Tennessee’s final non-conference match of the season is Wednesday night in Alabama vs Troy. On Sunday the team returns to conference play at Kentucky. Notes for that match will be up later this week.
- UT is meeting Troy for the first time in program history.
- The Vols are 4-2 vs the Sun Belt Conference since 2001.
- Troy is facing their third opponent from the state of Tennessee this season. They were previously swept by both ETSU and Austin Peay.
- Troy is facing their second SEC opponent this season. Mississippi State swept them earlier this year.
- The last time Tennessee travelled to Alabama for a non-conference match was October 18, 1988, when they defeated UAB 3-0.
- The last non-conference team from the state of Alabama the Vols played was Jacksonville State in 2013, in Knoxville. UT lost 2-3.
- Tennessee junior Claudia Coco’s neck of the woods in Georgia is well represented on the Trojan roster. Four Troy players were members of the A5 volleyball club she attended. Of those, one lived in her hometown of Johns Creek and another was a classmate at Chattahoochee High School with her.
We’ve just passed the half-way point of the season. Which seems like a good time to look at a few player stats and see how they might stack up against the record book. Keep in mind these are projections only. As the second half of the season will feature tougher conference opponents, the players may not stat at the pace they did in out-of-confernce play. (I’ll be looking at all-time school records here. At the end of the year I’ll also report how the players did in rally-scoring era records.)
- Sedona Hansen has 578 assists so far this year. At that rate, she could end the year with approximately 1,120, which would be the 17th most in a season at UT. Her 11.33 assists per set currently ranks as the 16th best in a season all-time.
- Erica Triber’s .372 hitting percentage currently ranks as the third best in a season all-time.
- Bridgette Villano’s 3.47 digs per set currently stands as the 18th best all-time in a season. With 1,085 career digs already and at her current pace, she could make the top ten on that list at UT. At 3.27 digs per set, she should finish her career around #6 all-time.
- UPDATE: Missed this one in the original post: Raina Hembry has 305 career blocks and might add 35-50 more the rest of the season. That would put her in the UT career blocks top ten list.
Tennessee kept pace in every set with the #5 team in the country but fell just short yesterday against the Gators (25-21, 19-25, 25-22, 25-20). Tessa Grubbs led both teams with 17 kills. Bri Holmes had 14, and Erica Treiber and Raina Hembry had 10 each. Treiber hit .500, Holmes .400, and Grubbs .343. Treiber and Hembry had 4 blocks a piece with Grubbs just behind with 3. Sedona Hansen put up 46 assists. Brooke Schumacher had 16 digs.
Of all the teams Florida has faced this season, Tennessee scored the second most kills and had the second highest hitting percentage. Only Nebraska did better in their win over UF.
In the three sets UT lost in this match, they were tied with Florida late in each one: 19-19 in the first set, 19-19 in the third, and 20-20 in the fourth.
The Vols have had double digit service errors in 9 of their 16 matches this season.
Service errors are frustrating, especially when they come at inopportune moments. But they don’t necessarily mean a team is serving badly. It could mean the team is serving more aggressively. Just over halfway through this season Tennessee has 79 aces as a team. That easily puts them on pace to surpass the 98 aces they got in all of 2012, the 83 they got in 2013, and the 88 they got in 2014. They could also put down more than the 121 they served up all of last year.
Right now the Vols are on track to reach over 300 service errors at their current rate. The only other team to do that in the rally scoring era? The 2011 SEC Championship team.
UT hit .297 as a team — that’s their third best hitting performance in a loss since 2001. In fact, 3 of the top 10 hitting percentages in a loss in the rally scoring era have been this season.
- UT is 13-47-1 all-time vs Florida, 3-7 in their last ten meetings, and 2-8 in their last ten in Gainesville.
- Tennessee won three in a row in 2011 and 2012. But since then the Vols haven’t been able to win a set in their five matches vs the Gators.
- Florida has been dominant since coach Mary Wise took over the program in 1991. She’s only lost 24 regular season matches to SEC teams in her career. No conference opponent has won more matches against her than Tennessee.
- If UT gets to five sets vs Florida, history says they have at good shot a winning. UF won the first two such matches in 1986 and 1987. But Tennessee has won the last six since then.
- Tennessee has defeated the Gators thirteen times over the years, and eight of those wins were in the state of Florida: six times in Gainesville (1984, 1989, 2004 twice, 2011, 2012), and once in both Tallahassee (1978) and Pensacola (1988).
- The first time UT faced a ranked Florida team was 1991 — and the Gators have amazingly been ranked in every Tennessee game since then!
- The Vols have only defeated a top five opponent twice: #2 Penn State and #4 Florida in 2005.
