Kristen Andre helped UT to a 3-0 victory tonight against Ole Miss.
Sept. 24, 2004
A 30-20, 30-23, 30-20 victory over Ole Miss on Friday night at Stokely Athletics Center gave the University of Tennessee volleyball team an 11-1 record and 1-0 mark in Southeastern Conference play. The last time UT started a season with a better mark came when the 1973 squad begin its campaign 20-0. The 1983 and 1986 teams also began with 11-1 marks.
Tennessee hit .301 for the match while holding the Lady Rebels to a .085 clip. Leading the Lady Vols were senior outside hitter Michelle Piantadosi's (Boca Raton, Fla. / Olympic Heights H.S.) 12 kills and .321 hitting percentage and junior middle blocker Kristen Andre's (Kelseyville, Calif. / Kelseyville H.S.) 11 putaways and .400 hitting percentage, including hitting a perfect 1.000 in game three (6-0-6). Junior setter Julie Knytych (LaGrange Park, Ill. / Lyons Township H.S.) contributed 38 assists.
Defensively, junior middle blocker Heather Harrington (Pasadena, Texas / Sam
Rayburn H.S.) helped keep the ball on the Ole Miss side of the net, compiling
five blocks, while freshman outside hitter Yuliya Stoyanova (Sofia, Bulgaria /
81 SOU Victor Hugo H.S.) had four. Senior outside hitter Whitney Gifford
(York, Pa. / Dallastown H.S.) tallied nine digs for the Lady Vols and
sophomore libero Annie Sadowski (Wheaton, Ill. / Wheaton-Warrenville H.S.)
"I thought we played a little flat to start off after coming off the big win against (No. 15) Louisville (28-30, 30-27, 30-26, 30-27 on Wednesday)," Head Coach Rob Patrick said. "We weren't as sharp and focused as we should have been, but our focus really picked up as the match went along. We got stronger, especially our hitting.
"We served really tough and took them, I thought, out of their offense completely, giving them one option to set, usually their outside hitter. They were not able to get their middles involved. When they were not able to pass well, it allowed us to set up our defense because we knew more what to expect."
Junior outside hitter Amy Morris (Michigan City, Ind. / Penn State) led the Lady Vols to the game one victory with a .400 hitting percentage (5-1-10). Sadowski had five digs for UT in the game. Game two saw Gifford hit 1.000 with three kills in three attempts and no hitting errors. Piantadosi and Stoyanova also had three kills in the middle game.
The Lady Vols next welcome Mississippi State, playing host to the Bulldogs at 2 p.m. on Sunday.