HOUSTON, Texas – The LSU volleyball team secured its third non-conference tournament title and wrapped up its eight-match, three-weekend road trip with an efficient 3-1 victory over Houston [25-17, 22-25, 25-19, 25-19] to open day two of the Flo Hyman Collegiate Cup Saturday as 1,520 fans gathered at the Athletics/Alumni Center.
LSU (10-1) collected its 10th win on the season and ended a three-match losing streak to Houston (7-6) which dated back to 1992. The 10-1 start for the Tigers is the program’s best since a 13-0 run by the 2010 squad.
“Really and truly, our team should understand that a 10-1 start is a pretty nice accomplishment for this young team,” head coach Fran Flory said. “I think our international trip helped us play on the road, and we’re still reaping the benefits from that trip. This phase of our season is over, and we start phase two on Monday. Our team should start SEC play with a lot of confidence next week.”
LSU compiled 54 kills and a .277 hitting percentage which included plus .300 attacking efforts during sets one and four. Malorie Pardo turned in a solid all-around effort with 45 assists, 15 digs and five blocks. It was her third double-double of the weekend, and the five blocks equaled a career-high. For her efforts, Pardo was named the tournament’s MVP.
“This was a great finish to the tournament schedule for our team,” Pardo said. “We’ve had a long three weeks on the road, but I’m very happy that our team was able to pull together and fight as a unit. Each win we can get is important and count as much as the last one. I’m really proud of our team.”
Briana Holman reached double figure kills for the ninth straight match. She smacked a team-leading 17 kills on a .467 hitting clip and tacked on seven blocks. Katie Lindelow knocked 10 kills, 10 digs and notched another perfect passer performance over her 22 reception attempts.
Haley Smith registered 14 digs and earned an all-tournament nod. It was Smith’s seventh consecutive outing with 10 or more digs at the libero position.
Madi Mahaffey provided eight kills and five blocks, while Cati Leak popped seven kills to go along with six digs over her three sets of action. In two sets, Emily Ehrle tallied four kills, three blocks and two blocks.
Houston’s offense was led by Sarita Mikals and Cortney Warren, who cranked 17 kills apiece. Destiny Patterson stretched out for a match-leading 21 digs for the Cougars.
The first set featured 10 ties and six early lead changes. Trailing 11-10, LSU ripped off nine of the next 12 points to seize the momentum. The Tigers received four consecutive kills from Holman, Katarina Raicevic, Mahaffey and Lindelow to go ahead 15-12. Houston responded with back-to-back points of its own to get back to within 15-14, but LSU fired back with a two blocks involving Pardo coupled with a Pardo second-contact kill. The Tigers closed out the 25-17 victory with their seventh stuff of the frame courtesy of Holman and Pardo.
“I thought our players came with a little bit of a different focus, and it helped them get off to a better start during today’s match,” Flory said. “Part of the slow starts has been due to using different lineups so I’ll absorb part of the responsibility. I have a lot of trust and confidence in our players. I think everyone should seize the opportunity and run with it. The disappointing thing was we didn’t sustain it into set two. We got Houston’s best shot and couldn’t break their serve-receive early.”
Houston regrouped in set two and racked up 20 kills on a match-best .412 hitting percentage. All square at 19-19, the Cougars put together a 4-1 minispurt aided by three Warren kills to go up 23-20. Houston came away with a 25-22 win to even the match at a set apiece. In total, Warren hammered eight kills during the frame.
Out of the locker room, LSU turned up its defensive intensity and forced the Cougars into nine hitting miscues during the third set. Knotted at 8-8, Lindelow buried back-to-back kills, added a double stuff with Holman and Katie Dunlap slapped an ace to give LSU a 12-8 lead. Houston sliced the deficit down to two points on three occasions, the latest at 15-13. Leak ripped consecutive spikes, and the Tigers capped the 25-19 win on a Houston hitting error.
“We adjusted our blockers between sets two and three,” Flory said. “They were being a step lazy and not looking at approach angles to line up properly. It was hard for them to take that extra step after two hard five-set matches yesterday. You have to credit Houston’s hitters too, they hit some great shots and adjusted to our blocking scheme. Credit our kids for adapting, our pin blockers did a good job of channeling balls and creating chances for our middles to turn the momentum of the match.”
