Julie Knytych led UT with 24 digs and 60 assists.
Oct. 3, 2003
The University of Tennessee volleyball team saw its five-match win streak come to an end Friday night, as it dropped a thrilling 3-2 (22-30, 23-30, 34-32, 30-25, 12-15) decision to the University of Georgia. After losing the first two games, the Lady Vols battled back valiantly by winning games three and four, but ultimately fell by a 15-12 score in the final stanza. UT's record falls to 12-3 this season (2-1 SEC), while UGA improves to 9-7 (2-2 SEC). Tennessee hit below .200 for the first time this year, as the Lady Bulldogs out-hit UT .212-190.
Sophomore setter Julie Knytych's 24 digs marked a career-high and the best total by a Lady Vol this season, while UT's 93 digs was also a team-high total for the year. Knytych also chipped in 60 assists along with nine kills and a .421 hitting percentage, falling just one kill shy of a triple-double. Sophomore middle blocker Kristen Andre continued her strong front line play, recording 18 kills behind a .471 hitting percentage. Redshirt freshman Jennifer Rudy, meanwhile, tallied a career-high 16 kills along with five blocks.
Tennessee dropped game one of a match for only the second time this season. The lead went back and forth early, but Georgia began to pull way mid-game to take a 15-10 lead. The Lady Vols battled back to pull with two points at 22-20 but could not get any closer, as UGA would win by a 30-22 count. The Lady Bulldogs' blocking played a major role in the game, as they out-blocked UT four to none. Despite Andre registering six kills on eight attempts, the Lady Vols were out-hit .178 to .273. Fullove and Knytych chipped in six digs each, helping Tennessee out-dig UGA 21 to 18.
The Georgia front line continued to be very formidable in game two, out-blocking UT seven to two, as UGA claimed a 30-23 decision. Knytych recorded 13 assists and six digs for the second game in a row, but the Lady Vols could not overcome a .073 hitting percentage.
Despite facing a 2-0 deficit, the Lady Vols battled valiantly in game three to claim a 34-32 win. Andre provided six kills with a .455 hitting percentage, while junior Michelle Piantadosi added five kills of her own. UT out-hit the Lady Bulldogs .232 to .214.
Tennessee's hitting continued to pick up in game four, as the Orange and White out-hit UGA .268 to .136. Though never holding an advantage of greater than five points, the Lady Vols led from wire to wire, claiming a 30-25 win. Rudy had the hot hand for UT, throwing down eight kills behind a .583 hitting clip.
Game five epitomized the competitiveness of the match, as the lead exchanged hands three times and the score was tied on seven occasions during the race to 15 points. Georgia, however, was able to edge out UT in the end by a score of 15-12. Andre led the way for Tennessee, notching four kills on just six attacks, while sophomore Amy Morris provided five digs.
The all-time series between Tennessee and Georgia has been one of the most competitive in the Southeastern Conference, as UT now holds a slim 25-22 advantage with the two squads splitting the season series each of the last two years.
All three of Tennessee's losses this season have come in five games. UT fell to current No. 14 Michigan State, 30-28, 30-26, 29-31, 28-30, 15-17, on Aug. 30 at the University of Maryland Invitational. The Lady Vols' second defeat of the season came against Michigan, 30-23, 27-30, 30-27, 24-30, 11-15, at the Toyota Knoxville Lady Vol Classic on Sept. 13.
After departing from Athens, the Lady Vols head a little further south to Gainesville, Fla., where they will battle the No. 3 Florida Gators at 1:30 p.m. on Sun., Oct. 5. The Gators boast a 15-1 record this season and have not lost even one game in their last 14 matches, a steak which includes wins over No. 4 Stanford, No. 7 UC Santa Barbara and No. 20 Minnesota. Following their return to Knoxville, the Lady Vols compete next when they play host to South Carolina at 7 p.m. on Fri., Oct. 10 and Kentucky at 2 p.m. on Sun., Oct. 12.