Amy Morris led UT with 12 kills and 13 digs.
Sept. 20, 2003
The University of Tennessee volleyball team used a balanced offensive attack and dominating defense to shutout Miami (Ohio) University, 3-0 (30-17, 30-27, 30-22) at the Blue Demon Invitational on Saturday. The Lady Vols out-hit Miami .330-.130, out-blocked MU 11 to five, and tallied 52 digs compared to 43 by the RedHawks. With its second win in a row, UT improves to 9-2 this season, while Miami drops to 5-8.
Sophomore outside hitter Amy Morris led Tennessee in kills with 12 and digs with 13, while libero Jasmine Fullove added 13 digs herself. Sophomore setter Julie Knytych once again set a strong pace for the Lady Vol offense, recording 31 assists, nine digs and five kills. Sophomore middle blocker Kristen Andre continued her torrid hitting pace with 11 kills on a .421 hitting clip along with four blocks. Freshman MB Sarah Blum led UT with six blocks, while junior OH Whitney Gifford added five denials.
"I was very happy with our offensive efficiency," said UT Head Coach Rob Patrick, who did his undergraduate work at Miami. "Our hitters were taking good swings and hitting the ball very consistently. I was also happy with our serving, which hadn't been as consistent as it needs to be during the last few matches. Our defense was a bit unorganized during parts of each game, but we did a good job of coming together and shutting down Miami's offense."
Tennessee benefited from a combination of powerful offense and stingy defense to take game one by a score of 30-17. The Lady Vols out-hit Miami .410 to .125 and out-blocked the RedHawks six to zero. UT began to pull away after a five-point run, featuring three kills by junior OH Michelle Piantadosi, made the score 17-11. The Big Orange then used a nine-point run behind the serving of Blum to finish the game. Morris led the team with five kills and six digs, while Andre chipped in with four blocks.
Game two was a much closer affair, as the Lady Vols won by a 30-27 count. Tennessee's offense slowed down slightly, hitting at a .323 clip, but the defense held fast, out-digging Miami 13 to 9. Andre led UT with four kills and a .500 hitting percentage, while Knytych distributed 10 assists and added four digs.
In game three, Miami started off quickly and built a 14-7 lead. The Lady Vols, however, demonstrated their resiliency once again, scoring 23 of the next 31 points to seal the match with a 30-22 game three win. UT's defense continued to dominate in game three, registering 21 digs and three blocks, while holding the RedHawks to a .019 hitting percentage. Morris had the hot hand for the Lady Vols, tallying four kills, six digs and two blocks in the final stanza.
Tennessee will wrap up the Blue Demon Invitational when it takes on host DePaul at 7 p.m. CT on Saturday. Following the tournament, the Orange and White return to Knoxville to open Southeastern Conference play against Ole Miss at 7 p.m. on Fri., Sept. 26 and Mississippi State at 2 p.m. on Sun., Sept. 28.