- Florida coach Mary Wise and Tennessee coach Rob Patrick are the two longest serving coaches at a single SEC school in league history. This season Patrick joins Wise as the only coaches to reach the 20-year mark. (Note how carefully I worded this one! Fran Flory has coached in the SEC for 24 years but at two different schools. Laurie Corbelli has been at Texas A&M for 24 years but only 5 of them were in the SEC.)
LONGEST TIME COACHING IN SEC AT A SINGLE SCHOOL Mary Wise Florida 1991- 26 years Rob Patrick Tennessee 1997- 20 years Fran Flory LSU 1998- 19 years John Blair Mississippi 1986-2001 16 years Judy Green Alabama 1996-2010 15 years
Tennesse fought hard in their first televised match of the year but fell just short vs South Carolina (24-26, 25-12, 23-25, 25-22, 15-13). Erica Treiber and Tessa Grubbs had 17 kills each, while Bri Holmes added 13 more. Raina Hembry put down five blocks, Holmes had 4, and Treiber and Alyssa Andreno had 2 each. Sedona Hansen earned another double-double with 52 assists and 16 digs. Brooke Schumacher dug up 15 balls and Bridgette Villano contributed 13 more.
Tennessee led the match in kills, assists, and digs, while SC led in aces and blocks.
The 11 service errors tonight were the 11th most by UT in the rally-scoring era. This was the third time this season the team has had 14 or more missed serves in a match.
After going a perfect 3-0 last season in five-set matches, Tennessee has lost both they’ve played in this season.
Tennessee has a mid-week nationally televised match at South Carolina on Wednesday night. They’ll then take on Florida in Gainesville on Sunday. These notes will focus on the first match of the week with a follow-up on Saturday for the next match.
- UT is 37-28 vs South Carolina all-time. The team is 7-3 in their last ten meetings and 6-4 in their last ten meetings in Columbia.
- SC was undefeated and #49 in last week’s PrepVolleyball Top 50, before a loss to Missouri knocked them out of the rankings.
- Tennessee is scheduled to play in 7 televised matches this season, which ties 2005 for the most UT appearances in one year. (In 2005, five of the matches were regular season games while two were NCAA Tournament matches.)
- The Vols are 25-37 in televised matches since 2001, and 1-3 in televised matches vs the Gamecocks.
- Tennessee is 15-17 in Wednesday matches since 2001, and 4-2 in Wednesday matches vs South Carolina.
- After the SC match, the Vols will have played two-thirds of their matches to-date on the road.
- Half of UT’s matches this season have been decided in three sets. The team is 5-2 in those games, 5-1 in four-set matches, and lost their only five-set match so far.
- Tennessee’s official notes are online.
The Vols helped celebrate the International Day of the Deaf by welcoming a large group of students from Knoxville’s Tennessee School for the Deaf out to the match, where American Sign Language interpreters were on hand. UT posted a great video yesterday featuring Claudia Coco, Breana Jeter, and Mackenzie Cooler who talk about their studies of ASL, the deaf people in their lives that inspired them to learn more, and why they were excited for the students to come out to the match.
My father worked at TSD for fifteen years. It was always cool when going to the campus to visit, help him with his computer, or bring my kids over for lunch, to get to see the wonderful community they have there. And it was great to see all the Vikings in attendance at the match! Hopefully, this is an event that will become a new tradition at UT.
UPDATE: Tessa Grubbs led both teams with 12 kills while hitting .579. She also had 3 (back-to-back-to-back!) aces in the match. Bri Holmes had 10 kills. Raina Hembry hit .571 with 7 attacks and Alyssa Andreno hit .333 with 9 attacks. Erica Treiber put down 6 blocks, Hembry 5, Kanisha Jiminez 3, and Andreno, Holmes, and Sedona Hansen 2. Hansen put up 35 of the team’s 37 assists. Brooke Schumacher led both teams with 9 digs. Hansen added in 7, Bridgette Villano 6, and Britney Vallez 5.
The Vols hit .333 as a team — the eighth time this season they’ve gone over .300.
They held the Bulldogs to a single ace and 27 digs, both season bests.
Today’s match was the 11th highest attended Tennessee volleyball match in program history with 1,466 on hand.
UPDATE: Bri Holmes had 14 kills, while Tessa Grubbs was right behind with 13. Erica Treiber had 7 blocks, and Holmes added in another 3. Sedona Hansen earned a double-double with 33 assists and 10 digs. Brooke Schumacher had 11 digs.
The Vols had more digs and blocks, the Bulldogs had more aces, and the teams were tied in kills and assists.
This was just the third time in program history Tennessee has been swept by Mississippi State. The other occasions were in 1995 and 2013.
UT hit .278 for the match — the fifth-highest hitting percentage in a loss for the team in the rally scoring era.
The win was the first SEC opener victory for Mississippi State since 2006. It was the third SEC opener loss in a row for Tennessee.
