JSU Rallies Back To Top UT, 3-2

Sept. 21, 2013

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KNOXVILLE, Tenn. -- Raina Hembry tallied a career-high 21 kills and Ellen Mullins had a school record 37 digs, but Jacksonville State rallied back on Saturday to take a 3-2 (21-25, 22-25, 25-22, 25-21, 15-11) win over Tennessee.

Tennessee fell to 7-6 with the loss and Jacksonville State improved to 7-7. UT will conclude regular-season non-conference play against Coastal Carolina at 7 p.m.

Mullins' 37 digs are the most in a five-set match in the 25-point, rally-scoring era in Tennessee history.

Hembry also had four digs and three blocks to go with her 21 kills. Ashley Mariani had 12 kills and 17 digs. Jamie Lea had nine kills and a team-high six blocks. Nikki Brice had three services aces and 21 digs. Lexi Dempsey led UT with 29 assists.

Kacey Clinkenbeard and Nicole Merget led Jacksonville State with 17 and 15 kills, respectively.

Tennessee enjoyed a strong start in the first set, taking a 3-0 lead after Jacksonville State committed three consecutive attack errors. The Gamecocks evened the set at 4-4 on a service ace by Alina Agamy. Down, 10-8, UT used a 6-1 run to swing momentum in its favor. Jamie Lea had two blocks and Hembry had one kill in that stretch. UT went on a 4-0 run on three JSU errors and a kill by Hembry to take an 18-13 advantage, its largest of the match. Jacksonville State climbed back to within 18-16, but UT went on a 5-2 run sparked by back-to-back kills by Hembry and Mariani to push its lead to 23-18. The Gamecocks drew to within 23-20 on three straight errors by Tennessee. After a timeout, Carly Wishlow drilled a clean set from Abby Brewer for a kill and JSU's Emily Rutherford set a ball past the UT back line to give UT the set point.

The Lady Vols rattled off three straight points to start the second set thanks to a kill by Mariani had a kill and two aces by Brice. With the match tied at 6-6, Tennessee went on an 8-3 run to take control of the set. UT totaled three kills, two by Lea, and aces by Mariani and Wishlow in that stretch. JSU pulled to within one point at 18-17 after two kills by Clinkenbeard, two blocks and an attack error by Tennessee sparked a 5-0 Gamecocks run. After a timeout, the teams exchanged the score stayed within two points until a bad set by JSU's Abbey Heredia and three kills by Lea put UT head, 24-20. Hembry hammered home the set point to give Tennessee the 2-0 advantage heading into the break.

Tennessee started the third set with five kills in its first nine points. With the set locked at 12-12, Nicole Merget had back-to-back kills to give JSU a two-point lead and induce a Tennessee timeout. Jacksonville State's lead stayed at two points until an Alina Agamy kill and two UT errors pushed the Gamecocks lead to 20-16. A kill by Clinkenbeard pushed JSU's lead to 21-17 and induced a Tennessee timeout. After the timeout, the Lady Vols were pushed to the edge as attack errors pushed the Gamecocks' lead to 24-20. The Lady Vols would not give up without a fight as Hembry, Wishlow and Ashlyn Sunseri had three consecutive kills to pull UT to within 24-21. An attack error by Clinkenbeard pulled Tennessee to within 24-22, but a UT set error gave set point to the Gamecocks.

Jacksonville State controlled the fourth set early thanks to an 8-2 run at the start. A kill by Whitney Heeres and two JSU attack errors allowed Tennessee to pull within 8-5, but a Merget kill sparked another big run for the Gamecocks to give them a 13-6 advantage. Down 15-10, Tennessee pulled to within 16-13 after an ace by Brice, a kill by Hembry and JSU errors. Mariani's kill with UT down 20-14 sparked a 4-0 Tennessee run to pull the team to within 20-18 and force a JMU timeout. Back-to-back kills by Mariani and Hembry drew Tennessee to within 22-21 but the Gamecocks answered with three straight kills to take the fourth set.

Two kills by Hembry sparked a 4-1 Tennessee start in the fifth set. After a timeout, JSU came roaring back with long rallies and three kills by Emily Rutherford that gave the Gamecocks a 8-6 lead. After the teams switched sides, JSU remained ahead at 11-8 before at Tennessee timeout. Lea had a kill coming out of the timeout and after a UT error, Hembry added another kill to bring the Big Orange to within 12-10. Two kills by Clinkenbeard and a match-winner by Rutherford lifted Jacksonville State to victory.





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