Friday, February 12, 2021

UT upsets #16 Mizzou

The Lady Vols defeated Missouri, the #16 team in the country, in five sets this evening — despite a historically bad performance at the service line! More tonight!

UPDATE: Lily Felts led the team in kills with 16, with Danielle Mahaffey, Jasmine Brooks, and Morgahn Fingall just behind with 15, 14, and 13 respectively. Ava Bell had 5 blocks, while Fingall put down 4. Natalie Hayward had 54 assists. Madison Bryant, taking over the libero jersey from Madison Coulter, dug up 19 balls. Felts earned a double-double with her kills and 18 digs, and Hayward got one as well with her assists and 14 digs.

Tennessee had 22 service errors during the match — a rally scoring era record and the first time the team has ever reached 20 in that time. Sometimes high service errors are acceptable because it means you’re serving tough and also notching a lot of aces as well. That wasn’t the case here. The Lady Vols only had 2 aces on the night, the first of which didn’t come until late in the fourth set. Their ace to error ratio was the 7th lowest since 2001.

Missouri had their share of missed serves as well, with 13 of them to just 4 aces. The combined 35 service errors is also the most in a UT rally-scoring era match, and the first time a match had both teams reach the 30’s.

One of the things that enabled UT to pull off the win despite the serving issues was their ability to score points while preventing Missouri from doing so. That may sound obvious! However, Mizzou actually outscored Tennessee in actual points on the scoreboard 112 to 111. But that includes all those unforced errors. Only looking at earned points, the Lady Vols had 82.5 statistical points vs just 69 for the Tigers. That 13.5 point differential is the fourth widest by an unranked UT squad facing a ranked opponent in the rally-scoring era.

Here’s a quick followup to yesterday’s post where I mentioned stats and roster pages may have issues due to the split season. My quick fix to get around the problems previously mentioned is to just date these spring matches as if they are taking place in 2020. The upside is almost everything should work fine until I get a permanent fix in place. The only downside is the dates on the spring matches will be wrong until then.