Sarah Blum led UT with 11 kills on the night.
Oct. 24, 2003
The University of Tennessee volleyball team dropped a 3-0 (26-30, 22-30, 24-30) decision to the Arkansas Lady Razorbacks on Friday night in front of 1,031 fans at Barnhill Arena. With the loss, the Lady Vols fall to 16-5 this season and 6-3 in the Southeastern Conference, while Arkansas improves to 17-4 (10-0 SEC) with its 12 win in a row.
Freshman Sarah Blum performed well in front of a large contingent of her family members who made the 120-mile trek from her home town of Tulsa, Okla. Blum led the way offensively for UT with 11 kills and four blocks to go along with two service aces and three digs. Fellow middle blocker Kristen Andre also helped bolster UT's offensive output with nine kills behind a .333 hitting rate and three aces. Junior Whitney Gifford added six kills, while redshirt freshman Jennifer Rudy posted five kills on just 12 attempts for a .417 hitting percentage to go along with three blocks.
Defensively, Gifford led Tennessee with nine digs. Also helping bolster UT's back-row play, freshman Cynthia Buggs chipped in eight digs, followed by sophomore Amy Morris with six and sophomore Jasmine Fullove with five.
UT was out-hit for only the fourth time in 21 matches this season and was out-dug on only the sixth occasion. The Lady Vols began the match with a very competitive game one, which featured nine ties and four lead changes before Arkansas finally pushed its lead to four points a claimed a 30-26 decision. The Lady `Backs went on to claim game two, 30-22, before clinching the match with a 30-24 triumph in game three.
Tennessee entered the match tied with Georgia for second place in the SEC Eastern Division, but will now fall a match behind the Bulldogs, who claimed a 3-1 victory over South Carolina on Friday. Arkansas, meanwhile, will remain in a first-place tie overall with No. 3 Florida, as both squads currently hold unblemished conference marks.
The Lady Vols now head south to Baton Rouge, La., where they will take on LSU at 1:30 p.m. CT on Sunday. After that match, the Orange and White will return home for re-matches against Florida and Georgia. Tennessee takes on the Gators on Fri., Oct. 31 at 6:30 p.m. in the first volleyball match ever played in 24,535-seat Thompson-Boling Arena. Preceding that match will be UT's homecoming pep rally, while Hoopapalooza, an event which showcases the men's and women's basketball squads, takes place after the UT-UF contest. The Big Orange will then play its final home match of the season against the Lady Bulldogs at 1 p.m. on Sun., Nov. 2.