Sept. 29, 2006
AUBURN, Ala. - Junior Yuliya Stoyanova recorded her 1,000th career kill to help lead the No. 17 University of Tennessee volleyball team (13-2, 4-1 SEC) to a four-game win at Auburn (10-6, 2-3 SEC), 30-21, 28-30, 30-28, 30-21, Friday night at Beard-Eaves Memorial Coliseum. Senior Kelsey Fautsch led the team with 16 kills and added 10 digs for her third double-double in four matches, while sophomore Mindy Flynn and freshman Kylie Marshall posted career highs with nine blocks and seven kills, respectively, in the hard-fought victory.
"First of all, I would like to congratulate Yuliya on getting the 1,000th kill of her career," UT head coach Rob Patrick said. "That is a tremendous accomplishment and really goes to show how consistently she has played over the course of her career. She continues to improve in all facets of her game and has really meant a lot to our program over the last two and a half years.
"Kelsey continues to play at very high level both offensively and defensively for us as well," Patrick said. "Although her outstanding play can be seen by the number of kills and digs that she has accumulated, she has also been one of our most consistent passers and servers this season."
Senior Annie Sadowski paced the team's defensive effort with 19 digs and fellow classmate Sarah Blum tied Flynn for the match-high with nine blocks. As a team, Tennessee finished just one block away from its season high with 17 and held the Tigers to a .096 hitting percentage on the night.
"This was a total team win," Patrick said. "We played a number of people and each of them contributed to the victory. Kylie provided the spark we needed with consistent play on the outside, both hitting and digging. Jaye (Loyd) also came in and served very effectively while Farren (Powe) helped us win the fourth game with strong blocking at the net."
The Big Orange won 10 of the final 13 points of the opening frame as they took down the Tigers 30-21. Stoyanova's 1,000th kill of her career occurred in the midst of a six-point run that put the Lady Vols up 12-8. Auburn was able to get back in the game with three consecutive points of its own, to halve the lead at 14-12. Tennessee, however, held on to the slim two-point margin until another Stoyanova putaway initiated the game-winning scoring spree. As a team, UT out hit Auburn .275 to .073 and collected four more blocks, six to two, in the set.
Despite rallying from a seven-point deficit to tie the second game at 27 all, the Lady Vols could not build on that momentum and close out the frame, falling 30-28. UT used a strong defensive effort to claw its way back into the set, recording 22 block assists in the second game alone, before Auburn took three of the final four points to win the frame. Flynn and Blum combined for half of that block total with six and five, respectively.
Once again, Tennessee found itself in a hole late in the third game, trailing 22-16. This time, however, the Lady Vols comeback attempt was successful as they claimed a 30-28 victory to go up two games to one. Sparked by a cross-court kill by Marshall, UT won six consecutive points to tie the match at 22, before the two squads proceeded to trade the next eight scores. At that time, Blum and freshman Leah Hinkey combined efforts to send back a Tiger attack and give the Lady Vols the one-point lead. A timeout by Auburn head coach Laura Farina momentarily stopped the surge and allowed her team to tie the match, but it was not enough as Patrick's squad took three of the final four points, capped off by another kill from Marshall, to win the set.
The Orange and White came into the fourth game determined to put the match away, jumping out to an early 8-3 advantage. The Tigers, however, had other ideas and trimmed the lead to three at 12-9 before UT pulled away for good with a four-point run. Auburn would not get any closer than four the rest of the way as the Lady Vols closed out their 13th win of the season with a 30-21 victory. Fautsch collected seven of her team-high 16 kills and led the squad with a .357 hitting percentage (7-2-14) in the frame.
The Lady Vols will return to the court Sunday, Oct. 1, when they travel to Gainesville, Fla., where a 1 p.m. showdown with No. 10 Florida is set to take place in the Stephen C. O'Connell Center. Tennessee has won three of the last four versus the Gators, including an epic five-game victory in the last match-up between the two squads on Oct. 30, 2005.