Nov. 30, 2009
By Cameron Harris, Assistant Media Relations Director
KNOXVILLE, Tenn. - Following a pair of victories over top-15 squads in the span of just five days, the University of Tennessee volleyball team has earned its first national ranking since the 2006 season, coming in at No. 24 in the most recent edition of the American Volleyball Coaches Association Division I Coaches Poll released on Monday afternoon.
The Lady Vols finished the 2009 regular season with an impressive 23-7 record, including a school-record 16 wins in Southeastern Conference action. UT closed out the regular season in impressive fashion, winning 17 of its last 20 contests. The Big Orange finished the season on a four-match winning streak which included eye-opening triumphs over both Florida and Kentucky, ranked 13th and 10th at the time, respectively.
Tennessee was last ranked on Oct. 16, 2006, when it came in at No. 25 in the poll, capping off an 11-week stay in the rankings dating back to the middle of the 2005 campaign. That run came shortly after a 17-week reign among the nation's best, dating from Sept. 13, 2004 through Sept. 12, 2005.
This season, the Orange and White has had quite a bit of success against teams that are either ranked or receiving votes in this week's AVCA poll, going 5-5 in such contests with a pair of wins over the Wildcats and one triumph each over the Gators, Notre Dame and Louisville.
The Lady Vols will open up the postseason portion of their schedule this weekend when they host the first and second rounds of the NCAA Tournament in Thompson-Boling Arena, Dec. 4-5. Following a 5 p.m. meeting between No. 11 and 13th-seeded Minnesota and Louisville on Friday, the Big Orange will square off with Duke at 7 p.m. in a rematch of a 2006 NCAA Tournament First Round contest. The winners of both matches will then advance to a second-round showdown at 7 p.m. on Saturday.