LSU led wire-to-wire in set four and raced out to a commanding 17-7 advantage. The Tigers rode Holman to nine kills on 10 errorless swings and picked up a 25-19 victory. LSU also converted on 15-of-19 in the sideout department.
“Dominate was our word today,” Pardo said. “We wanted to dominate the rally and put the ball on the floor with our first swing. Not so much dominate the opposing side, we wanted to dominate our side. My connection with Bri keeps getting better and better each week. I’m proud of her because she works so hard in practice. I know where she wants the ball, and she makes the right decisions. It’s easy to set her now, that’s a big key to our offense. She’s doing a great job using all of her shots.”
LSU turns its attention to SEC play and returns home Friday to meet Georgia. First serve is scheduled for 7 p.m. from the Maravich Center. Live video and live stats will be available for Geaux Zone subscribers at www.LSUsports.net/live.
Admission to all 2013 home matches is free compliments of the Advocate's "Geaux Free" program. Fans are encouraged to wear gold during the Georgia match to support the Tigers as part of the program’s annual “Gold Match”, the first 500 fans will receive a “Gold Digger” tank top.
Friday’s match marks the first of six “Attend & Win” matches where one fan will take home a 32-inch television. To be eligible for the “Attend & Win” prizes, fans must stay through the entire match.
The “Friday Night Meal Deal” returns as LSU concessions will provide a special menu for only $7 per meal beginning at 6 p.m. inside the Courtside Club located at the Northwest entrance. To reserve a “Meal Deal” in advance, email email@example.com with the quantity of meals and names. The Georgia match menu consists of Chicken Florentine with angel hair pasta and a vegetable medley.
Desiree Elliott will continue LSU’s legacy of serving the community. She is teaming up with St. Vincent de Paul and Bishop Ott Shelter Program for her season-long senior class philanthropy project. The Tigers will be collecting items ranging from children’s clothes and shoes along with baby supplies and toys at every home match as part of the “Geaux Kids” initiative. Fans will be able to donate items inside the “Geaux Kids” boxes located at the Tiger Fan Zone.
For all of the latest news and information on Tiger volleyball, visit www.lsusports.net/volleyball. Fans can also follow the program on its social media outlets at www.Facebook.com/lsuvolleyball along with @lsuvolleyball and @lsucoachfran on Twitter and @lsuvb on Instagram.
Bulldogs Cap Nonconference Slate With Wins Against UAB And Arkansas State
NASHVILLE, Tenn. – Needing two strong wins to finish off the nonconference slate, the Mississippi State volleyball team (9-5) beat UAB (11-4) and Arkansas State (4-10) to conclude the Bruin Classic.
The nine nonconference wins are the most in the five-year Jenny Hazelwood era.
“I couldn’t be more proud of this team today,” Hazelwood said. “After struggling last night, we had to come out today and play well. UAB is a very good club and to be able to grind out a win in five sets like we did can go a long way for our young team. On top of that, we had the ability to remain disciplined and focused tonight and beat Arkansas State.”
Freshman Kimmy Gardiner turned in yet another career day as she notched a career-high 27 kills against UAB and followed it up with 18 against ASU. She also had 13 digs and six blocks on the day.
In the first match of the day, the Bulldogs and Blazers traded each of the first two sets with UAB claiming a 25-20 victory in the first and MSU rebounding 25-23 in the second.
After notching eight kills in the second set, Gardiner posted seven more in the third. State led much of the set but UAB managed to pull ahead at 16-15. A 10-3 MSU run capped off by three straight kills from Gardiner ended the set at 25-19 and put the Bulldogs ahead 2-1 in the match.
The Blazers wouldn’t go away quietly, though, as they claimed the fourth set 25-20 to force a deciding fifth game. State wasted no time taking a 4-1 lead in the final stanza behind a pair of Gardiner kills. After UAB tied the match at nine, the Bulldogs rattled off five straight points and clinched the match with a 15-12 victory.
Freshman Suzanne Horner pick up a career-best 56 assists, while Roxanne McVey and Gabby Litwin tacked on 26 and 20 digs, respectively.
