Oct. 29, 2004
LEXINGTON, Ky. -- A 30-25, 30-24, 31-29 sweep at Kentucky on Friday night gave the No. 16 University of Tennessee volleyball team its 11th SEC win, breaking the school record for conference wins, previously set when last year's squad went 10-6 in SEC play. The Lady Vols now have an 11-1 league mark, just behind Florida's 10-0 SEC record entering today's play. UT's overall 21-2 mark is its second-best record after 23 matches in school history (the 1973 squad went 22-1 in its first 23 matches).
In tonight's match, three Lady Vols tallied double-digit totals in kills: junior outside hitter Amy Morris (Michigan City, Ind. / Penn State) with 14, junior middle blocker Kristen Andre (Kelseyville, Calif. / Kelseyville H.S.), who had 13, and freshman outside hitter Yuliya Stoyanova's (Sofia, Bulgaria / 81 SOU Victor Hugo H.S.) 12. Morris also tallied 11 digs to record her 11th double-double of the season. Sophomore libero Cynthia Buggs (Compton, Calif. / Long Beach Poly H.S.) tallied 17 digs to lead UT in that category.
Junior setter Julie Knytych (LaGrange Park, Ill. / Lyons Township H.S.) had 44 assists (14.67/game) for the Orange and White.
In game one, UT extended a 16-14 advantage to 25-18 with a 9-2 run before prevailing, 30-25. Game two saw the two squads stay close throughout, but the Big Orange pulled away, 30-24. Three Lady Vols recorded five kills in the middle game alone: Stoyanova, Andre and Morris.
"In the first two games, we played very solid volleyball, really keeping the
ball in play with good swings and attacking some of the weaknesses in their
blocks," Head Coach Rob Patrick said.
Tennessee had to battle back in the third game, trailing by four late, 25-21, but a 10-4 Big Orange run to end the contest put the game and match away, 31-29.
"In the third game, we made too many unforced errors, which allowed Kentucky to end some of the momentum we had and start some of their own," Patrick said. "I was very pleased with the effort our team put out at the end of the game when they were not playing their best volleyball, refusing to give up and making the commitment to fight through it.
"Annie Sadowski was a huge catalyst for our comeback. She came in when our team was a little unorganized and served very tough balls after not playing at all tonight and made a couple of very key digs which continued some rallies and allowed us to score points."
Next up for the Lady Vols is Appalachian State as UT heads to Boone, N.C., for a 7 p.m. match on Monday. The Mountaineers are 19-6, 10-1 in Southern Conference play and leading the North Division. UT then returns home for its last two regular-season matches at Stokely Athletics Center: facing Arkansas at 7 p.m. on Nov. 5 and LSU at 2 p.m. on Nov. 7.