It never fails to amaze me how fast a player’s time at Tennessee goes by. Once again two Vols are preparing to leave Rocky Top, and move on to whatever life has in store for them next. But before they go, let’s take a look back at their careers in pictures, stats, and quotes.
Before college Lexi Dempsey attended Palm Springs High School and played club at 951 Elite Volleyball. She helped lead her high school team to three league titles. Along the way she earned several regional honors and was twice named her team’s MVP. In her three years on the varsity squad she had 762 assists, 362 digs, 297 kills, and 132 aces.
While Tennessee was her top choice and UT was interested, the team didn’t have a scholarship spot for her. Instead, she spent her freshman season at Portland, where she split time with a junior setter. She finished with 403 assists (3.66 per set), 137 digs, 26 aces, and one double-double.
Portland head coach Joe Houck: “Lexi has a tremendous foundation technically, and is a gifted athlete. Her high level club experience with 951 Elite, and the test of playing every weekend with and against the best teams in the nation will suit her well… Her skill set as a setter and as a defensive player will bolster our roster and raise the level of intensity on a daily basis. She is exceptional as a student as well.”
After her first year of college she was ready for a change. She chose an NAIA school, Vanguard University. But then Tennessee unexpectedly lost two setters, and had an urgent need to fill the opening. Dempsey headed to Knoxville.
Dempsey: “Throughout high school and recruiting, UT was my first choice. I wanted to go somewhere far from home. Looking at everything UT has done athletically, especially with women, it seemed like an amazing place to be.”
UT head coach Rob Patrick: “Lexi is someone we recruited out of high school, so we’ve been able to evaluate her and observe her play. She has the ability to set at a high level, but she can also attack the ball. That’s something I’m excited about utilizing in our practices and maybe even our matches. She has a great personality. She comes in with experience also, at a collegiate Division I level. We’re excited about having someone with that type of experience join our program.”
She made an immediate impact. In her very first match in orange and white she had 25 assists (more than she had in any match at Portland). The next match she picked up the first of what would be 16 double-doubles in her sophomore year. And from there things just got better. Here are some of her statistical highlights:
- 2,940 career assists. That’s the sixth most in school history (with 17 more tonight she’d move up to fifth). It’s the second most in rally-scoring era matches.
- 8.96 career assists per set. That’s the seventh best in school history and the fourth best in rally-scoring era matches.
- 1,145 assists this season. That’s the 16th most at UT all-time, and the ninth most in rally-scoring era matches.
- 10.13 assists this season. That’s the 19th best at UT all-time, and the tenth most in rally-scoring era matches.
- 752 career digs. That’s the 25th most all-time by a Vol, and the tenth most in rally-scoring era matches.
- 35 career double-doubles at Tennessee. That’s the fifth most in rally-scoring era matches. She’s in good company on that list: the four people above her and the two people behind her all won All-American honors.
- She had a career high 53 assists vs LSU this year.
Patrick: “She is someone that has a very different personality than I do and that’s good. She can take information from me that I deliver in a certain manner, but she knows her teammates need it in a different way. She does a fantastic job of that and has a great relationship with her teammates… She’s so comfortable this season. I’ve never seen her set or play so comfortably. She is setting at a level that we haven’t seen happen here in several years. We’re very excited with what she’s doing and I think she feels that confidence from the coaching staff.”
Tennessee hasn’t had the best of luck when it comes to setters. Due to injuries and transfers, only one setter in the rally-scoring era has played that position for four years. That makes her three seasons the second most by a Vol since 2001. And consistency at setter was something UT really needed in 2013. Dempsey came to Knoxville at a low point in the team’s history, and thanks to her skill, personality, and leadership was one of the main player architects of Tennessee’s turnaround. While she never got the recognition she probably deserved from those outside the program, Vol fans won’t forget what she did in her time here — and are grateful she made the choices she made that brought her to Knoxville exactly when we needed her talents most.
While things are definitely improving, Tennessee isn’t exactly a hotbed of volleyball talent for various reasons. It’s got to be easier to just go to states like California, Texas, and Ohio and cast your net in a wider pool when recruiting, rather than searching far and wide locally. In the past 20 years, the Vols have had only 15 players who came from the state of Tennessee. (For comparison, Texas A&M has 14 players from their home state on the roster this year!) Only five of those instate players made it four seasons. Megan Hatcher is one of the special few local talents.
High school coach Dennis Ray: “I’ve been doing this 25 years and she is the best passer and defender I’ve had. She just anticipates so well. She sees the floor better than anybody I’ve coached — that’s what sets her apart from other defenders.”
