The Lady Vols have now been ranked for 18 consecutive weeks dating back to 2009
Dec. 21, 2010
By Cameron Harris, Assistant Media Relations Director
KNOXVILLE, Tenn. - After earning the highest national seed in school history and making its sixth NCAA Tournament appearance in the past seven seasons, the University of Tennessee volleyball team earned a year-end ranking of No. 24 in the nation in the final American Volleyball Coaches Association poll released Tuesday afternoon.
The Lady Volunteers have now been ranked for 18 consecutive weeks dating back to 2009, which stands just one week off the school record of 19 set from 1982-84. They were ranked in all 16 polls this year, marking just the second time in program history and first time since 1983 that they have been rated as a top-25 squad for an entire season.
The Big Orange finished the 2010 campaign with a 25-7 overall record, tallying the program's most wins since it went 32-3 in 2004. The Tennessee offense was the best in school history, posting a .291 attack average to break the previous record of .286 set in 1980. That hitting percentage ranked seventh among all 328 NCAA Division I schools, while UT's assists per set (13.55) and kills per set (14.54) averages both stood as the eighth-best in the country.
Individually, the postseason accolades were plentiful in 2010, led by a trio of AVCA All-Americans. Senior Nikki Fowler was the team's most decorated player, claiming AVCA Third-Team All-America accolades to go along with being named the 2010 SEC Co-Scholar Athlete of the Year, an ESPN/CoSIDA Academic All-American and an All-SEC First Team selection for the third straight year.
Earning AVCA Honorable Mention All-American status were junior Kayla Jeter and senior Leah Hinkey. Jeter joined Fowler on the All-SEC First Team, while Hinkey was tabbed to the league's second team. Junior Amanda Friday, meanwhile, was named to the SEC Community Service Team, and first year Lady Vol Kelsey Robinson was chosen as a member of the conference's all-freshman squad.
Tennessee has now finished the season with a top-25 ranking in each of the past two years and sixth time in program history. Prior to last season, the Orange and White last did so in 2005 when it finished sixth after a run to the NCAA Final Four. It also finished 10th in 2004 and 14th in both 1982 and 1983.
For the complete poll, visit: the AVCA web site.