After a successful out-of-conference warm-up, Tennessee starts the SEC portion of their schedule this weekend vs Arkansas.
UT is 23-21 all-time vs Arkansas. The Lady Vols are 6-4 in their last ten meetings and 7-3 in their last ten meetings in Knoxville.
UT hasn’t swept Arkansas since 2012.
Statistically, Tennessee and Arkansas are fairly similar in most categories. The one glaring exception is aces per set. The Razorbacks lead the conference and are in the top 50 nationally with 1.89 per set. UT is last in the SEC and 323rd out of 332 teams nationally.
Tennessee will be playing their first televised match of the season on Sunday. The team is 38-56 in those matches since 2001. UT is 9-4 on TV when outranking their opponent.
Coach Eve Rackham Watt talked with the voice of Lady Vol volleyball Brian Rice (and also Erik Ainge!) earlier today.
With about a third of the season over, here is where some UT players might end the season extrapolating out their current stats. (Apologies if I forgot anyone!)
• SEASON RECORDS
Morgahn Fingall could end the season with about 370 kills, which would be the 18th most in a season in the rally-scoring era. Her 4.26 kills per set would be just outside the top ten all-time at UT.
Ava Bell is hitting .427 this year, which if she can keep going would be the best average in school history in a season. Bell is sitting at 1.35 blocks per set, which would be in the school’s all-time season top ten.
Danielle Mahaffey’s 1.20 blocks per set would be a top twenty performance.
Natalie Hayward is on pace to reach 1,075 assists, which would be right on the cusp of a top twenty all-time season for a Lady Vol.
• CAREER RECORDS
With 20 career double-doubles, Lily Felts is ranked 9th at UT in rally-scoring era matches. She could probably finish career at around #7. She currently has 820 career kills. She is on pace to score 182 more this season. If Felts could do that, she’d be just the 22nd member of the UT 1,000 kills club. With the 21 digs she stated this past weekend, Felts moved into the UT top thirty all-time digs chart with 736. She could potentially hit the top twenty. And she is just 49 attack attempts away from the all-time school top twenty. The top fifteen is within her reach.
Natalie Hayward could also end her career with several spots on the school’s stat lists. She’s in the top twenty for assists, and could possibly reach as high as #10. She’s currently 6th in assists per set. Her .335 hitting percentage is currently 5th best all-time. And she might crack the top twenty for career digs per set.
Bell has a .379 career hitting percentage. Even if that drops .012 more, she would still become the all-time program hitting leader. Bell’s 1.02 blocks per set average is in the UT career top ten.
Mahaffey’s .247 hitting percentage would tie for the 30th spot on Tennessee’s career chart.
NATIONAL & CONFERENCE STATISTICAL RANKS
Tickets are available online for $5.
Tennessee is running several promotions for Sunday’s home match. Kids 12 and under get free admission. The first 100 kids will receive an ice cream sundae. And the first 100 fans will receive… pancakes and syrup?!
Be sure to look over Thompson Boling Arena’s clear bag policy.
Parking and other gameday information can be found online as well.
Knoxville TN ARKANSAS 10-2, 1-0 Saturday, September 25th, 4:00pm ET Stats | SEC Network+ Sunday, September 26th, 12:00pm ET Stats | SEC Network (TV and online)