Hatcher played for K2 Volleyball Club and attended Webb School here in Knoxville, where she earned multiple regional awards including Sophomore of the Year and All-State honors her senior year. She helped lead her school to second and third place finishes in the state tournament. Her senior year she had 445 digs and 17 aces.
After high school, Hatcher considered schools in Nashville and Atlanta, but there was no doubt where she really wanted to go.
Hatcher: “I think UT was always like my dream school because it’s 10 minutes from my house… It was kind of a no-brainer for me.”
Patrick: “Megan brings a tremendous amount of competitiveness and fight. If you ever watch her play, she’s a person who plays with a lot of passion and has a very good skill set to play a defensive specialist or libero for us. She is someone who is already physically strong and will get stronger in our weight program and we are excited about the athleticism she will bring.”
Hatcher: “Being a Lady Vol was always my dream as a kid. I came to all the games as a little girl. It was always my dream to wear orange and be a part of the Lady Vol family.”
With All-American libero Ellen Mullins on the roster, Hatcher didn’t get a lot of court time her first season. But in her sophomore year she played in every match. Her consistency and ability to accurately place the ball made her a go-to server — which allowed her to also display her defensive skills while in the back row. She finally got her chance in the libero jersey during her junior year. An injury sidelined her for part of the season, but when she returned to the court she notched 25 digs in her first match back, and would pick up 20+ digs twice more over the next month. Now in her final year, she’s again a regular fixture on the court, playing in all but eight sets this season so far. As she prepares to end her career, here’s a look back at some of her statistical highlights:
- Her career high 25 digs vs Mississippi State last season currently stands as the 64th most digs in a match all-time at UT.
- She has had 21 or more digs in a match three times during her career, a feat matched by only 17 other players in school history.
- Her 3.09 digs per set in 2014 was the 16th best of the rally-scoring era.
- She has 571 career digs.
- She only saw action in six matches her freshman year. But she has played in 85 of the 96 matches since, and in 87% of the team’s sets.
Patrick: “Megan has this natural leadership ability… She is someone that connects with all of the players on our team. She is just a great teammate and someone that all of our players are very comfortable with… because of who she is as a person.”
Hatcher is the only player on the team who was here during the tumultuous 2012 season, and has therefore experienced some major highs and lows — from being ranked #14 in the country and going to the NCAA Tournament her freshman year, to two straight seasons with only a single conference win. It’s feels right that the person who stuck around when things got rough gets to take part in the successes that the rebuilding process she was a big part of has brought about. Her emotional leadership, her vocal presence on the court, her loyalty to her teammates, and her athletic skills are traits that will hopefully inspire a new generation of local girls to believe that one day they could wear the orange and white as well as she did.
Tennessee fell to Auburn in a a late night televised match 3-0 (25-13, 25-14, 25-21). Erica Treiber led the Vols with seven kills and five blocks. With eight attacks and no errors, she hit an impressive .875 — that’s the third highest by a Vol in the rally scoring with five or more attacks. Kendra Turner had three blocks. Lexi Dempsey had 25 of the team’s 27 assists. Brooke Schumacher dug up 12 balls and Claudia Coco added seven more digs. Tennessee’s 28 kills and .021 hitting percentage were both season lows.
Congratulations to Texas A&M who won the Southeastern Conference this evening in a five set thriller over Missouri. This is the their first conference title in school history. The Aggies are the fifth different team to win the SEC since 2009. The other recent winners were: Florida (2010, 2012, 2014), LSU (2009), Tennessee (2011), and Missouri (2013).
The Knoxville News Sentinel is reporting that UT volleyball head coach Rob Patrick was given a two year contract extension, which would keep him with the team through the 2017 season.
In the ten years prior to Patrick’s arrival: Tennessee was 143-168, had only three winning seasons, and had only won at least 19 matches in a year once. In Patrick’s 19th season with the Vols: he holds a 379-220 record (.633), has had only four losing seasons, and in 14 of the other 15 seasons won at least 19 matches.
Congrats to the coach, and good job UT administration on eventually making the obvious decision! ;)
Congratulations to Erica Trieber on being named to the SEC All-Freshman team! Treiber is the first Vol to earn an SEC annual award since 2012.
Besides the All-SEC teams, the other awards announced today went to: Stephanie Aiple (Texas A&M) for Player of the Year, Ashley Dusek (Kentucky) for Libero of the Year, Alyssa Munlyn (Missouri) for Freshman of the Year, Stephanie Campbell (Auburn) for Scholar-Athlete of the Year, and Laurie Corbelli (Texas A&M) for Coach of the Year.
