Box Score (PDF) | Box score
KNOXVILLE, TENN. – The University of Tennessee volleyball team (2-1) opened the Comcast Lady Vol Classic in style, completely dominating Appalachian State (1-4) Friday night at Stokely Athletics Center, 30-17, 30-18, 30-14. The Orange and White outhit the Mountaineers .329 to -.022 and finished ahead of them in every statistical category except total attacks in the victory.
“I am extremely proud of the way our team stayed focused and took this match one point at a time,” UT head coach Rob Patrick said. “We played like it was 28-all the entire match, which can be tough for a young team to do. Our players showed a lot of maturity tonight. This match also provided us with an opportunity to get some of our younger players valuable match experience, which will only better our chances of success in the future.”
Junior Milan Clarke continued her string of strong perfomances to open the season and sophomore Kylie Marshall finished just two off the school’s single-match aces record with a career-best nine. Clarke tallied a match-best 11 kills and 17 attacks in addition to hitting at a .529 clip. The Santa Monica, Calif., native was outdone in the hitting percentage category by a pair of teammates, however, as fellow classmate Mindy Flynn finished with a .667 mark, with six kills and no errors in nine swings, and Marshall posted a .556 average (5-0-9).
Defensively, sophomore Chloe Goldman paced the team with 14 digs, while Flynn tallied a squad-high five blocks. Freshman Nikki Fowler also added four putbacks to the Big Orange effort. As a team, Tennessee finished with 16 service aces on the night, just five off the program record of 21 set against Northwestern on Dec. 4, 1982.
The Lady Vols jumped ahead early in the first game and never looked back. After a Flynn kill moved the score to 13-11 in favor of UT, Marshall approached the service line for what would be the beginning of a memorable run. She proceeded to lead the Orange and White to nine straight points, posting five aces in the process. In all, she served 10 consecutive plays and gave Tennessee an impressive 23-12 advantage. The Mountaineers were unable to overcome the offensive onslaught, ultimately losing the first set 30-17.
“Kylie has a tremendous jump serve and she was able to show it off tonight,” Patrick said. “She was very successful in taking Appalachian State out of its offense and gave us some easy points.”
The second game was more of the same as UT cruised to a 30-18 win. With Appalachian State holding its lone lead of the match at 5-4, the Lady Vols used consecutive Mountaineer hitting errors and back-to-back aces by sophomore Leah Hinkey to regain the advantage for good. From that point on in the set, the Orange and White won 22 of the final 36 points. Clarke led the attack with four kills on five swings, while Goldman held the ASU offense at bay with five digs in the frame.
In the third and final game, Tennessee continued its domination, hitting .500 (15-2-26) and winning 30-14. The outcome was never in question, as the Big Orange opened by claiming eight of the first nine points of the frame, capped off by two more aces from Marshall. Once again it was Clarke showcasing her offensive abilities, putting together a perfect frame with four kills on four swings. Sophomore Farren Powe also accomplished the feat, with two kills on a pair of attacks.
The Orange and White will return to the court Saturday morning at 10 a.m. when it takes on Belmont. UT will also close out the Comcast Lady Vol Classic with a 7 p.m. contest against Indiana tomorrow night.