Morgan Miltner had 7 digs on the night.
Nov. 8, 2002
It was a tough outing for the University of Tennessee Lady Vol volleyball squad as they were shutout for the third consecutive match Friday night in Knoxville. The No. 18 South Carolina Gamecocks defeated Tennessee by a 30-14, 30-13, 30-19, count at Stokely Athletics Center. USC improved to 20-4 and 13-1 in the SEC with the win, while Tennessee dropped to 17-9 and 6-7 in league play.
After kicking off the first game with a 2-0 lead courtesy of consecutive kills by freshman setter Julie Knytych and sophomore middle blocker Michelle Piantadosi, the Lady Vols would sputter through the remainder of the frame. With a one-point lead, 5-4, USC freshman defensive specialist Amy Benson served the Gamecocks to a 12-4 advantage after seven unanswered points. South Carolina senior setter Megan Hosp led USC on an 11-0 run later in the game to give the Gamecocks a sizeable 26-9 lead. USC went on to claim the first game, 30-14.
Tennessee kept the second game close early on, tying things up, 5-5, after a kill by freshman middle blocker Kristen Andre. Unfortunately for the Lady Vols, the Gamecocks took over from that point forward. A quick 4-0 spurt by USC produced a 9-5 advantage and with South Carolina leading, 14-8, senior right side hitter Cally Plummer fostered another scoring tear. USC won the next seven points before Plummer hit a drop serve that fell just short of the net. The Gamecocks ended the game with a 30-13 win.
Things did not get much better for the Lady Vols in the third round. With USC clinging to a two-point lead, 9-7, it was time for yet another scoring tear by the Gamecocks. South Carolina won seven straight rallies before Piantadosi stopped the bleeding for the Big Orange. UT cut the USC advantage to six, 19-13, but it was to no avail as South Carolina's lead quickly grew to double digits, 25-15, after a hitting miscue by the Lady Vols. The Gamecocks took the match by virtue of a 30-19 win in the third frame.
As a team, Tennessee hit -.019, its second straight contest with a hitting percentage in red figures. South Carolina hit a dominating .408, the second highest allowed by UT this season. USC sophomore middle blocker Niece Curry paced the Gamecocks' efforts with an astounding .684 hitting clip coming off 13 kills and zero errors on 19 attempts. The Lady Vols are now 0-9 this season when they are out-hit by the opposition.
Leading the way for the Orange and White was senior outside hitter Kelli Scott who registered five kills and eight digs on the night. Fellow senior outside hitter Janelle Hester also recorded five kills and chipped in four digs and one block. Knytych finished the match with 21 helpers, three kills and six digs.
Next up for Tennessee is the Kentucky Wildcats on Sunday, Nov. 10, at 2 p.m. in Stokely Athletics Center. UT defeated UK earlier this season in Lexington, 3-1, and has won the last three meetings with the Wildcats. Kentucky brings a 13-12 overall record and 6-7 SEC mark to the match behind a season-high five-match winning streak.