- Tonight’s match is free for all fans, and the first 250 people in the door get a free t-shirt. The game is being broadcast on ESPNU, and has a later-than-usual 9pm start time.
- UPDATE: Coach Patrick held a press conference today. He spoke about Treiber’s award, this week’s opponents, how the recent injuries have effects the team, his contract extension, how hard the team practices and plays, how the people taking over for the injured players are doing, and a look towards the future after getting through so much adversity.
AUBURN TIGERS Wednesday, November 25th
9:00pm ET // Knoxville TN
2015 Record: 17-11 (9-7 SEC)
WEBSITE // ESPNU // STATS
GEORGIA BULLDOGS Friday, November 27th
7:00pm ET // Knoxville TN
2015 Record: 5-23 (0-16 SEC)
WEBSITE // STATS
LAST TEN MATCHES VERSUS 20092-3AWAY 20103-1AWAY 20103-0HOME 20113-0HOME 20113-1AWAY 20123-2HOME 20130-3HOME 20130-3AWAY 20141-3AWAY 20151-3AWAY 20093-2AWAY 20102-3AWAY 20103-0HOME 20113-0HOME 20113-1AWAY 20123-2HOME 20130-3AWAY 20131-3HOME 20140-3AWAY 20153-0AWAY
TEAM STATISTICAL RANKINGS ACES
INDIVIDUAL STATISTICAL LEADERS ACES
Kelsey Bawcombe10th SEC0.29 Jesse Earl5th SEC0.32 Cassidy Anderson4th SEC
Lexi Dempsey8th SEC
Alexa Filley7th SEC
Kendall Kazor7.44 BLOCKS
Erica Treiber6th SEC
Stephanie Campbell0.85 Desiree McCray7th SEC
Bridgette Villano2nd SEC
Jesse Earl5th SEC
Cassidy Anderson2.89 KILLS
Kanisha Jimenez2.93 Courtney Crable2.85 Amanda Dachs2.80 POINTS
Kanisha Jimenez3.48 Brenna McIlroy3.23 Amanda Dachs3.21 HITTING
Erica Treiber10th SEC
Stephanie Campbell.284 Desiree McCray.246
highest ranked middle ranked lowest ranked
Tennessee ends the SEC season how they began it: with matches vs Auburn and Georgia, but this time here in Knoxville.
- Tennessee is 29-17-1 all-time vs Auburn. The team is 5-5 in their last ten meetings. The Vols have only lost six matches to Auburn in the rally-scoring era, but the Tigers currently hold a four match winning streak in the series. The last time Auburn won four in a row over UT was 1995-1998.
- Tennessee is 43-27 all-time vs Georgia. The team is 6-4 in their last ten meetings.
- UT has only played six matches in program history on Thanksgiving-eve, five of them occurring since 2009. They hold a 4-2 record.
- Day after Thanksgiving matches are more common for UT. They’ve played 15 such games all-time, going 8-7.
- This Friday’s match vs Georgia is senior night. Under head coach Rob Patrick the team is 13-5 when honoring the seniors.
- Vol senior Megan Hatcher is the only player on the roster who was on the team the last time Tennessee beat Auburn.
- This Vol squad has a chance to become just the fourth team in school history* not to lose a single five-set match all season. The 1980 and 1989 teams went 3-0. The 1998 team went 2-0. And, so far, the 2015 team is 3-0. ( * during the era when best-of-five matches became the norm — in all the years prior to 1979, less than ten matches total were played best-of-five, so I’ve not included them here.)
- Both head coaches meeting Tennessee this weekend faced off against the Vols at all of their previous collegiate coaching jobs.
- Auburn head coach Rick Nold is 4-3 with the Tigers, was the head coach at Jacksonville State who were swept by UT in 2005 when they made the school’s first ever NCAA Tournament appearance here in Knoxville, and defeated the Vols in five in 2001 as an assistant at Louisville.
- Georgia head coach Lizzy Stemke is 3-4 with the Bulldogs, was an assistant coach of the #1 Nebraska team that defeated UT in front of the second largest crowd to watch a Tennessee volleyball team play in 2007, and was an assistant coach with North Carolina when the Vols swept her team at a tournament in Los Angeles in 2006.
- Last time vs Auburn: Tennessee lost their conference opener and just their second match of the season (25-16, 30-32, 25-22, 25-19). Bri Holmes had 11 kills and four blocks. Kanisha Jimenez earned a double-double with ten kills and 16 digs. Erica Treiber had nine kills. Raina Hembry knocked back eight blocks and Stephanie Buss had three. Lexi Dempsey put up 36 assists and dug up 12 balls to get her seventh double-double of the season. Bridgette Villano had 28 digs, a career best and the tenth most in a four set match in school history. Auburn won the match despite only hitting .151 — the ninth lowest percentage by a winning UT opponent in the rally-scoring era.
