Oct. 25, 2013
COLUMBIA, S.C. -- Led by freshman Raina Hembry's 14 kills and four blocks, Tennessee volleyball swept South Carolina, 3-0 (25-19, 25-18, 25-17), Friday evening at VCF in Columbia, S.C. It is the first conference win for the Lady Vols who improve to 9-13 overall and 1-7 in SEC play. The Gamecocks are now 11-10 with a 3-6 mark in league action.
"I was happy for the team to get this win," head coach Rob Patrick said. "They've been practicing hard and have been very focused, we just haven't seen the results in matches. I was very proud of them to keep hanging in there. We've never dropped our heads this season, even though it hasn't gone the way we have wanted it to. I was really proud of the way we able to come in to a very raucous arena and take a victory from a really good South Carolina team."
The Big Orange hit .318 on the night and held South Carolina to a .072 mark. Hembry hit at a .667 clip, with no errors. Junior Shealyn Kolosky added nine kills while freshman Ashley Mariani added six. Freshman setter Abby Brewer dished out 17 assists, while sophomore Lexi Dempsey recorded her 14th double-double this year handing out 13 helpers with 11 digs. Kolosky and Mariani also tallied three blocks apiece.
In her first game back since Sept. 29, freshman outside hitter Jamie Lea put down five kills and hit .364. She added one ace, as well as two blocks.
"Our middles can really dictate what we do offensively," Patrick said. "Raina played flawlessly, she had zero errors. I'm very proud of how she's done so well in her young career here. All Shealyn does is work her tail off. She's gotten better even in the last month. Up until the last set, she had just one error. She's really matured as a player."
Tennessee got off to a strong start in the opening set, hitting at a .385 clip. The Lady Vols recorded 14 kills, six of which came from Hembry who hit. 750 on eight attempts with no errors. UT held the Gamecocks to just five kills, and -.048 hitting percentage. Behind Hembry's six kills, Kolosky followed with four kills and Mariani added three.
Tennessee pulled away in the second, going on a 5-1 run to lead 16-12 as South Carolina took a timeout hoping to stop UT's momentum. Three of the five points during the run came from Kolosky, who recorded a kill and two blocks during the time. Tennessee capitalized on seven Gamecock errors to claim the second set, 25-18, and take a 2-0 lead in the match.
The third set tied on six occasions before Kolosky put down a kill to send UT on a 4-0 run, taking a 14-11 lead. After a South Carolina timeout, Kolosky sent a hit long, but Tennessee responded with another 5-0 run to go up 19-12 on the Gamecocks. The Orange & White went on to win the third set, 25-17, to complete the sweep.
UT travels to Gainesville to take on the No. 5 Gators for a 1:30 p.m. ET match.