Oct. 13, 2013
KNOXVILLE, Tenn. -- The Tennessee volleyball team fell to Arkansas in a tough four-set match (25-13, 25-27, 20-25, 22-25) Sunday afternoon in UT's annual "Dig for the Cure" match. Tennessee drops to 8-11 overall and 0-5 in SEC play while Arkansas improves to 12-6 overall with a 5-2 mark in league action.
"We came out of the box really strong today," head coach Rob Patrick. "That's something we've been talking about, but hasn't really happened. We made it a point to be focused at the beginning of the match, and I thought we did a good job of that."
Senior Whitney Heeres led the team with 12 kills, while junior Shealyn Kolosky tied a persona-best with 11 kills, hitting a team-best .455. Freshman Ashley Mariani added nine kills, while junior Carly Wishlow put down eight.
Sophomore Lexi Dempsey dished out 40 assists, her seventh game this year handing out 40 or more helpers. Senior libero Ellen Mullins led Tennessee on the defensive side, scooping up 32 digs. Freshman Bridgette Villano tallied 13 digs.
"I thought Lexi overall set a really nice game," Patrick said. "She moved the ball around and was really accurate, getting the ball to our middle hitters. We had Ellen with 32 digs who kept us organized in the back with her ball control."
The two teams battled back in forth to open the match, tying on five occasions before being knotted up at 8-all. Tennessee picked up momentum going on a five-point run to go up 13-8 on the Razorbacks, including an ace from Dempsey, two kills from Wishlow and one put down from Mariani. UT would continue to hold the lead, by as many as eight points, before finishing off the set on an 8-3 run. The Lady Vols won the set 25-13.
The Razorbacks rallied during the second set, evening the match at one set apiece with a 27-25 victory in game two.
With the score tied at 16-all in the third stanza, Arkansas capped on a four-point run to take the lead. The Razorbacks would go on to claim the third set, 25-20, and a 2-1 advantage in the match.
Tennessee jumped to an 8-4 lead in the fourth set, capitalizing on Razorback errors. Arkansas put together a five-point surge to overtake the lead and go up 13-10 as the Lady Vols took a timeout. The Razorbacks ended the match 25-22 and defeated UT, 3-1.
Prior to the match, UT held a silent auction with proceeds benefitting the Knoxville chapter of the Susan G. Komen foundation. It raised more than $1,800.
The Big Orange hits the road as the Lady Vols face Mississippi on Friday in Oxford, Miss., for a 7 p.m. ET contest and follow with a 1:30 p.m. ET match at Mississippi State.