consecutive ace. The Boca Raton, Fla., native tallied three aces on the night to go along with 15 kills on 37 attacks, all career-bests. A late charge by Virginia, though, dashed the Lady Vols' hopes of a sweep as the Cavaliers won the third frame 30-28.
The Lady Vols raced out to a quick 3-0 lead in the final game behind Scott's serving and never relinquished the advantage. Virginia managed to tie the match on three occasions, but the Big Orange responded each time. Tennessee ended game four with a kill by Piantadosi on freshman setter Julie Knytych's 51st assist of the match for a 30-24 win. Knytych's 51 assists broke her previous career-best mark of 48 against Iona on Aug. 31, 2002.
UT blasted a season-high 65 kills against Virginia, while the Cavaliers were only able to muster 42. Tennessee also out-dug UVA 86 to 67, also a season-high for the Lady Vols.
Freshman libero Morgan Miltner shattered her previous career-best of 14 digs against Georgia State last weekend with 22 against the Cavaliers. Her 22 digs is an individual season-high for the Lady Vols as well.
"We have great ball control in the back row," said UT Head Coach Rob Patrick after the match. "Our two freshman back there (Miltner and Fullove) made some mistakes, but they kept working hard and it paid off in the end."
Freshman middle blocker Heather Harrington also established a career-best mark of three kills on five attacks.
Sophomore right side hitter Whitney Gifford made her first appearance of the season in the third game after battling injuries during the Lady Vols' first seven matches. The York, Pa., native entered the match with the Lady Vols' ahead 18-14. She finished the contest with seven digs.
Tennessee will take on East Carolina tomorrow at 10 a.m., followed by Virginia and Rice at noon. Virginia will then meet ECU at 5 p.m. and the Lady Vols will conclude the Toyota Lady Vol Classic with a 7 p.m. matchup against Rice.