Hester and Wilson combine on a block earlier in the season.
Oct. 9, 2001
The University of Tennessee Lady Volunteer volleyball team dealt Georgia State a 3-0 setback on Tuesday evening at the GSU Sports Arena in Atlanta. Tennessee overcame the Lady Panthers by the scores of 30-27, 30-19 and 30-20 to improve its record to 8-6 overall.
Outside hitters senior Ariana Wilson and junior Janelle Hester powered UT's way to victory, each slamming down 15 kills apiece. Wilson, the Southeastern Conference Player of the Week, also added two blocks, while Hester chipped in three digs and three blocks. Senior setter Erica Lear inched closer to claiming the school's career assist record as she recorded 33 assists. Lear needs 228 more assists to rewrite history. Sophomore defensive specialist Alex Compeau anchored the defense with a team-high 10 digs.
The Lady Vols out hit GSU, .357 to .140 and out blocked the Lady Panthers seven to two. After a close game one, when head coach Rob Patrick saw his squad go down by as many as four points, The Lady Vols seized the match with dominating victories in games two and three.
Patrick used an 11-point lead in the second stanza when the score was 21-10 to give some of his reserves some match experience. The fifth-year coach then inserted freshman setter Mary Clare Coghlan to give Lear a spell and freshman outside hitter Nikki Huffman in place of freshman starter Whitney Gifford. Coghlan contributed six assists and one block in the second chapter while Huffman posted one dig.
At the start of the third tilt, the Lady Vol's starters returned to the court and made quick work of running up another 10-point lead. Patrick once again went to his bench and gave junior outside hitter Caley Carter, freshman middle blocker Michelle Piantadosi, Huffman and Coghlan a chance to take the floor. In just one game, Carter tallied two kills, three digs and an assist, while Piantadosi posted one kill.
"It took all of the first game to get used to what Georgia State was doing out there," Patrick said. "Once we did, we never lost control of the match. It was great to get all of our reserves some time on the court and the thing that I like most about that time when they were out there, was that our play never fell off."
The Lady Vols return to Knoxville and the Stokely Athletics Center on Friday for an SEC match-up with Western Division foe Auburn (1-13 overall, 0-6 in the SEC). The match is set to begin at 7 p.m. Tennessee's week concludes with a matinee match at 2 p.m. on Sunday against Alabama.