In the second match of the afternoon, the Redwolves jumped up to a 7-1 lead out of the gate but it was the last they would see of any momentum. After a Hazelwood timeout, a kill from Gardiner sent the Bulldogs on a 9-2 run that gave them a lead they wouldn’t relinquish. MSU claimed the first set 25-20.
State used a 7-0 run ignited by Scott to break an eight-all tie in the second set and the Bulldogs never let up claiming the stanza 25-16. The third set was sung to the opposite tune as Arkansas State jumped out to a 7-3 lead that MSU could never rebound from. ASU won the set 25-21.
Hazelwood’s squad never gave the Redwolves a chance in the fourth set by sprinting out to a 10-3 lead and taking them out of the match. Gardiner and Chelsea Duhs posted four kills each, while Alex Warren notched four of her seven blocks.
McVey added 14 more digs and Horner notched her third double-double of the season with 50 assists and 15 digs.
MSU is set to open SEC play Friday, Sept. 27, at 7 p.m. against No. 4 Florida followed by a 1 p.m. matchup against Arkansas on Sunday, Sept. 29.
Georgia Gets Pair of Wins at Kansas Invitational
LAWRENCE, Kan. – Georgia improved to 10-2 on the year when it earned a pair of wins over the North Dakota State Bison (0-12) and the Notre Dame Fighting Irish (6-4) on Saturday, Sept. 21 in the Kansas Invitational in Lawrence, Kan. Georgia handed North Dakota State a 3-0 (25-14, 25-20, 25-13) shutout loss before beating Notre Dame 3-1 (25-18, 25-14, 17-25, 25-23) in the nightcap.
Georgia went 2-1 in the tournament, falling to host Kansas before taking the next two matches. It is the first 10-2 start to a season since 2007.
Georgia 3, North Dakota State 0
In Georgia’s 3-0 win over the Bison, Lauren Teknipp recorded her second double-digit kill performance in as many matches, finishing with a team-best 12 kills. She committed just two errors to hit at a .417 clip. Brittany Northcutt added eight kills, while Stacey Smith finished with six. Kaylee Kehoe recorded 19 assists to lead the team. Maggie Baumert recorded her first double-double of the season, finishing with 13 assists and 13 digs. Allison Summers led the match with 18 digs. Jasmine Eatmon, Desiree McCray, Elena Perri and Teknipp each finished with three blocks, including two solo stops by Eatmon.
Georgia cruised to a 6-3 lead in the first set. Georgia maintained the lead and recorded three-straight points to increase its lead to 12-5. North Dakota State cut the lead to three at 16-13 before a Smith kill from Kehoe ignited an 8-0 Georgia run. With Baumert at the service line, Georgia was able to reach set point at 24-13. A Le’au kill sealed the 25-14.
The Bison opened the second set by scoring 10 of the first 16 points to take a 10-6 lead. A Buckendahl kill sparked a five-point run that gave Georgia an 11-10 lead. The score tied three teams before the Bulldogs strung together three-points to take a 16-13 lead. A Georgia error made it a two-point set at 19-17, but Georgia scored the next five points that made it a 24-17 set. McCray sealed the 25-20 set two win with a kill.
North Dakota State kept the third set close over the opening points before a Smith kill sparked a 3-0 run that put Georgia up 6-4. After North Dakota State made it a one-point set, Georgia put the set away by scoring the next 12 points that gave them a 17-6 lead. During the run, Teknipp recorded three kills, while Northcutt added two and Buckendahl registered an ace. Megan Spencer scored three points for the Bulldogs, allowing them to take a 21-10 lead. Teknipp gave Georgia match point with a kill from Baumert before Kehoe put the set and the match away with a service ace.
Georgia 3, Notre Dame 1
Three Bulldogs had double-digit kill performances in Georgia’s 3-1 win over Notre Dame.
Smith led the way with 13 kill and hit .550 for the match to lead the Bulldogs offensively. Eatmon followed with 11 kills and a .400 attack percentage. Northcutt and Perri each finished with 10 kills. Kehoe paced the offense with 28 assists. Perri picked up seven blocks that helped Georgia out block the Irish 12-5. For the second match in a row, Summers led all players with 18 digs.