- Last time vs Georgia: Tennessee picked up their first SEC victory of the year (25-15, 25-18, 25-21). Kenisha Jimenez led the match with 11 kills. She also had six digs and seven blocks. Bri Holmes had ten kills, while hitting .429 and knocking down three blocks. Erica Treiber and Kendra Turner had seven kills each. Treiber also put back ten blocks — the first time since 2012 a UT player has reached double digit blocks, and just the third time in the past five seasons. Lexi Dempsey had 31 assists and 14 digs, giving her her 30th career double-double. Bridgette Villano had 11 digs, and the libero got just the third kill of her career.
I’d planned on posting this around the anniversary of the occasion, but that would coincide both with end of the season news and a vacation I have planned starting the day after UT’s last match. So with the team in the middle of a ten day break between games, this seems like a good time to finally post this piece I’ve been working on for months — an interesting story about a big event in Tennessee history that is today all but forgotten.
Tennessee has been an NCAA Tournament host every decade of its existence. Their first time was in 1982, just the second year the tournament was held. They again played host in 1984, 1993, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2009, and 2011. While it’s definitely an honor and an impressive achievement, UT has only ever hosted the first rounds, never the more prominent regional or national championship rounds.
The Knoxville News Sentinel, November 30, 1990
However, twenty-five years ago Knoxville did play host to a national post-season tournament, with more teams on hand than in any tournament held in recent years: the 1990 Women’s Invitation Volleyball Championship. Mostly forgotten except in media guide footnotes, the WIVC (later renamed the National Invitational Volleyball Championship or NIVC) began in 1989, and according to the NCAA “was created to provide an additional postseason opportunity for NCAA Division I women’s volleyball programs”. Often called the equivalent of the NIT in basketball, the tournament was in its second year (of what would end up being a seven year run) when it came to Knoxville.
One of the tournament’s founders, then UAB coach Brenda Williams explained how the whole thing started:
“Former coach Geri Polvino of Eastern Kentucky, the late Charlie Daniel, coach of Western Kentucky, and myself sat on the back of a bus at the AVCA Convention and decided we were going to start the NIVC no matter what. We met that January at Western Kentucky and started the ball rolling. Once we got the AVCA on board with us along with some other key people, the NIVC was made possible… Our goal was to give more postseason opportunities to NCAA institutions, and it did just that… We felt we gave teams new life and hope for their programs, and then we saw the NCAA expand their postseason field. It was a great accomplishment for women’s intercollegiate volleyball”.
The WIVC invited 20 teams to Stokely Athletics Center — the best 19 remaining after the NCAA tournament filled their 32 team bracket, and the Lady Vols as the host school.
UT head coach Sandy Lynn
UT’s coach at the time, Sandy Lynn, told the Knoxville News Sentinel that one of the reasons she wanted the school to host was to start expanding the Lady Vol brand: “A lot of people around the country look at Tennessee as a basketball school. We need to build a volleyball reputation… I think this is a real first step”.
The rest of the athletic department agreed… eventually! UT’s associate athletic director Dru Ann Hancock said, “She made her proposal in the middle of Final Four preparations [held in Knoxville in the spring of 1990], when the last thing any of us wanted to think about was another national tournament. But she approached the whole staff and everyone agreed it was time to do something for some of the other sports”.
Women’s athletic director Joan Cronan added, “When we first talked about hosting the WIVC, we thought about what a great opportunity it would be for volleyball and the area”.
Besides the intangible benefits of hosting a national volleyball tournament, coach Lynn also hoped it would eventually have a direct impact on the team itself. Potential recruits would be on hand and hopefully see the UT program at its best. Coaches from around the country would be in town for clinics, and Lynn hoped they would “go home and spread the volleyball word about Tennessee”.
The 20 teams were divided into four pools of five teams each:
The #1 seed was Houston, with an 18-15 record and a third place finish in the Southwest Conference. They shared a pool with Tennessee, Eastern Michigan, Hofstra, and Colorado.
The #2 seed was Cal State Northridge, with a 24-8 record in their first year in Division I. Their pool included UAB, Colorado State, Eastern Kentucky, and Iowa.
Georgia was the #3 seed. They had an overall record of 26-11, and made it to the SEC Tournament finals. Boise State, Arkansas State, Akron, and Northern Iowa were in their pool.
The final seed went to Memphis State, with a 27-7 record and an undefeated 7-0 mark in the Metro conference. Their pool was composed of Loyola Marymount, William & Mary, Arizona State, and Dayton.
