Before we get to this weekend’s notes, here’s a recap of the matches played last weekend when the site was down.
Last Week: South Carolina
The Lady Vols fell to South Carolina 3-0 (25-15, 30-28, 25-16). Team leaders included: Tessa Grubbs with 12 kills, Addisyn Rowe with 3 blocks, Sedona Hansen with 24 assists, Lily Felts with 11 digs, and Giana Pellizon with a career high 3 aces.
It was just the third time since 2001 that the Gamecocks have swept Tennessee.
The Lady Vols were held to a .088 hitting percentage. That’s the 21st lowest average of the rally-scoring era, and their worst vs an unranked opponent since 2015.
Tennessee scored 42 statistical points — a season low and the 40th fewest since 2001. In fact, 3 of the top 50 lowest points in a match performances have come this season.
Last Week: Florida
Despite usually winning when Florida doesn’t get a sweep, the Lady Vols fell to the Gators 3-1 (25-18, 25-20, 20-25, 25-17). Team leaders included: Tessa Grubbs with 22 kills, Alyssa Andreno with 5 blocks, Sedona Hansen with 32 assists (and her 10th double-double of the year), Madison Coulter with 13 digs, and Andreno with the team’s only ace.
Tennessee is 0-6 vs ranked competition this season.
Despite the score, UT was right with Florida statistically. They were only 1 kill, 1 block, 5 points, and .064 hitting percentage points behind the #13 team in the country.
Only two of the Gator’s opponents this season had a better hitting percentage than Tennessee.
Three Lady Vols with double digit attacks hit over .300 vs UF.
This week: Mississippi and Georgia
UT is 45-11 all-time vs Mississippi, 23-7 in the rally-scoring era, 5-5 in their last ten matches, and 8-2 in their last ten in Knoxville. The Rebels won the previous meeting this season 3-2.
UT is 48-28 all-time vs Georgia, 24-10 in the rally-scoring era, 5-5 in their last ten matches, and 8-2 in their last ten in Knoxville. The Bulldogs won the previous meeting this season 3-1.
The Lady Vols are currently on a four-match losing streak. They haven’t lost five in a row during a season since 2016.
This week’s opponents are chasing the SEC title. Georgia is just one game behind leaders Florida and Kentucky, while Mississippi is just two games behind.
Both teams also had long SEC winning streaks until they were recently snapped. Mississippi won their first 6 league matches before falling in their last 3. Georgia lost their conference opener, then ran off 6 wins in a row before losing again.
The five-set match vs the Rebels earlier this year was the first in the series since 2011.
In the 34 meetings played vs UGA in the rally-scoring era, there have only been 3 four-set matches — one of which was earlier this year. In that time, the Lady Vols are 17-4 in three set matches, 1-2 in four set matches, and 6-4 in five set matches.
One of Mississippi’s assistant coaches, Russ Friedland, was UT’s volunteer assistant coach in 2012. Their other assistant coach, Tori Plugge, faced the Lady Vols on the court as a player at Texas A&M.
Georgia head coach Tom Black was an assistant coach for the Bronze Medal winning 2016 Olympic team that featured former Lady Vol Kelsey Robinson. He’s currently the head coach of Canada’s women’s national team.
Top five conference statistical leaders include: UT’s Ava Bell is tops in the SEC in hitting percentage, UM’s Nayo Warnell is 4th. UM’s Nicole Purcell is first in digs. UGA’s Meghan Donovan is second in assists. UT’s Tessa Grubbs is 4th in kills and 5th in points. UGA’s Brynn Chandler is 4th in aces. UM’s Aubrey Sultemeier is 5th in blocks.
The SEC Block Party podcast (hosted by Mississippi assistant coach Plugge) has featured interviews with people associated with all three teams represented in Knoxville this weekend: Tennessee, Mississippi, and Georgia.
You can receive free admission to both matches by showing your UAB football ticket or stub. Sunday’s match features several promotions. Head coach Eve Rackham will host a pre-game chalk talk. The team will hang around after the match to sign autographs. It’s Kid’s Day: all kids 12 and under get free admission and the first 100 will receive a prize. It’s also Girl Scout Day. All Girl Scouts wearing their uniform receive get free admission. More details on all these events and promotions are online.
Parking and security information is available online as well.Friday, November 1st @ 6:30pm ET
Online Video: SEC Network+ // Live Stats
Last week: lost to Georgia and KentuckySunday, November 3rd @ 1:30pm ET
Online Video: SEC Network+ // Live Stats
Last week: defeated Mississippi and Arkansas, lost to Texas A&M
NATIONAL & CONFERENCE STATISTICAL RANKS