The teams kept the first set close in the opening possessions, as the score tied three times before an Irish service error allowed Georgia to score three-straight points that gave the Bulldogs a 9-5 lead. With the Bulldogs holding an 11-8 lead, the teams traded points over the next five possessions resulting in a 13-11 Bulldog lead. Notre Dame kept itself in the set before kills by Smith and Kehoe and a Perri and Le’au block put Georgia up 21-17. The Bulldogs went on to score four of the final five points, including the set-winner on kill by Eatmon that a sealed the 25-18 win.
The Bulldogs stormed out to a 10-4 lead in the second set, taking advantage of several Irish errors and using kills by Smith, Perri, Eatmon and Teknipp. Georgia scored eight of the following 10 points to extend its lead to 18-6. Notre Dame fought to keep itself in the game, but the Bulldogs dominated the remainder of the set before Teknipp put it away by a score of 25-14 and gave Georgia a 2-0 match lead.
The score knotted twice before the Bulldogs were able to take a 5-3 lead. With the score tied at 10, the Irish put together four-straight points to take a 14-10 lead. Georgia fought back to within one at 15-14 before consecutive Irish points gave Notre Dame a 17-14 lead. Following a service error that made it a 17-15 set, Notre Dame scored eight of the final 10 points to take a 25-17 win in set two and cut Georgia’s overall lead to 2-1.
Notre Dame eased out to a 6-3 lead in the fourth set before the Bulldogs registered back-to-back kills to cut the lead to one at 6-5. The Irish kept a slight edge over the next few possessions until consecutive Georgia points tied the set at 10. With the Irish holding an 11-10 lead, Georgia scored the next four points to take a 14-11 lead. After three-straight Georgia points, Notre Dame was forced to take a timeout with the Bulldogs holding a 19-15 lead. The Irish fought back from a 23-19 deficit to tie the set at 23, forcing Georgia to use its final timeout. Following the break, Georgia scored the next two points to take the fourth set 25-23 and win the match 3-1.
Georgia begins Southeastern Conference play next weekend when it travels to Baton Rouge, La., to face the LSU Tigers at 8 p.m., on Friday, Sept. 27. The Bulldogs continue their five-game road trip the following Sunday, Sept. 29, when they take on Texas A&M in College Station, Texas at 2 p.m.
Mann Becomes New Career Hitting Percentage Leader as No. 4 Gator Volleyball Sweeps Milwaukee
MILWAUKEE, Wisc. – Senior middle blocker Chloe Mann had a night for the history books, as she took over Florida’s career hitting percentage record in Saturday’s 3-0 (25-10, 25-15, 25-10) sweep of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. The reigning SEC Player of the Year and a 2012 AVCA First Team All-American hit an errorless .583 against Milwaukee with seven kills on the night.
Mann set the record with her first swing of the night, having to register at least 1,200 attempts for her career to be eligible for the all-time list. The old record was held for 13 years by Heather Wright (1997-2000), who hit .424 during her years in the Orange and Blue. Mann is currently hitting .465 for her career. Saturday was her fourth match of the season where she hit .500 or better and the second straight.
· Sophomore outside hitter Gabby Mallette turned in 15 points, tying her career high, with 12 kills and five blocks.
· Redshirt sophomore outside hitter Noami Santos-Lamb tallied a career-high 10 kills against the Panthers, racking up 11 points on the night.
· Junior libero Taylor Unroe scooped 13 digs against Milwaukee, her 22nd straight match with double-digit digs. The tally dates back to her 20-dig match against Tennessee on Nov. 4, 2012.
· Senior setter Taylor Brauneis led the Gators to their eighth match of the season above .300, dishing out 32 assists and leading Florida to a .396 hitting percentage. In the first stanza, Florida hit .560 with just two errors.
· Florida is undefeated (11-0) when capturing the first set in 2013.
· Saturday night was Florida’s eighth sweep of 2013.