A $5 ticket was good for the entire three-day tournament, which began on Thursday, November 29th at 9am with pool play. Each team played two matches on the first day and two matches the next day. The top team in each pool would move on to a four team tournament, while everyone else would be done for the weekend.
All four top seeds advanced on to the semifinals. Houston and CSUN finished pool play undefeated, while Georgia and Memphis State both went 3-1.
Cal State Northridge defeated Georgia 3-0 in the 11am match Saturday morning, taking only 65 minutes to get the 15-10, 15-6, 15-5 win.
At 1pm, Houston and Memphis State took the court, with the Cougars rallying back from a first set loss to win the match in four, 12-15, 16-14, 15-13, 15-4.
That set up the WIVC championship match between Houston and Cal State Northridge at 7:30 that night.
The teams played each other close to start, getting to a 3-3 tie. Houston dominated the rest of the first game from there, scoring the next eight points in a row and 12 of the last 13 to win the set 15-4. Cal State Northridge started to get back on track in the second set, but fell by a score of 15-12. The third game was all CSUN, who at one point led 10-2. Houston hit .049 for the set and lost 15-6. The Cougars rallied back in the fourth and took the set 15-6, giving them the tournament title and the Founder’s Cup by a a score of 3-1.
CSUN accepts the WIVC runner-up trophy
Houston’s Latisha Charles had 25 kills and 22 digs. Karen Bell put down 25 kills, and Ginger Wittofski had 13. CSUN coach Walt Kersaid after the match, “Houston was a tremendous team, and they attacked exceptionally well. They are as good as any team we’ve faced all year. Bell, Charles, and Wittofski were so athletic and explosive that we had trouble making the adjustments to block them.” Houston coach Bill Walton explained mid-match play saying, “They made some adjustments and we came out for game three a little flat. When we switched sides, we were able to get the fire back.”
Some of the players named to the All-Tournament team included: Janet Moylan, Iowa; Barb Willis, Iowa; Kathleen Dixon, Cal State Northridge; Marianne Dixon, Cal State Northridge; Beth Welch, Cal State Northridge; Latisha Charles, Houston; Karen Bell, Houston.
Tennessee finished respectably with a 2-2 record in pool play, losing to Houston and Colorado on day one before rallying to defeat Hofstra and Eastern Michigan on day two. Notably, the Lady Vols were the only team undefeated eventual champion Houston faced who was able to take them all the way to five sets. UT’s Kristy Dobson had 63 attack attempts vs Eastern Michigan, a Stokely Athletics Center record which stood until 2006. She also dug up 27 balls in that game, which still stands as the 40th best effort in school history. The team had 101 digs vs EMU, a Stokely record that didn’t fall until 2007, the team’s last year in that facility.
With 637 fans in attendance for the finals, the match drew more people than all but three games in UT history to that point. Lady Vol AD Cronan summed the experience up: “After 43 matches I think it was a great success, and I hope we’ve helped further the sport here in Tennessee.”
