The Tennessee volleyball team dropped its second Southeastern Conference match of the season to No. 9 Florida on Sunday in the Stokely Athletics Center. The Gators defeat the Lady Vols 15-7, 15-10, 15-12, giving Gator head coach Mary Wise her 400th career win.
I am proud of the fight we put forth today, UT head coach Rob Patrick said. We played as a team the entire match, regardless the score. I felt we played with Florida for 90 percent of the match, however it is the 10 percent that make Florida a Top 10 team.
Junior co-captain outside hitter Ariana Wilson led the team with 13 kills. Wilson also added four digs and two blocks. Patrick's squad saw sophomore Jennifer Elliott turn in her second straight solid outing, as she tallied 11 kills, six digs and three blocks. Elliott has missed much of the season, suffering from ailing knee injuries.
Junior setter Erica Lear paced the offense with 42 assists, while AVCA/Sports Imports National Player of the Week sophomore outside hitter Kelli Scott anchored the UT defense with a match-high 15 digs.
Florida came with a balanced attack, with four Gators registering double-digit kill performances. Niki Hartley and Aury Cruz led the way, recording nine kills a piece and adding 12 and 14 digs, respectively. Beniva Jenkins and Nicole McCray, were the other Gators with double-digit kills. Florida out-hit Tennessee .261 to .171. The Lady Vols drop to 15-4 overall and 5-2 in conference play, while Florida improves to 15-3 overall and 7-0 in the conference.
The Lady Vols take a break from conference play on Tuesday as they host Radford in the Stokely Athletics Center at 7 p.m.