Michelle Piantadosi posted a season-high 21 kills today.
Oct. 26, 2003
BATON ROUGE, La.
The University of Tennessee volleyball team fell to the Louisiana State Tigers, 3-1 (33-35, 30-21, 28-30, 23-30), on Sunday afternoon at the Pete Maravich Assembly Center. With the loss, the Lady Vols' record moves to 16-6 this season and 6-4 in the Southeastern Conference, while LSU improves to 10-13 overall and 5-5 in the SEC.
Junior outside hitter Michelle Piantadosi posted a season-high 21 kills behind a .353 hitting percentage for the Big Orange, while also recording three blocks. Sophomore OH Amy Morris also had a strong offensive output, tallying 19 kills to go along with 14 digs and four blocks. Sophomore setter Julie Knytych, meanwhile, handed out 53 assists along with 14 digs, five kills and five blocks.
In addition to the 14 digs each by Morris and Knytych, freshman Cynthia Buggs registered 13 digs as classmate Ann Mullins chipped in 11 more. Sophomore middle blocker Heather Harrington had a strong presence at the net for UT, recording a match and career-high nine blocks.
The match started off with an extremely competitive game one in which neither team was able to seize an advantage of more than three points. UT hit at a .273 clip and registered four blocks, compared to .276 hitting and four blocks by LSU, as the Tigers were able to outlast Tennessee, 33-35. Morris led the Lady Vols with seven kills, while Piantadosi and sophomore Kristen Andre added six put-aways each.
Tennessee's defense stepped up in game two, as the Lady Vols held LSU to .114 hitting, while attacking at a .282 clip themselves. The game was, again, back and forth early until UT went on a three-point run to build a 21-16 lead. Piantadosi continued to have a hot hand for UT, posting six kills, while Mullins record seven digs in game two, helping the Orange to a 30-21 triumph.
Game three was similar to the first game in that neither team led by more than three points. Tennessee's largest lead came at 15-12, while LSU's greatest advantage came at 23-20. The Lady Vols out-blocked the Tigers four to one, thanks to three stuffs by Harrington, but hit just .089, compared to .170 by LSU. Piantadosi again led UT with five kills, while Buggs recorded five digs.
The fourth game was a reversal of game two, as LSU began to pull away late and clinched the match with a 30-23 win. The Tigers out-hit UT .261 to .167 and posted four blocks. Morris and Piantadosi registered four kills apiece in the final stanza.
The Orange and White will now return home to host re-matches against Florida and Georgia, squads which both defeated UT earlier in the season. Tennessee takes on the Gators on Fri., Oct. 31 at 6:30 p.m. in what will be 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.