- UT is 43-10 all-time vs Mississippi State, and 7-3 in their last ten meetings.
- UT is 44-27 all-time vs Georgia, and 6-4 in their last ten meetings.
- Since 1978, the Vols are 18-20 in SEC openers — 9-10 under coach Rob Patrick and 9-10 in the years before his arrival.
- The Bulldogs from Starkville started their season 8-6. The Bulldogs of Athens started the season 12-1 before losing their SEC opener on Wednesday to Kentucky.
- Georgia moved into the PrepVolleyball Top 50 Rankings this week at #50.
- It’s been 27 days since the Vols last played in Knoxville. That ties for the longest time between home matches (or the beginning of the season and the first home game) in school history.
LONGEST WAIT FOR A UT REGULAR SEASON HOME MATCH 2016 27 days (August 27 to September 23) 2012 27 days (August 25 to September 21) 2009 26 days (August 30 to September 25) 2015 24 days (September 8 to October 2) 2001 21 days (season open to September 21) 1997 21 days (September 28 to October 19)
- The team in the news: “Tennessee Volleyball spikes towards SEC play” from the Daily Beacon, “Freshmen fast starters for Vols in volleyball” at the News Sentinel.
- Be sure to check out all the promotions Tennessee has available to fans this weekend. (PDF)
- The official site has published their notes package for the MSU game.
- And if you missed it, lots of season-to-date stats were posted here yesterday.
Early season out of conference tournaments are over and the SEC season will get underway this week (though Tennessee does have one more non-conference opponent on the schedule later). We’re already over a third of the way into the season! So this seems like an appropriate time to look into the numbers the team has posted this year so far.
NATIONAL STATISTICAL RANKINGS – TEAM (out of 329) aces
68 28 234 88 162 23 14 50
SEC STATISTICAL RANKINGS – TEAM (out of 13) aces
4 2 8 8 5 2 3 5
NATIONAL STATISTICAL RANKINGS – INDIVIDUAL (top 150 ranked) Kelsey Bawcombe aces per set 130 Tessa Grubbs kills per set 91 points per set 90 Sedona Hansen assists per set 11 Erica Treiber hitting percentage 17
SEC STATISTICAL RANKINGS – INDIVIDUAL (top 10-15 ranked) Kelsey Bawcombe aces per set 9 Tessa Grubbs kills per set 7 points per set 7 Sedona Hansen assists per set 2 Raina Hembry blocks per set 12 Bridgette Villano digs per set 4 Erica Treiber hitting percentage 2
CAREER HIGHS (matched or exceeded in 2016) Kelsey Bawcombe aces 5 (vs ULM) Stephanie Buss total blocks 6 (vs Milwaukee) Raina Hembry assists 2 (vs Xavier) digs 5 (vs Eastern Michigan) Bri Holmes attacks 59 (vs Eastern Michigan) digs 9 (vs Western Michigan) hitting percentage .733 (vs ULM) Courtney Mueller assists 6 (vs ULM & Milwaukee) Brooke Schumacher assists 3 (vs Milwaukee) Erica Treiber attacks 31 (vs Cleveland State) aces 3 (vs Cleveland State) digs 8 (vs Cleveland State) solo blocks 2 (vs Cincinnati) Kendra Turner hitting percentage .462 (vs ULM) assists 2 (vs Milwaukee) aces 3 (vs Cleveland State) digs 8 (vs Eastern Michigan) solo blocks 2 (vs Milwaukee) Bridgett Villano assists 8 (vs Cleveland State) aces 4 (vs Cincinnati) points 4 (vs Cincinnati)
2016 SEASON HIGHS aces Kelsey Bawcombe 5 (vs ULM) assists Sedona Hansen 56 (vs Western Michigan) attacks Bri Holmes 59 (vs Eastern Michigan) blocks (solo) Stephanie Buss 2 (vs Milwaukee) Tessa Grubbs 2 (vs Milwaukee) Raina Hembry 2 (vs Xavier) Erica Treiber 2 (vs Cincinnati) Kendra Turner 2 (vs Milwaukee) blocks (assists) Alyssa Andreno 8 (vs Kent State) Erica Trieber 8 (vs Kent State) blocks (total) Alyssa Andreno 8 (vs Kent State) Erica Trieber 8 (vs Kent State) digs Bridgette Villano 27 (vs Cleveland State) kills Tessa Grubbs 23 (vs Cleveland State) points Tessa Grubbs 24.5 (vs Cleveland State) hitting percentage Bri Holmes .733 (vs ULM)
TEAM MATCH HIGHS (rally scoring era, 2001-2016) 1st most blocks (solo) 7 (vs Milwaukee) 6th most hitting percentage .447 (vs ULM) 11th most aces 10 (vs Cleveland State) 17th most aces 9 (vs Cincinnati) 17th most aces 9 (vs MTSU) 20th most points 90 (vs Cleveland State) 22nd most blocks (solo) 4 (vs Xavier) 25th most kills 72 (vs Cleveland State) 25th most hitting percentage .388 (vs James Madison)
INDIVIDUAL MATCH HIGHS (rally scoring era, 2001-2016) Kelsey Bawcombe 8th most aces 5 (vs ULM) Kelsey Bawcombe 16th most aces 4 (vs Milwaukee) Bridgette Villano 16th most aces 4 (vs Cincinnati) Bri Holmes 19th most hitting percentage .733 (vs ULM)
UT defeated James Madison this morning 3-0 (25-18, 25-19, 25-13). Tessa Grubbs had 13 kills while hitting .450. Bri Holmes was just behind her with 12 kills. Three other players hit over .350: Erica Treiber with .636, Alyssa Andreno with .455, and Raina Hembry with .353. Sedona Hansen notched a double double with 40 assists and 10 digs. Bridgette Villano led the team with 13 digs.
