Sept. 13, 2003
The University of Tennessee volleyball team cruised to its sixth consecutive victory with a 3-0 (30-16, 30-25, 30-21) win against East Tennessee State on Saturday at the Toyota Knoxville Lady Vol Classic. The Lady Vols move to 7-1 on the season, while ETSU falls to 1-7 this year and 5-27 all-time against UT. The Big Orange out-hit ETSU .390 to .098, out-dug the Bucs 59 to 41 and tallied 48 assists compared to ETSU's 35. Tennessee now has a streak of nine games over the last three matches in which it has not trailed at any point of a game.
Sophomore MB Kristen Andre was nearly unstoppable for UT against the Buccaneers, as she recorded a match-high 13 kills and no errors in just 17 attempts, giving her a hitting percentage of .765. Sophomore MB Heather Harrington and freshman MB Sarah Blum also hit well, registering 10 kills apiece. Sophomore setter Julie Knytych continued to spread the ball around effectively for UT, handing out 44 assists to go along with nine digs. Sophomore Jasmine Fullove led Tennessee in the digs department with 11, while freshmen Cynthia Buggs and Ann Mullins added 10 digs each. Additionally, Blum, Harrington and junior Whitney Gifford recorded four blocks each.
"We did a good job of hitting very consistently throughout the match," UT Head Coach Rob Patrick said. "Our younger players were able to get a lot of experience and they played very consistently as well. I was excited about Kristen Andre playing so well. The match typified the amount of consistency she is beginning to develop this season."
The Lady Vols claimed a convincing decision in game one, scoring eight straight points behind Mullins' serving to take a 29-15 lead before winning the game, 30-16. Gifford led the Orange with five kills, while Knytych amassed 14 assists. As a team, UT out-hit ETSU .441 to .054.
Tennessee did not slow down much en route to winning game two, 30-25. Andre caught fire, throwing down seven kills on just nine attempts. Knytych spread around 15 assists to go along with five digs, while Buggs had a great defensive effort of her own with six digs. Andre and Gifford also gave the Bucs' hitters nightmares, combining on three blocks.
In game three, UT continued its strong play, sealing the match with a 30-21 victory. Fullove made the transition from libero to outside hitter and led the Lady Vols with five kills in game three, while still tallying five digs. Knytych added 15 more assists to her total, as Tennessee out-hit ETSU .424 to .140 in the final game.
In the tournament's other match on Saturday morning, Michigan downed Cal State Fullerton, 3-0 (30-20, 30-16, 30-16). In a match that will decide the tournament champion, the Lady Vols and Wolverines, both undefeated to this point in the event, will battle at 7 p.m. Preceding that match, ETSU takes on CSF at 5 p.m.