After two weeks of road tournaments, Tennessee has finished the home portion of their pre-confernece schedule. Now they will begin SEC play. But first here’s a recap of the last two weeks.
- The Lady Vols are now an impressive 29-7 since 1978 in home opening matches. Under Coach Rob Patrick they are 14-3.
- The team went 2-5 over the course of their two home tournaments. The Lady Vols are now 8-6 for the season. Last year the team was a similar 9-5 after their first 14 matches. They went on to win 13 of their last 15 regular season matches.
- With a 1-3 record, Tennessee had a losing record in the Lady Vol Classic for the first time in school history. It was also the first time they lost more than a single match during the tournament.
- Whitney Heeres was named to the Lady Vol Classic All-Tournament Team, while Ellen Mullins was named to the Tennessee Invitational Team.
- Between winning the first game the first home tourney and the last game of the last home tourney, the Lady Vols had a 5 match losing streak, their first since October 2007. It was the 2nd longest losing streak of Coach Rob Patrick’s tenure — they lost 8 in a row during his first season in 1997.
- All 5 matches in the losing streak occurred at home. That may be a first in program history. (In 1974, UT played in a tournament coincidentally also called the Tennessee Invitational. While they did lose 5 matches: (a) the format featured a split squad of two UT teams, (b) not all of the UT match results for that tournament are available; and (c) it isn’t clear if the tournament was actually held in Knoxville.)
- The Lady Vols’ loss to ETSU was their first defeat by another state school since 1997. The last time UT lost to the Bucs was in 1978.
- Tennessee’s loss to ETSU was their first to an Atlantic Sun Conference team in the rally scoring era. They had won the other 7 matches against A-Sun teams in that time.
- Tennessee’s loss to VCU was their first to an Atlantic 10 Conference team in the rally scoring era. They had won the other 7 matches against A-10 teams in that time.
- Tennessee’s loss to Jacksonville State was their first to an Ohio Valley Conference team in the rally scoring era. They had won the other 7 matches against OVC teams in that time.
- Coach Patrick reached career victory #350. After Mary Wise of Florida, he’s just the 2nd coach in SEC history to win that many total matches (at one SEC school while a member of the conference — Fran Flory of LSU did it if you add her record as head coach of Kentucky, and Laurie Corbelli of Texas A&M did it if you count records while the school was in other conferences).
- The Lady Vols and Jacksonville State put on a defensive clinic. Tennessee demolished their previous rally scoring era record of 106 by digging up 130 balls — just 4 shy of the school record. The Gamecocks had 118 digs, a UT opponent rally scoring record.
- Ellen Mullins moved into 2nd place on the school all-time career digs chart. She just passed Kristy Dobson, whose total of 1,474 stood for 18 years before Chloe Goldman broke it in 2009. In the first 14 matches of 2013, she picked up 327 digs. She is only 267 digs behind Goldman with 18 regular season matches remaining.
- Mullins stands at #22 on the season digs list — at her current pace she could reach the 301 digs she needs to catch Goldman.
- On September 21st, Mullins almost set two school records in two different matches. In the morning she had 37 digs vs Jacksonville State — the 3rd most in school history and just 5 shy of the record. That night she picked up 31 digs, the 3rd most in a four set match in school history and just 4 short of the record.
- Over the past 14 matches UT has recorded 1,019 team digs. Since 2001, only the 2007 squad ever had over 1,000 digs in a 14 match stretch (and matches that year went to 30 points).
- The Jacksonville State match Saturday morning was delayed for about 10 minutes due to a leak in the roof at Thompson Boling Arena. Luckily it was fixed up fairly quickly and the game was able to commence. But several times over the years, delays have taken much longer to take care of.
- This one was before my time back in Knoxville but someone shared the story with me during the JSU delay. In the final match of the Lady Vol Classic in 2003, Tennessee was taking on Michigan. With the second set tied 1-1, a section of the floor near the net caved in. After a delay of 44 minutes as the court was moved to the other side of Stokely Athletic Center, the game resumed and the Wolverines went on to win a tight five-set match.
- On senior night in 2007, the roof at Stokely developed a leak right above the playing surface in the fourth set of a match with Kentucky. Play was halted for a little more than an hour while the net was moved to a dry portion of the floor and tape was laid to create a new volleyball court. The Wildcats went on to win 3-1. Photos of that match are online here.
- On the road in 2008, Auburn was giving UT all they could handle. In the fifth set, the Lady Vols were up 8-6. During a serve that went out, a fire alarm began blaring. The players, coaches, and fans were all required to head outside until fire fighters arrived to search the building. After getting the all clear 32 minutes later, everyone was allowed back in. After a quick discussion about whether the previous point should be replayed (it was not), Tennessee went on to win the set 16-14.
- Here’s one maybe someone else can tell me about! In 2007, a three set match at Alabama lasted two hours and forty-five minutes! Neither team’s recap, nor the notes section on the box score explain why what should have been a short match was at the time in fact the longest UT match of the rally scoring era! A typhoon? A typo?
Lexi Dempsey vs APSU 35 assists, 10 digs 5th career Lexi Dempsey vs ETSU 51 assists, 16 digs 6th career Lexi Dempsey vs VCU 46 assists, 11 digs 7th career Lexi Dempsey vs JSU 29 assists, 14 digs 8th career Ashley Mariani vs JSU 12 kills, 17 digs 1st career Lexi Dempsey vs CCU 27 assists, 13 digs 9th career Ashley Mariani vs CCU 10 kills, 10 digs 2nd career
CAREER RECORDS MATCHED OR EXCEEDED (players with 20+ matches)
Nikki Brice kills, assists, aces (5 sets), digs (5 sets), points (5 sets) Megan Hatcher digs (3 sets, 5 sets) Shealyn Kolosky kills (4 sets), solo blocks, points (3 sets) Ellen Mullins attacks, digs
Kills Jamie Lea Attacks Jamie Lea Hit % Shealyn Kolosky Assists Lexi Dempsey Aces Nikki Brice Digs Ellen Mullins Solo Blocks Whitney Heeres Block Assists Raina Hembry Total Blocks Raina Hembry Points Jamie Lea