Oct. 27, 2013
GAINESVILLE, Fla. -- Tennessee dropped a tough three-set match (25-13, 25-21, 25-15) at No. 5/6 Florida Sunday afternoon at the O'Connell Center in Gainesville, Fla. UT is now 9-14 overall and 1-8 in SEC play. Florida improves to 20-2 with a 9-1 mark in league action.
"I was pleased with how hard we played," head coach Rob Patrick said. "We had a great opportunity to play against a top-five team in the country, and we can take some positives out of this match. I thought our players really fought the good fight. We've been doing that all season. They worked hard on every point and never gave up."
Senior Whitney Heeres paced the Lady Vols with eight kills while junior Shealyn Kolosky added seven. Freshman Jamie Lea followed with six and had a team-leading three blocks. Senior libero Ellen Mullins scooped up 17 digs while sophomore setter Lexi Dempsey dished out 16 helpers.
"Our middles did a great job," Patrick said. "I thought they did a good job against Florida hitters. We held their two best hitters, Alex Holston and Chloe Mann, who are top 10 in the nation, well below their hitting percentages. We were very organized defensively."
After dropping the first set, 25-13, Tennessee opened second set by going on a 6-1 run, capitalizing on three Florida errors, two UT kills and ace from Mullins. The Lady Vols would lead by as many as seven before the Gators responded with a 6-0 run to pull within one, 12-11. The Big Orange controlled much of the set until UF claimed its first lead of the game at 20-19 causing Tennessee to call a timeout. Lea fired a kill to knot it up 20-all coming out of the timeout, with Kolosky following with one of her own to take back the lead, 21-20. But UF would respond with a 5-0 run to end the second set, 25-21, and take a 2-0 advantage in the match.
Florida won the third set, 25-15, and took the match, 3-0.
Tennessee returns to Knoxville for a three-game homestead, facing Auburn on Nov. 1 in a 7 p.m. ET match and an SEC rematch against Georgia on Sunday, Nov. 3, at 1:30 p.m. ET. The contest against the Bulldogs will be televised on CSS/CST.