The Lady Vols head home after a stretch of six matches on the road over the past three weeks. They’ll face ETSU, Georgia Southern, and North Dakota State in the Tennessee Classic.
UT is 28-7 all-time vs ETSU. The first recorded match was in 1973. The teams have only faced each other five previous times in the rally-scoring era, with Tennessee just edging ETSU 3-2. The Buccaneers have a two match winning streak, including an impressive come from behind win last season.
UT is facing Georgia Southern and North Dakota State for the first time.
Since 2001, UT is 16-2 vs the Southern Conference, 5-2 vs the Sun Belt, and 2-1 vs the Summit League.
Tennessee has won 22 of their last 23 home matches against out-of-conference opponents. The lone loss was this season vs Illinois.
In home tournaments since 1978 (not counting conference, regional, or national), UT is 110-51-2. During that time the Lady Vols have hosted at least one tournament every year except 1980, 1982, 1991, and 2001 (planned but cancelled due to the terror attacks).
The team needs at least 2 wins this weekend to prevent themselves from being the first team since 1999 to start SEC play with a losing record.
The Lady Vols have faced a fellow Tennessee school all but four seasons in recorded school history (2006, 2011, 2012, 2017). They are 138-30-4 in those matches.
I’ve mentioned recorded history twice already in these notes. That’s because (as documented in a previous article The hidden history of UT volleyball), there isn’t a lot of info about the first fifteen years of program history. And I’m sure other Tennessee schools were probably frequent opponents back then. In fact, the very first UT volleyball team in 1958 travelled to ETSU for the very first matches in program history.
ETSU coach Benavia Jenkins played against the Lady Vols during her time as a player at Florida.
The Bucs have 7 players from the state of Tennessee — 3 of whom are freshman from Knoxville.
North Dakota State setter Kalli Hegerle has 4 triple-doubles on the season. For comparison, I know of only 3 triple-doubles by a UT player in school history.
NDSU have both played 4 five-set matches this year. The Bisons are 3-1, the Lady Vols 2-2.
Saturday’s matches celebrate “Back to School Day”. If you donate two school supplies items you’ll receive a free ticket. Also, the first 250 kids receive “Back to School Survival Kits”.
Parking and security info is available online.
Last, and ughh… Tennessee will start serving alcohol at volleyball matches starting this weekend. Details on Twitter.Friday, September 20th @ 6:30pm ET
Live Video: SEC Network+ // Live Stats
Last week: wins over Alcorn State, Georgia State; loss to UABSaturday, September 21st @ 12:30pm ET
Online Video: SEC Network+ | Live Stats
Last week: wins over UNC Asheville, Southern Miss;
losses to Winthrop, North Florida