Let’s get this out right up front. This is not a normal year, but the season is going on. I’ll bring up pandemic related issues as they may occur. But for the most part, I’ll continue to cover the team as I have for the past 13 years. Please don’t consider me insensitive if you feel I’m not giving the disease enough coverage. It is absolutely a big deal. But after seven months of COVID-related stress, I think I’d like to mainly focus on volleyball for awhile.
Through the years, the Lady Vols have started the season earlier and earlier. This current delay has pushed the opening match to October 16th. In school history, and only counting years with complete records, that will be the latest ever start to a season by six days. In 1975, UT had their first match on October 10th.
Since 1978, Tennessee is 33-9 in season openers.
UT will open the season vs a ranked opponent for the seventh time in school history, and the third year in a row. They are 2-4 in those matches.
For the second straight season, the team faces the same ranked opponent twice in row.
UT is 30-51 all-time vs Kentucky, 16-18 in the rally-scoring era, 1-9 in their last ten matches, and 3-7 in their last ten in Lexington. The Wildcats have a four-match winning streak.
In the rally-scoring era, Tennessee is 32-68 vs ranked teams, and 1-11 vs top three teams.
The Lady Vols have played in 15 televised matches during Rackham’s tenure, winning 7 of them. The first match this weekend will be on TV.
The UT/UK series is the most played and longest continuously played series in program history. Both sides claim different matches, but according to Tennessee, Wednesday’s match will be 82nd since their first meeting in 1973. The teams have played each other every year since at least 1978.
Since 2008, Tennessee is 5-10 vs Kentucky when the Wildcats are ranked. Four of those UT wins came during matches where the Vols themselves were unranked.
In her first two years as head coach Eve Rackham already has wins over every other SEC opponent, except for Kentucky.
Lexington KY #3 KENTUCKY October 16th, 7:00pm ET Stats | Video | TV: SEC Network October 17th, 7:00pm ET Stats | Video