Sept. 14, 2013
KNOXVILLE, Tenn. -- Tennessee fell to VCU, 3-2 (25-18, 25-22, 17-25, 17-25, 12-15) in the final match of the Comcast Lady Vol Invitational in Thompson-Boling Arena Saturday night.
Senior Whitney Heeres led the Lady Vols with career-highs in kills (13) and hitting percentage (.480). She also added one dig and three solo blocks. Junior Shealyn Kolosky and freshman Ashley Mariani each recorded 10 kills of their own. Lexi Dempsey chimed in with 46 assists on the match, while scooping up 11 digs for her sixth double-double.
Heeres was the Lady Vols' all-tournament recipient. She recorded 29 kills and four solo blocks throughout the tournament.
"We played some good teams that challenged us and it's really showed us what we need to work on," head coach Rob Patrick said. "That's why we play these preseason tournaments - to help us get ready for the SEC season. We brought in some really good teams that play different styles of volleyball and it showed us some of our weaknesses that we need to get better at. It's a really good learning experience for our team."
Tennessee jumped out to an early lead, winning the first, set against VCU, 25-18. Freshmen Lea and Mariani put down four kills apiece, while Heeres added two during opening action. Senior Ellen Mullins scooped up seven digs and Dempsey handed out 11 helpers. The Lady Vols hit at a .241 clip compared to the Rams' .051 mark in the first game.
UT continued its strong play, taking the second stanza 25-22. Kolosky paced the Lady Vols, spiking four balls on six swings.
The Rams rattled off the next two sets with victories, 25-17 and 25-17, respectively, to force a fifth set. VCU capped off the tournament with a 15-12 set win to take the match, 3-2.
The Orange & White returns to action Sept. 21 as Tennessee hosts the Lady Vol Invitational.