The Vols’ 4 team blocks were the 6th lowest in a win since 2001.
JMU’s 25 kills and 28 digs were the 16th and 18th lowest by a UT opponent since 2001.
This game had only 34 in attendance, even lower than what was the third lowest crowd in the rally-scoring era yesterday.
In the night match, UT swept George Washington (25-22, 25-17, 27-25). Treiber led the Vols with 14 kills, Grubbs had 12, and Holmes 10. Five players hit over .350: Treiber and Andreno with .500 each, Hembry with .429, Holmes with .400, and Grubbs with .360. Hansen had 41 assists. Villano had 11 digs and 2 aces.
On the day, Tennessee only had 9 team blocks in two games. They hit .388 and .385 in both matches — they’ve hit over .300 in 6 matches this season.
Northern Illinois scored a close 3-0 victory over the Vols this afternoon in Washington DC (25-23, 25-22, 25-20) — the first time UT has been swept this season. Tessa Grubbs was the only player from either team to notch double-digit kills with 12. Erica Treiber had 8 kills and three blocks. Sedona Hansen put up 31 of the team’s 36 assists. And Britney Vallez had a team-leading 10 digs.
Tennessee led the match in kills, assists, and digs, while NIU led in hitting percentage, aces, and blocks.
With 42 people on hand to watch, this was UT’s third lowest attended match recorded since 2001.
- UT is 0-1 all-time vs Northern Illinois, with the only meeting a 3-0 loss in 2014. Since 2001, the Vols are 9-3 vs Mid-American Conference teams.
- UT is 2-1 all-time vs James Madison. The last meeting was a 3-2 loss in 1999. Since 2001, the Vols are 2-0 vs Colonial Athletic Association teams.
- UT is 5-2 all-time vs George Washington. The last meeting was a 3-0 win in 2012. Since 2001, the Vols are 7-1 vs Atlantic 10 Conference teams.
- All three opponents this weekend have already faced some tough competition, versus teams appearing in the AVCA poll. NIU lost to #14 Hawaii and #6 Washington. JMU also lost to Washington, when they were ranked #7. And GWU lost to Washington State, who didn’t receive enough votes to make the top 25 cut but were ranked #36 unofficially.
- From my quick check of the record book, this will be UT’s second trip to the District of Columbia. They previously played in the George Washington Invitational in 1993 where they defeated New Orleans, UAB, and the home team.
- Several of the coaches on the opposite sideline from Tennessee already have some experience versus UT before they started at their current schools. JMU assistant Lauren Steinbrecher was in that job at Kentucky for three seasons. GMU head coach Amanda Ault was an assistant at Xavier in 2005 and at Michigan in 2009. And GMU assistant Erin Moore played against the Vols with Michigan in 2003.
- After a 7-2 start, UT is steadily moving up in the Pablo Rankings. They started the year ranked 113th but have since climbed fifty spots to #63.
Congratulations to three Tennessee recruits who were named to PrepVolleyball’s annual Senior Aces list of the “best USA-based recruits” in the high school class of 2017. A total of 250 players make the cut every year, with the top 100 ranked. UT’s highest ranked recruit on the list is Keyton Kinley, a libero from Lexington KY, who came in at #100. Also making the list in the un-numbered portion were Olivia Schwamberger, a middle blocker from Cincinnati OH, and Callie Williams, a setter from Waco TX.
The Vols currently have 6 players who were named to the Senior Aces list during their final year of high school on the roster (Raina Hembry, Sedona Hansen, Bridgette Villano, Kelsey Bawcombe, Mackenzie Cooler, and Erica Treiber), only two of whom we’ll lose to graduation by the time these newcomers join the squad.