THE 1990 WOMEN’S INVITATIONAL VOLLEYBALL CHAMPIONSHIP RESULTS----- POOL A ----- HOUSTON (#1 overall seed) 11/29 - Tennessee W 3-2 (5-15, 15-13, 11-15, 15-5, 15-11) 11/29 - Eastern Michigan W 3-1 (11-15, 15-6, 15-10, 15-6) 11/30 - Hofstra W 3-1 (15-9, 15-5, 11-15, 15-9) 11/30 - Colorado W 3-1 (15-10, 15-9, 12-15, 15-5) COLORADO 11/29 - Hofstra W 3-0 (15-11, 15-8, 15-7) 11/29 - Tennessee W 3-0 (15-5, 15-10, 15-5) 11/30 - Eastern Michigan L 1-3 (7-15, 15-13, 11-15, 13-15) 11/30 - Houston L 1-3 (10-15, 9-15, 15-12, 5-15) TENNESSEE 11/29 - Houston L 2-3 (15-5, 13-15, 15-11, 5-15, 11-15) 11/29 - Colorado L 0-3 (5-15, 10-15, 5-15) 11/30 - Hofstra W 3-1 (15-12, 16-14, 9-15, 16-14) 11/30 - Eastern Michigan W 3-1 (6-15, 15-10, 15-11, 15-9) EASTERN MICHIGAN 11/29 - Hofstra W 3-2 (15-9, 7-15, 9-15, 15-12, 15-11) 11/29 - Houston L 1-3 (15-11, 6-15, 10-15, 6-15) 11/30 - Colorado W 3-1 (15-7, 13-15, 15-11, 15-13) 11/30 - Tennessee L 1-3 (15-6, 10-15, 11-15, 9-15) HOFSTRA 11/29 - Eastern Michigan L 2-3 (9-15, 15-7, 15-9, 12-15, 11-15) 11/29 - Colorado L 0-3 (11-15, 8-15, 7-15) 11/30 - Houston L 1-3 (9-15, 5-15, 15-11, 9-15) 11/30 - Tennessee L 1-3 (12-15, 14-16, 15-9, 14-16) ----- POOL B ----- CAL STATE NORTHRIDGE (#2 overall seed) 11/29 - UAB W 3-1 (15-7, 15-11, 10-15, 15-9) 11/29 - Colorado State W 3-0 (15-7, 15-4, 15-12) 11/30 - Eastern Kentucky W 3-0 (15-5, 15-8, 15-2) 11/30 - Iowa W 3-1 (6-15, 15-5, 15-12, 15-7) IOWA 11/29 - Eastern Kentucky W 3-0 (15-7, 15-1, 15-8) 11/29 - UAB W 3-0 (15-9, 15-7, 15-6) 11/30 - Colorado State W 3-0 (15-5, 15-7, 15-9) 11/30 - Cal State Northridge L 1-3 (15-6, 5-15, 12-15, 7-15) COLORADO STATE 11/29 - Eastern Kentucky W 3-0 (16-14, 15-12, 15-8) 11/29 - Cal State Northridge L 0-3 (7-15, 4-15, 12-15) 11/30 - Iowa L 0-3 (5-15, 7-15, 9-15) 11/30 - UAB W 3-0 (15-12, 16-14, 15-12) UAB 11/29 - Cal State Northridge L 1-3 (7-15, 11-15, 15-10, 9-15) 11/29 - Iowa L 0-3 (9-15, 7-15, 6-15) 11/30 - Eastern Kentucky W 3-0 (?) 11/30 - Colorado State L 0-3 (12-15, 14-16, 12-15) EASTERN KENTUCKY 11/29 - Iowa L 0-3 (7-15, 1-15, 8-15) 11/29 - Colorado State L 0-3 (14-16, 12-15, 8-15) 11/30 - UAB L 0-3 (?) 11/30 - Cal State Northridge L 0-3 (5-15, 8-15, 2-15) ----- POOL C ----- GEORGIA (#3 overall seed) 11/29 - Boise State W 3-1 (6-15, 15-6, 15-11, 15-6) 11/29 - Arkansas State L 0-3 (5-15, 7-15, 4-15) 11/30 - Akron W 3-0 (15-6 ,15-6, 15- 8) 11/30 - Northern Iowa W 3-1 (7-15, 15-8, 17-15, 15-12) ARKANSAS STATE 11/29 - Akron W 3-0 (15-4, 15-1, 15-2) 11/29 - Georgia W 3-0 (15-5, 15-7, 15-4) 11/30 - Northern Iowa W 3-1 (8-15, 15-7, 15-11, 15-7) 11/30 - Boise State L 0-3 (14-16, 8-15, 14-16) BOISE STATE 11/29 - Georgia L 1-3 (15-6, 6-15, 11-15, 6-15) 11/29 - Northern Iowa W 3-2 (10-15, 7-15, 16-14, 15-10, 15-12) 11/30 - Akron W 3-0 (15-4, 15-11, 15-12) 11/30 - Arkansas State W 3-0 (16-14, 15-8, 16-14) NORTHERN IOWA 11/29 - Akron W 3-0 (15-10*, 15-10, 15-8) 11/29 - Boise State L 2-3 (15-10, 15-7, 14-16, 10-15, 12-15) 11/30 - Arkansas State L 1-3 (15-8, 7-15, 11-15, 7-15) 11/30 - Georgia L 1-3 (15-7, 8-15, 15-17, 12-15) AKRON 11/29 - Northern Iowa L 0-3 (0-15*, 10-15, 8-15) 11/29 - Arkansas State L 0-3 (4-15, 1-15, 2-15) 11/30 - Boise State L 0-3 (4-15, 11-15, 12-15) 11/30 - Georgia L 0-3 (6-15, 6-15, 8-15) ----- POOL D ----- MEMPHIS STATE (#4 overall seed) 11/29 - Loyola Marymount L 0-3 (10-15, 2-15, 16-18) 11/29 - William & Mary W 3-1 (15-4, 15-1, 11-15, 15-10) 11/30 - Arizona State W 3-2 (15-8, 3-15, 16-14, 14-16, 15-7) 11/30 - Dayton W 3-0 (?) LOYOLA MARYMOUNT 11/29 - Dayton W 3-0 (15-8, 15-9, 15-12) 11/29 - Memphis State W 3-0 (15-10, 15-2, 18-16) 11/30 - Arizona State W 3-2 (13-15, 15-12, 11-15, 15-12, 15-10) 11/30 - William & Mary L 2-3 (9-15, 15-9, 11-15, 15-8, 13-15) DAYTON 11/29 - Arizona State L 3-0 (8-15, 4-15, 9-15) 11/29 - Loyola Marymount L 3-0 (8-15, 9-15, 12-15) 11/30 - William & Mary L 3-2 (7-15, 10-15, 16-14, 15-9, 9-15) 11/30 - Memphis State L 3-0 (?) ARIZONA STATE 11/29 - Dayton W 3-0 (15-8, 15-4, 15-9) 11/29 - William & Mary W 3-0 (15-8, 16-14, 15-12) 11/30 - Loyola Marymount L 3-2 (15-12, 12-15, 15-11, 12-15, 10-15) 11/30 - Memphis State L 3-2 (8-15, 15-3, 14-16, 16-14, 7-15) WILLIAM AND MARY 11/29 - Memphis State L 1-3 (4-15, 1-15, 15-11, 10-15) 11/29 - Arizona State L 0-3 (8-15, 14-16, 12-15) 11/30 - Dayton W 3-2 (15-7, 15-10, 14-16, 9-15, 15-9) 11/30 - Loyola Marymount W 3-2 (15-9, 9-15, 15-11, 8-15, 15-13) ----- SEMIFINALS ----- 12/1 - CS Northridge def. Georgia 3-0 (15-10, 15-6, 15-5) 12/1 - Houston def. Memphis State 3-1 (12-15, 16-14, 15-13, 15-4) ----- FINALS ----- 12/1 - Houston def. CS Northridge 3-1 (15-4, 15-12, 6-15, 15-6)
Tennessee announced four new players who will be joining the team for the 2016 season: Alyssa Andreno, Tessa Grubbs, Sedona Hansen, Asha Phillips. Coach Rob Patrick said, “What jumps out about our 2016 class is the dynamic, athletic qualities of the group. They move quickly. They’re powerful. Each one of these players has the ability to come in and compete for playing time as freshmen. They will provide very experienced depth to our team.” Check out the official site for details. After the season, I’ll have more information here about the incoming class. Welcome to all the new Tennessee Vols!
(Sorry for the delay, and missing part two of those notes! Things got hectic and the weekend got away from me.) Once again, Tennessee played tough but couldn’t put enough together to win a set, falling to #15 Florida 3-0 (25-21, 25-23, 25-19). Stephanie Buss lead the Vols with 13 kills and a .435 hitting percentage. Kanisha Jimenez had 11 kills and Kendra Turner nine. Buss, Erica Treiber, and Raina Hembry had three blocks each. Brooke Schumacher had nine digs. Lexi Dempsey picked up 39 of the team’s 40 assists.
Tennessee hit .286 in the match. That’s the third best hitting percentage by the Vols in a loss in the rally scoring era. In fact, three of the top five UT hitting averages in a loss since 2001 have come in the past few weeks. On November 6th, Tennessee hit .326 in a 3-1 loss to Alabama. On October 7th, UT hit .266 in a four set loss to LSU.
The Vols will have a ten day break before their next match, a late Thanksgiving-eve game with Auburn in Knoxville at 9pm.
- Tennessee is 13-46-1 all-time vs Florida. The team is 4-6 in their last ten matches.The Gators currently hold a four match winning streak in the series. The last time Florida won five in a row over UT was 2007-2009.
- The Vols are a respectable 27-50 (.351) against ranked opponents since 2001, and 15-35 (.300) when they themselves are unranked.
- The first time UT faced a ranked Florida team was 1991 — and the Gators have amazingly been ranked in every Tennessee game since then!
- Florida has already lost four SEC matches. Under head coach Mary Wise they have never lost more than that in a single season.
- The match this weekend will air on SEC Network+, available online or via your mobile device. If you’re in the car or can’t watch a video for some other reason, the Florida call will also be broadcast on ESPN Gainesville radio, which you can listen to via their website or the Tunein app on your phone.
- While the Gators hold an impressive all-time 13-46-1 lead, seven of the the Vols’ wins have come in the past 11 years. Tennessee has won at least one match against Florida in five of the last 11 years. In fact, UT has almost double the wins vs Florida in that time than the next closest SEC team: Tennessee has won seven, Kentucky just earned their fourth this season.
