Head Coach Rob Patrick confers with Assistant Coach Sherri Dunbar.
Sept. 22, 2002
The University of Tennessee Lady Vol volleyball squad ran its season mark to 10-2 Sunday afternoon by virtue of a 3-0 (30-20, 30-28, 30-15) triumph over Appalachian State in Stokely Athletics Center. The loss was the Mountaineers fifth straight, dropping their record to 7-7 on the year.
After trading points back and forth to set the score at 5-5 in the first game, the Lady Vols took command, allowing Appalachian only one tie thereafter. Sophomore middle blocker Michelle Piantadosi gave UT its largest lead of the frame, 29-18, with one of her 13 kills on the afternoon. The Boca Raton, Fla., native also finished the match with six blocks, an individual season-high for Tennessee. Two of her blocks were solo jobs, which tied a career-best as well. The Big Orange won the first game by a 30-20 count.
The second game was a different story for the Lady Vols. UT clung to several precarious leads throughout the frame, but surrendered the advantage to the Mountaineers when freshman outside hitter Chrissy Finch denied Lady Vol freshman middle blocker Kristen Andre's attack for a 19-18 lead.
Trailing 26-22 in game two, UT responded by taking eight of the next 10 points. Five of those points came behind the solid serving of junior defensive specialist Alex Compeau, who tallied two service aces and six digs for the match. The Mountaineers had a chance to even the score at 29-29, but ASU was out of rotation when Finch served the ball, giving the Lady Vols the 30-28 win.
The Lady Vols took care of business in the third frame, recording 16 kills and only three errors on 28 attacks for a .464 hitting percentage. Andre, who entered game three with six kills and six errors, blasted five kills on five attacks and recorded no errors to finish the match with 11 kills and a .238 attacking percentage. Tennessee doubled up the Mountaineers in the final frame, 30-15, for the victory.
Lady Vol senior outside hitter Janelle Hester returned to the squad after missing the last two matches due to a family emergency back home in Davenport, Iowa. She led UT's offensive efforts with 14 kills and five errors on 28 attacks for a .321 hitting percentage.
"It was good to have Janelle back," said UT Head Coach Rob Patrick. "She's our biggest offensive weapon, and in reality, it was good for us as a team to not have her for a couple of matches. The girls really learned how to play on their own and gained some confidence because of that."
Other statistical notables on the afternoon for the Orange and White included freshman setter Julie Knytych, who assisted on 30 of UT's 37 kills. The LaGrange Park, Ill., native also recorded the first solo block of her career during the match. Freshman middle blocker Heather Harrington made her presence felt on defensive front, tying a career-high with four blocks.
Tennessee will open its Southeastern Conference slate on Friday, Sept. 27, when the Lady Vols head to Raton Rouge, La., to face LSU at 7 p.m. Following its match with the Tigers, UT will travel to Fayetteville, Ark., for a showdown with Arkansas on Sept. 29 at 1:30 p.m. CT. The SEC, in conjunction with FOX Sports Net South, FOX Sports Net Southwest and the Sunshine Network, will air the Lady Vols' tilt with LSU on Sept. 29 at 3:30 p.m.