March 15, 2006
KNOXVILLE, Tenn. - University of Tennessee volleyball head coach Rob Patrick has been named the Vball Magazine Coach of the Year, while senior middle blocker Kristen Andre (Kelseyville, Calif.) was named First Team All-American and senior libero Amy Morris (Michigan City, Mich.) earned mention on the Third Team.
This season, Patrick, Andre, Morris and the Lady Vols advanced to the NCAA National Semifinals for the first time in school history and finished the campaign with a record-high national ranking of sixth. The Lady Vols rallied from 9-6 and 11-7 starts to finish the campaign with a 14-2 mark over their last 16 matches. UT recorded four wins over top-10 teams in 2005, doubling the school all-time total from four to eight. This included a road victory over No. 2 Penn State in the Regional Semifinals.
Patrick has led a resurgence of volleyball on the UT campus since his arrival in 1997. Six of the eight seasons prior to that campaign, UT had recorded losing campaigns, while Patrick's second through ninth seasons have resulted in UT earning greater than .500 records. The 1998-2005 squads have set a school record for most consecutive winning seasons in Tennessee history.
He is currently the winningest coach in Lady Vol history, based on winning percentage, as his .668 winning percentage (191-95) surpasses Bob Bertucci, who had a .666 wining percentage (229-115) from 1979-86.
This season, Andre hit at a .366 clip, good for the second-highest SEC average. Other honors earned by Andre in 2005 included: Second Team AVCA All-American, AVCA All-South Region, First Team All-SEC and SEC Player of the Week (three times). Andre finished her Lady Vol career with the second-highest hitting percentage in school history (.336) and the fifth-highest kill total (1,498).
Morris' digs/game season average of 4.69 destroyed the previous school mark of 3.71, while she finished as the all-time career digs/game leader at 4.01. Her season honors included: AVCA All-Region Honorable Mention and All-SEC Second Team. Morris completed her career with a school-record 506 digs and a total of 1,338 kills, the second-highest total ever posted by a Lady Vol, impressive as the Penn State transfer spent her first season as a Nittany Lion.