Missouri Volleyball Wins Mizzou Classic, Improves to 15-0
COLUMBIA, Mo. – In its final tune-up before Southeastern Conference play, the Mizzou volleyball program improved to 15-0 while winning the Mizzou Classic with wins over SEMO and Middle Tennessee on Saturday (Sept. 21) at the Hearnes Center. The Tigers swept SEMO, 3-0 (25-13, 25-14, 25-13), while hitting a school-record .606 early in the day and then came back to sweep Middle Tennessee, 3-0 (25-22, 25-13, 27-25), in the championship match. Seniors Molly Kreklow (Delano, Minn.) and Lisa Henning (Blue Springs, Mo.) were named Co-Most Valuable Players of the Tournament while Whitney Little (Keller, Texas) and Carly Kan (Honolulu, Hawaii) were named to the All-Tournament team.
“Obviously I am happy with how we have played so far this season,” head coach Wayne Kreklow said as his Tigers are off to the program’s best start since 1982. “That match against Middle Tennessee was an adventure and is the type of match that we can expect in SEC play. They were big and athletic and they posed a lot of matchup issues. We lost our composure late in the third set, but I was pleased with how we came back to win that one. We have a lot of things we still need to improve on, but it was a successful non-conference season and I think we are ready for SEC play.”
In all, Mizzou hit .457 on the weekend and averaged 14.75 kills per set, raising its national-best hitting percentage to .393 through 15 matches. Henning, a two-time All-American, played up to that billing all weekend as she averaged 4.33 kills per set on .512 hitting while pulling in 20 digs with nine blocks and three aces. Kreklow was outstanding as usual, averaging 12.33 assists per set while quarterbacking an offense that hit .457 over the four matches on the weekend. Little may have put together her best weekend of the season, hitting .653 with 32 kills and 21 total blocks (four solo, 17 assists) as she averaged 1.75 per frame. She raised her national-best hitting percentage to .592 over the weekend. Kan was also sensational all weekend with 31 kills on .373 hitting with 20 digs, also landing on the All-Tournament team as well.
In the first match of the day against SEMO, the Tigers set the tone early as they did not commit an attack error on their first 32 attempts of the match and wound up tallying 47 kills on just 71 attacks with only four errors, good for a school-record .606 attack percentage. The previous best mark was .595 against Morgan State in 2000. Mizzou hit an eye-popping .727 in the first set and .652 in the third. Henning paced the Tigers in the first match with 13 kills on just 19 attacks, matching her career-best hitting percentage of .632, which she happened to set Friday against Samford. Little was also sensational against SEMO with 10 kills on just 11 attacks without an error while pitching in five blocks (two solo, three assists). Kan had eight kills on .500 hitting while Kreklow assisted on 40 of Mizzou’s 47 kills. Junior libero Sarah Meister (San Diego, Calif.) led Mizzou with 14 digs in the sweep of SEMO.
In the nightcap against Middle Tennessee, Mizzou again hit very well with a .384 clip as it has now hit above .380 in 10 of 15 matches this season. Henning and Kan led Mizzou in the match with 15 kills apiece on .367 and .467 hitting, respectively. Little pitched in seven kills on 15 errorless attacks as she did not commit an error all weekend in four matches. Heading into the weekend, Little had the fewest errors in the nation at just six as she will remain in that spot this week. She also had six blocks in the match, including a match-clincher in the third set on a solo stuff to close out the third set and seal the match with a 27-25 set win.
The Tigers were very good defensively again against Middle Tennessee as three Tigers finished with double-digit dig totals, led by 13 from Kreklow as she tallied a double-double with her 37 assists. Meister pulled in 12 digs and Henning pitched in 10 more, good for her third double-double of the season.
Mizzou opens SEC play next Friday (Sept. 27) against South Carolina at the Hearnes Center. For all the latest on Mizzou volleyball, stay tuned to MUTigers.com and follow the team on twitter @MizzouVB.
Season-Best Output for Razorbacks In Sweep Of Saint Louis
FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. – The University of Arkansas volleyball team closed out its non-conference schedule with a straight-set win (25-18, 25-22, 25-10) over Saint Louis on Saturday night at Barnhill Arena. The Razorbacks registered a season-high .378 hitting percentage in the win and had five players with at least six kills, paced by 10 kills from freshman Barbara Dapic. Arkansas improves to 7-4 on the season with Saturday’s win over the Billikens.
“We knew it was an important match for us,” head coach Robert Pulliza said. “It was our last non-conference opponent and we wanted to make sure we were the team we wanted to be going into SEC play. We wanted to see where we were as a team and we committed to doing things the right way.”