- Last time vs Florida: The Vols hung tough but couldn’t close the tight sets in their 3-0 loss to #17 Florida (25-19, 25-11, 25-23). Kanisha Jimenez had nine kills. Raina Hembry had six, and four blocks. Lexi Dempsey put up 22 of the team’s 23 assists, and put back three blocks. The Vols held Florida to just a single ace, their lowest total in a match to that point in the season.
The Vols lost their fourth match in a row (a season first), falling to South Carolina in three (25-22, 25-21, 25-16). Kendra Turner had 14 kills and two blocks. Kanisha Jimenez had seven kills, along with ten digs and two blocks. Erica Treiber had five blocks. Lexi Dempsey put up 26 assists, ten digs, and two blocks. Brooke Schumacher dug up 15 balls.
The Vols take on South Carolina in Columbia tonight in a nationally televised match.
- UT announced that the volleyball team “maintained its perfect multi-year graduation success rate… The volleyball program has had a 100 GSR score nine consecutive years in the 11 years the score has been measured.”
- Tennessee is 37-27 all-time vs South Carolina. The team is 8-2 in their last ten matches.
- SC is 7-6 at home this season, but Tennessee has a five match winning streak on their court, dating back to 2009.
- The Vols are 1-3 when playing on television this year
- This series is the longest-running in South Carolina history, and the third longest for Tennessee. The teams first met in 1974.
- In both the last two matches vs these teams, South Carolina won the first and third sets while Tennessee won the second and fourth sets. Last season the Gamecocks won the fifth 15-9 while this year the Vols took the final set 15-9.
- Last time vs SC: Tennessee earned a hard fought comeback win against the Gamecocks in five. Erica Treiber led the team in five categories with 16 kills, a .452 hitting percentage, three aces, five blocks, and 21.5 points. Bridgette Villano had 28 digs. Tennessee won the match despite having fewer kills, attacks, assists, blocks, and points.
- The Gamecock’s have an assistant coach who played in every match between Tennessee and her alma mater. Shonda Cole was with South Carolina from 2003-2006. Despite only going 1-7 vs the Vols, her career numbers vs UT are impressive — in rally scoring era matches she stands at #2 in points, #3 in kills, #4 in attacks, and #5 in aces.
SOUTH CAROLINA GAMECOCKS Wednesday, November 11th
6:00pm ET // Columbia SC
2015 Record: 10-16 (3-10 SEC)
WEBSITE // VIDEO (ESPNU) // STATS
LAST TEN MATCHES VERSUS 20103-1HOME 20103-0AWAY 20113-1AWAY 20113-0HOME 20123-1HOME 20123-0AWAY 20131-3HOME 20133-0AWAY 20142-3HOME 20153-2HOME
TEAM STATISTICAL RANKINGS ACES
INDIVIDUAL STATISTICAL LEADERS ACES
Kelsey Bawcombe0.27 Aubrey Ezell2nd SEC
Lexi Dempsey9th SEC
Aubrey Ezell7th SEC
Erica Treiber6th SEC
Darian Dozier8th SEC1.04 DIGS
Bridgette Villano3rd SEC
Joely Cabrera2.99 KILLS
Kanisha Jimenez2.92 Dessaa Legros8th SEC3.26 POINTS
Kanisha Jimenez3.48 Dessaa Legros3.54 HITTING
Erica Treiber10th SEC
Darian Dozier12th SEC
higher ranked lower ranked
An injury riddled Tennessee squad played the #21 Wildcats close for most of the match but fell in three this afternoon (25-20, 25-22, 25-13). Kanisha Jimenez had ten kills while Kendra Turner was just behind with nine. Stephanie Buss had a big game in her first start in an SEC match, with six kills, a .312 hitting percentage, and five blocks. Erica Treiber and Raina Hembry had four blocks each. Lexi Dempsey had 19 assists. Taylor Johnson picked up nine more in the third set. Brooke Schumacher led the team with 11 digs.
Tennessee stayed with the Tide for four sets, but was only able to win one this evening, falling 25-21, 25-22, 25-27, 25-18. Erica Treiber had 15 kills, hit .667, and had seven blocks. Kanisha Jimenez picked up her seventh double double of the seasons with ten kills and and eleven digs. She also had four blocks and three aces. Kendra Turner had eight kills and three blocks. Lexi Dempsey put up 44 assists, surpassing 1,000 digs on the season. Brooke Schumacher had 15 digs.
Tennessee had a season low seven hitting errors and hit .326. That’s the lowest number of errors and the highest hitting percentage in a loss for UT in the rally scoring era. Alabama’s .355 average was the most allowed this year.