Oct. 20, 2009
By Cameron Harris, Assistant Media Relations Director
KNOXVILLE, Tenn. - The University of Tennessee volleyball team (14-5, 7-2 Southeastern Conference) will finish off the first half of its SEC schedule Wednesday night when it makes the short trek up I-75 to Lexington, Ky., for a 7 p.m. showdown against No. 7 Kentucky (19-1, 9-0) in Memorial Coliseum. The match will be televised nationally on ESPNU as part of its "Campus Connections" initiative with Anne Marie Anderson and Phil Bush on the call.
A pair of Lady Vols made history this past weekend as senior Chloe Goldman broke the school's 18-year old career digs record and junior Nikki Fowler became UT's 17th member in the 1,000 kills club. In a 3-1 win at Alabama on Friday, Goldman posted an incredible 30-dig performance, while Fowler tallied 14 kills and 15 digs for her 23rd career double-double, as they both reached their respective career milestones.
Just two days later, the Tennessee tandem was at it again, leading the Big Orange to a sweep at Mississippi State for the team's fourth consecutive conference victory and eighth win in its last nine matches. Goldman added 17 more digs to her program-best career total and Fowler picked up yet another double-double with 16 kills and 10 scoops.
For her strong performance over the weekend, Goldman took home SEC Defensive Player of the Week honors for the second time this season and sixth time in her career. Already the school leader with a career average of 4.34 digs per set, Goldman moved her career digs total to 1,520 to surpass Kristy Dobson's lifetime total of 1,474 which she set from 1988-91. The 5-6 libero from Monterey, Calif., previously won the conference's defensive player of the week laurels on Oct. 5 after picking up the accolades three times last year and once in 2007. She is the first player to earn the award twice this season.
For the year, Goldman currently tops all players in the SEC with 5.39 digs per set in league contests and an overall average of 4.90 scoops per frame. She also leads Tennessee with a total of 333 digs during her senior campaign. Fowler, meanwhile, paces the Orange and White offensively with 227 kills this season, good for an average of 3.29 per set.
Following Wednesday's contest, the Lady Vols will return to Knoxville where it will host No. 20 LSU at 7 p.m. on Monday, Oct. 26 in Thompson-Boling Arena. From there, Tennessee will hit the road once again, traveling to Ole Miss and Arkansas. UT will take on the Rebels at 7 p.m. CT in Oxford, Miss., on Friday, Oct. 30 before venturing to Fayetteville, Ark., for a 1:30 p.m. CT matchup with the Razorbacks two days later.