For their performance during the Razorback Invitational, freshman Breana Jones and sophomore Summer Morgan were named to the All-Tournament Team. They combined for 14 kills and seven total blocks Saturday against Saint Louis.
During Saturday’s match, senior libero Emily Helm cracked the top 20 of the program’s career digs list with her third dig of the match. She finished the match with a team-high 12 digs and currently has 646 digs in her Arkansas career which is good for 19th place on the all-time list.
Arkansas won the first four points of the match, including a pair of blocks from Jones. Later in the set, the Razorbacks turned a one-point advantage into an 18-14 lead after consecutive kills from Morgan and junior Meredith Hays. Sophomore Monica Bollinger served up an ace on set point to clinch the opener, 25-18. The Razorbacks held Saint Louis (4-9) to a .067 hitting percentage in the first set.
With the score tied at 19-all in the second set, Arkansas won six of the final nine points—and three of the last four—to win the game and take a 2-0 match lead. During the final push, senior Raymariely Santos tallied a pair of kills including the game winner. She had five kills in the set and was one of six Razorbacks with at least two kills in the game.
The Razorbacks closed out the match with its most efficient set of the weekend, posting a .435 hitting percentage in the third set to close out Saint Louis. Arkansas won nine of the first 11 points, forcing Saint Louis to burn both of its timeout early in the set. The winning score of 25-10 is the team’s most lopsided set score of the season.
Saturday’s match marked the end of the Razorbacks’ non-conference schedule. Arkansas begins SEC play next weekend with a road trip to Ole Miss and Mississippi State. The team’s conference home opener is set for Oct. 2, a midweek matchup with Missouri that will be televised by ESPNU as part of the network’s Wednesday Night Volleyball package.
A&M Falls to No. 22 Colorado State
FORT COLLINS, Colo. – No. 22 Colorado State improved to 10-0, including 6-0 in home matches, after defeating Texas A&M, 25-11, 25-16, 25-20 tonight in front of 3,563 at Moby Arena.
Texas A&M falls to 7-3, with all three losses coming against ranked opponents.
The Aggies, who entered the match having won the first set in each of their first nine matches, fell behind early in the opening set as they struggled with passing and were unable to get in sync. CSU would score five unanswered points to take a 6-1 lead, forcing A&M to quickly call its first timeout. The Rams continued to extend their lead, later using a 6-0 run to build a 14-3 advantage. A&M, which was outhit .308 to -.031, never got closer than nine points, and the Rams used a 4-1 run to close out the 25-11 win.
There were five ties and three lead changes early in the second set. A&M opened by scoring the first three points as redshirt freshman middle blocker Jazzmin Babers had a kill and two blocks. The Rams, however, countered with a 5-0 run to take the lead. Babers and sophomore outside hitter Angela Lowak later posted back-to-back kills, and CSU followed with an attack into the antenna that returned the lead to A&M, 8-7.
CSU answered with consecutive kills to go up 9-8. A kill by Aggie freshman opposite hitter Kaysie Shebeneck tied the score at 9-9 before the Rams began to pull away. CSU, holding a narrow 14-13 edge, reeled off four straight points to build an 18-13 lead. A&M freshman outside hitter Emily Hardesty ended the run with a kill, but the Rams, who outhit A&M .317 to .067 in the frame, connected on three kills go up, 21-14.
The run ended as the Rams attacked an A&M overpass but sailed it wide. Aggie sophomore middle blocker Shelby Sullivan followed with a kill to put A&M within 21-16 before CSU closed out the set on a 4-0 run to take a 2-0 lead in the match.
There were 10 ties and four lead changes in the third set as the teams battled back and forth. Lowak and Shebeneck had back-to-back kills that put the Aggies up 6-5. The Rams twice tied the score before A&M reeled off four consecutive points to build its largest lead of the match at 13-9. CSU fought back, tying the score four times before a kill by Samantha Peters put the Rams up, 20-19, giving them their first lead since 5-4.
A&M, which was outhit .216 to .135 in the set, had some miscommunication on defense that allowed the Rams to go up, 21-19, but Sullivan posted her sixth kill of the match to put the Aggies within 21-20. It would be the last point A&M would score as two kills by the Rams and consecutive attack errors by A&M closed out the match.
