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12TH-RANKED LADY VOLS TOP AUBURN, 3-1, IN SEC QUARTERFINALS
Junior Kristen Andre recored her 1,000th career kill.

Junior Kristen Andre recored her 1,000th career kill.

Nov. 19, 2004

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GAINESVILLE, Fla. -- The 12th-ranked University of Tennessee volleyball team topped Auburn, 30-21, 30-23, 23-30, 30-23, in an SEC Quarterfinal match on Friday afternoon. With the win, the Lady Vols improved their record to 27-2 to match the best start in school history; the 1973 squad also started its campaign with a 27-2 mark. The Tigers fell to 11-13 with the loss. The Lady Vols now advance to play Arkansas at 2 p.m. on Saturday.

"It was our first match after a big win last week over Florida and I just thought that we were a little ragged in our focus," Head Coach Rob Patrick said. "I was pleased with our hitting; we didn't make many errors hitting-wise. I was also fairly pleased with our serving, but we are really a ball-control team and we didn't really control the ball when it got past the blocker on serve receive."

Junior middle blocker Kristen Andre (Kelseyville, Calif. / Kelseyville H.S.) recorded her 1,000th career kill in game three. For the match, she hit .560 on 15-1-25 hitting. Also contributing double-digit totals in kills were senior outside hitter Michelle Piantadosi (Boca Raton, Fla. / Olympic Heights H.S.) and junior outside hitter Amy Morris (Michigan City, Ind. / Penn State), who had 13 each. Piantadosi's .400 hitting percentage (13-1-30) was the second-highest of the match.

Junior setter Julie Knytych (LaGrange Park, Ill. / Lyons Township H.S.) contributed 47 assists to the victory.

Sophomore middle blocker Sarah Blum (Tulsa, Okla. / Bishop Kelley H.S.) tallied 10 blocks to tie for the second-highest total by a Lady Vol this season. Blum previously tied the school record with 14 blocks in a 3-1 victory over then-No. 24 Purdue on Sept. 11. Freshman outside hitter Yuliya Stoyanova (Sofia, Bulgaria / 81 SOU Victor Hugo H.S.) had six blocks, while Morris recorded five. As a team, the Lady Vols had 14 blocks, the fourth straight match and 11th this season that UT has tallied a double-digit total in put-backs.

 

 

In the first game today, UT scored the first three points and never relinquished its lead, building it to as high as 10 points on five occasions before prevailing, 30-21.

The second game was much closer as neither team could muster greater than a two-point advantage until a 5-0 Big Orange run gave UT a 14-10 lead. Tennessee extended its lead to five on six occasions before a late 4-0 run gave the Orange and White a 29-21 lead before UT won, 30-23. Andre hit 1.000 in the game (6-0-6).

Auburn did not want their SEC season to end in the third game and played like it, controlling the action from the outset. After UT took a 1-0 lead, they would not secure the lead again as the Tigers took a 6-2 lead. The Big Orange did tie the game twice, at 13 and 14, but a 6-2 Tiger run gave Auburn a little breathing room before putting away the Lady Vols, 30-23.

Even though Auburn scored the first point of the fourth game, the Orange and White immediately took control with a 5-0 run and 5-1 advantage before extending the lead to 13-5. The Tigers battled back to 18-15, but a 9-3 Lady Vol run gave UT a 27-17 advantage before UT put Auburn away, 30-23. The match was Auburn's first in the SEC Tournament since a 3-1 loss to Tennessee in the 1999 tourney.

The Lady Vols next play at 2 p.m. on Saturday against Arkansas. Tennessee last won an SEC Semifinal in 1988, when UT topped Florida, 3-0. The Lady Vols last won an SEC Tournament championship in 1984, while also prevailing in 1982 and 1981.

SEC Tournament Quarterfinals - Friday
No. 2 TennesseevsNo. 7 AuburnUT, 3-1
No. 3 ArkansasvsNo. 6 LSUAR, 3-2
No. 4 AlabamavsNo. 5 GeorgiaUGA, 3-2
No. 1 FloridavsNo. 8 South CarolinaUF, 3-0.
SEC Tournament Semifinals - Saturday
TennesseevsArkansas2 p.m.
GeorgiavsFlorida4 p.m.
SEC Tournament Final - Sunday
Championship3 p.m.
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