Nov. 1, 2013
KNOXVILLE, Tenn. -- With 14 digs in Friday night's match against Auburn, senior libero Ellen Mullins broke into the SEC's top-10 list for all-time career digs with 1,663 career scoops. The Lady Vols fell to the Tigers, 3-0 (25-22, 25-17, 25-14), as AU earned its first win in Knoxville since Oct. 28, 2007. UT falls to 9-15 overall and 1-9 in SEC play while Auburn is now 14-8 on the season with a 5-5 mark in league action.
"It's really special," Mullins said. "I couldn't get to where I am without my teammates and the coaching staff helping me by working at practice every day. It's an honor and I'm really proud of my hard work for getting where I am."
Sophomore Lexi Dempsey recorded her 15th double-double on the year, a mark that leads the conference, as she dished out 20 assists with 11 digs. Freshman Ashley Mariani had a team-high eight kills, with only one error on 16 attacks, hitting at a team-leading .438 on the night. Freshman Jamie Lea added seven kills and senior Whitney Heeres followed with six with three blocks.
The Lady Vols and Auburn battled from the start as the score was tied on 15 occasions with five different lead changes during the first set. It was tied 21-all before Auburn recorded back-to-back kills and Tennessee took a timeout. Mariani put down a kill coming out of the timeout as UT was within one at 23-22, but Auburn's Courtney McDonald and Stephanie Campbell put down back-to-back kills to give the Tigers the victory in set one, 25-22.
Auburn opened the second set scoring the first three points, before Tennessee bounced back to tie it 5-all. The Lady Vols took their first lead of the second stanza at 8-7 thanks to a kill from Heeres, but Auburn responded by going on a five-point run to go up 11-8 as UT took a timeout. The Tigers added three more points out of the timeout before a kill by Wishlow halted their momentum. A kill from Mariani put the Lady Vols within two of AU at 19-17, but Auburn ended the second set on a 6-0 run to take the set, 25-17, and a 2-0 lead in the match.
The Tigers went on to take the third set, 25-14, and a 3-0 win over UT.
Tennessee continues its home stand with Georgia on Sunday for a 2 p.m. match. The game will be televised on CSS/CST.