A&M was held to season lows in both kills (28) and hitting percentage (.061), while CSU’s .279 hitting percentage was the highest by an A&M opponent this season. CSU outblocked A&M, 11.5 to 5.0.
Sullivan and Lowak tied for team-high honors in kills with six. Allie Sawatzky led the Aggies in digs with 11 and Babers had a team-high five blocks.
Michelle Lawrence led the Rams with nine kills while hitting at a .444 clip, and Peters had a match-high six blocks.
A&M concludes its non-conference season Sunday at Northern Colorado. Match time is at 8 p.m. (7 p.m. MT) at Butler-Hancock Sports Pavilion in Greeley, Colo. Live scoring of the match will be available at AggieAthletics.com
A&M opens Southeastern Conference play at Reed Arena, Sunday, September 29 against Georgia.
JSU Rallies Back To Top UT, 3-2
KNOXVILLE, Tenn. -- Raina Hembry tallied a career-high 21 kills and Ellen Mullins had a school record 37 digs, but Jacksonville State rallied back on Saturday to take a 3-2 (21-25, 22-25, 25-22, 25-21, 15-11) win over Tennessee.
Tennessee fell to 7-6 with the loss and Jacksonville State improved to 7-7. UT will conclude regular-season non-conference play against Coastal Carolina at 7 p.m.
Mullins' 37 digs are the most in a five-set match in the 25-point, rally-scoring era in Tennessee history.
Hembry also had four digs and three blocks to go with her 21 kills. Ashley Mariani had 12 kills and 17 digs. Jamie Lea had nine kills and a team-high six blocks. Nikki Brice had three services aces and 21 digs. Lexi Dempsey led UT with 29 assists.
Kacey Clinkenbeard and Nicole Merget led Jacksonville State with 17 and 15 kills, respectively.
Tennessee enjoyed a strong start in the first set, taking a 3-0 lead after Jacksonville State committed three consecutive attack errors. The Gamecocks evened the set at 4-4 on a service ace by Alina Agamy. Down, 10-8, UT used a 6-1 run to swing momentum in its favor. Jamie Lea had two blocks and Hembry had one kill in that stretch. UT went on a 4-0 run on three JSU errors and a kill by Hembry to take an 18-13 advantage, its largest of the match. Jacksonville State climbed back to within 18-16, but UT went on a 5-2 run sparked by back-to-back kills by Hembry and Mariani to push its lead to 23-18. The Gamecocks drew to within 23-20 on three straight errors by Tennessee. After a timeout, Carly Wishlow drilled a clean set from Abby Brewer for a kill and JSU's Emily Rutherford set a ball past the UT back line to give UT the set point.
The Lady Vols rattled off three straight points to start the second set thanks to a kill by Mariani had a kill and two aces by Brice. With the match tied at 6-6, Tennessee went on an 8-3 run to take control of the set. UT totaled three kills, two by Lea, and aces by Mariani and Wishlow in that stretch. JSU pulled to within one point at 18-17 after two kills by Clinkenbeard, two blocks and an attack error by Tennessee sparked a 5-0 Gamecocks run. After a timeout, the teams exchanged the score stayed within two points until a bad set by JSU's Abbey Heredia and three kills by Lea put UT head, 24-20. Hembry hammered home the set point to give Tennessee the 2-0 advantage heading into the break.
Tennessee started the third set with five kills in its first nine points. With the set locked at 12-12, Nicole Merget had back-to-back kills to give JSU a two-point lead and induce a Tennessee timeout. Jacksonville State's lead stayed at two points until an Alina Agamy kill and two UT errors pushed the Gamecocks lead to 20-16. A kill by Clinkenbeard pushed JSU's lead to 21-17 and induced a Tennessee timeout. After the timeout, the Lady Vols were pushed to the edge as attack errors pushed the Gamecocks' lead to 24-20. The Lady Vols would not give up without a fight as Hembry, Wishlow and Ashlyn Sunseri had three consecutive kills to pull UT to within 24-21. An attack error by Clinkenbeard pulled Tennessee to within 24-22, but a UT set error gave set point to the Gamecocks.
