Scott notched her 1,000 dig today.
Oct. 13, 2002
The University of Tennessee Lady Vol volleyball team dropped a heartbreaking 3-2 (27-30, 30-27, 30-28, 22-30, 10-15) decision to the South Carolina Gamecocks Sunday afternoon in Columbia, S.C. UT fell to 12-6 and 2-4 in the SEC with the loss, while USC moved to 14-3 and 7-0 in conference play with the victory. The Gamecocks are also still undefeated at home this season with a 9-0 record.
The Gamecocks held the lead for much of the first game, with their largest advantage coming at 18-11 after sophomore defensive specialist Bridget White served up her second consecutive ace. The Lady Vols, however, managed to claw their way back into the match, cutting the deficit to two, 21-19, after senior outside hitter Kelli Scott served a scorcher that was too hot for USC senior right side hitter Cally Plummer to handle. UT eventually took the lead, 23-22, after two erratic hits by South Carolina, but the Gamecocks went on a 4-0 run to regain the upper hand, 26-23. USC hung on to win game one by a 30-27 count.
Game two was tight from the outset with neither team able to build more than a two-point advantage over the first 36 points. Trailing 19-17, UT senior outside hitter Janelle Hester her eighth kill of the match and then served up ace on the next point to deadlock the game. Plummer then did her impersonation of Hester with a kill and an ace to give USC the 21-19 advantage.
Things began to look bleak for the Lady Vols after South Carolina led 22-19, but Tennessee came alive after a timeout by Head Coach Rob Patrick. UT tied the second frame, 23-23, after Scott ripped off a serve that USC sophomore defensive specialist Bridget White could only watch and admire. From there, the Lady Vols rode Hester's shoulders to a 30-27 victory in game two as the Davenport, Iowa, native tallied four kills over the last 11 points.
With the third game knotted at 7-7, the Gamecocks began to take control, pushing their lead to as much as seven, 21-14, after a kill by Plummer. With South Carolina holding a 25-20 advantage, the Lady Vols began to mount a comeback after Gamecock senior middle blocker Sam Alban airmailed an attack beyond the baseline. Tennessee tied the game, 26-26, after Alban marked another attack air express. Looking to take a 2-1 advantage over South Carolina, Hester stepped up the Orange and White once again, recording two kills over the last six points for a 30-28 win.
During the third frame, Scott recorded six digs, putting her over 1,000 for her career. She now joins Kristy Dobson, Stephanie Ehlers, Molly Mooney, Erica Lear and Sonja Thomas as the only players in school history to eclipse the 1,000-dig mark during their careers.
In game four, South Carolina began to steadily increase their lead after taking a 6-5 advantage over the Lady Vols. USC grabbed a six-point advantage, 17-11, after Scott hit a ball that sailed just beyond the baseline. Trailing 20-11, Patrick called for time and afterwards, a composed Tennessee squad took the floor and cut the Gamecock lead to 20-15 after a service ace by junior defensive specialist Alex Compeau. South Carolina, however, continued to put the pressure on UT and went on to win the fourth game, 30-22, to force a decisive game five.
The Orange and White took an early 3-0 lead in game five after a kill by freshman middle blocker Kristen Andre, but things took a turn for the worse for the Lady Vols from there. The Gamecocks recorded 10 kills and a mere two errors during the third game for the 15-10 South Carolina victory.
Hester finished the match with 23 kills for her third 20-plus kill performance this season. Andre posted 16 kills for the second straight match to tie a career-high. Freshman setter Julie Knytych recorded 56 assists and 16 digs for her team-leading eighth double-double of the year, while freshman libero Morgan Miltner dug 25 balls, tied for the 15th-most in school history for a single game.
UT hosts intrastate rival Middle Tennessee State on Tuesday, Oct. 15, at 7 p.m. in Stokely Athletics Center for its next contest. The Lady Vols will then head to Mississippi next weekend for a Friday, Oct. 18, matchup with Ole Miss at 7 p.m. (CT) in Oxford. From there, Tennessee goes to Starkville to face Mississippi State on Sunday, Oct. 20, at 2 p.m. (CT).