Jacksonville State controlled the fourth set early thanks to an 8-2 run at the start. A kill by Whitney Heeres and two JSU attack errors allowed Tennessee to pull within 8-5, but a Merget kill sparked another big run for the Gamecocks to give them a 13-6 advantage. Down 15-10, Tennessee pulled to within 16-13 after an ace by Brice, a kill by Hembry and JSU errors. Mariani's kill with UT down 20-14 sparked a 4-0 Tennessee run to pull the team to within 20-18 and force a JMU timeout. Back-to-back kills by Mariani and Hembry drew Tennessee to within 22-21 but the Gamecocks answered with three straight kills to take the fourth set.
Two kills by Hembry sparked a 4-1 Tennessee start in the fifth set. After a timeout, JSU came roaring back with long rallies and three kills by Emily Rutherford that gave the Gamecocks a 8-6 lead. After the teams switched sides, JSU remained ahead at 11-8 before at Tennessee timeout. Lea had a kill coming out of the timeout and after a UT error, Hembry added another kill to bring the Big Orange to within 12-10. Two kills by Clinkenbeard and a match-winner by Rutherford lifted Jacksonville State to victory.
UT Defeats CCU, 3-1, For Patrick's 350th Win
KNOXVILLE, Tenn. -- Jamie Lea totaled 20 kills as Tennessee defeated Coastal Carolina, 3-1 (25-15, 25-23, 19-25, 25-16), for head coach Rob Patrick's 350th career coaching victory.
With 31 digs, Ellen Mullins pushed her career total to 1,488, good for second place on UT's all-time list behind only Chloe Goldman's 1,755.
"Whenever a milestone happens, the things I think about are the young ladies that play here and the incredible sacrifices they made for this program," Patrick said. "We would not have been able to be this successful without the great ladies that have carried Tennessee on their jerseys. My hats off to them."
Tennessee improved to 8-6 with the win while Coastal Carolina fell to 7-6. UT had a .255 attack percentage to the Chanticleers' .154 and 61 kills to CCU's 43.
Tennessee dominated the first set, hitting .410 with 18 kills. Coastal Carolina jumped out to a 3-0 lead in the first set after two kills and a block by Eszter Nagy. UT evened the set at four following kills by Jamie Lea and Raina Hembry and a block by Whitney Heeres and Shealyn Kolosky. Tennessee broke out of a 10-10 tie with 9-0 surge that included to take command of the set at 19-10. Heeres had four kills and Hembry had three kills in that run as the Chanticleers had no answer for the Tennessee attacks. Three serves later, a kill by Ashley Mariani pushed the Tennessee lead to 10 at 21-11. The Lady Vols finished strong with kills by Lea and Hembry to end the set.
Tennessee broke loose in the second set with the score tied at seven. Jamie Lee had two kills and a block to spark a 4-0 run to give UT a 11-7 lead. Coastal Carolina stayed within four points until Lea kill, a block by Hembry and Heeres and a kill by Heeres pushed the Tennessee lead to 17-11. The Chanticleers came storming back with a 9-2 run that pushed them ahead, 20-19. Eszter Nagy had two kills and two blocks in that stretch. After a Tennessee timeout, a Coastal Carolina service error evened the set at 20 and Lea had back-to-back kills to put the Lady Vols in front, 22-20. With the set knocked at 23-23, Abby Brewer had a kill to push UT back in front and Hembry and Mariani combined for a block for set point.
Ahead 16-15 in the third set, Coastal Carolina used a 6-0 run to seize control and avoid the sweep. Gabriella Horvath had three kills and Lauren Alejo served five straight points in that stretch. Tennessee pulled to within 24-19, but a UT service error gave the third set to the Chanticleers.
UT took command of the fourth set midway through. Down 11-9, Tennessee went on a 5-0 run with three kills by Lea and four straight points served by Mullins. Coastal Carolina pulled back within two points at 14-12, but a 4-1 UT run pushed Tennessee's lead to 18-13. The Chanticleers would come no closer than four points the rest of the way. A service error by Kindra Bailey set up match point for Tennessee and an attack error by Gabriella Hovarth gave UT the 25-16 win.
Tennessee opens SEC play at home on Sept. 29 against South Carolina at 1:30 p.m.