The University of Tennessee volleyball team downed Georgia on Sunday in Athens, marking the team's 20th win of the season. Tennessee's record improves to 20-5 overall, 8-3 in the Southeastern Conference.
Reaching 20 wins is huge for us, head coach Rob Patrick said. Twenty can be a magic number, as very few teams make it into the NCAA Tournament without that number in their record. In reaching 20 wins with six or seven matches left to play it gives us room to improve our chances of getting in and takes us one step closer to being off the bubble.
UT started the match slow, running a disorganized defense that cost them the first frame, 10-15. In the second frame, the Lady Vols held on, 15-10.
In pivotal game three, the teams traded points and the Lady Vols fell behind 8-12. Patrick then called a time out to rally his troops. The break worked and the Lady Vols chipped away at the lead and seized control of the match, taking game three 15-13.
The Lady Vols carried the momentum from the previous two games into the fourth stanza and cruised to a 15-7 victory.
Junior Ariana Wilson was the go-to hitter for the Lady Vols, recording 20 kills on the match to lead the team. Sophomore outside hitter Kelli Scott tallied 11 kills and 12 digs for her fourth double-double of the season. As a team the Lady Vols posted a season-high 16.5 blocks in the match.
Trinia Cuseo, who stayed in Knoxville while the team faced Florida on Friday, showed no signs of the vertigo that kept her home. Cuseo had seven kills and nine blocks. Sophomore middle blocker Janelle Hester added eight kills and seven blocks.
Junior setter Erica Lear recorded a match-high 51 assists, while junior outside hitter Andrea Peterson anchored the defense with 16 digs.
The win comes after the Lady Vols fell to No. 10 Florida, 3-0, in Gainesville on Friday.
Hester had a team-high 10 kills while Wilson recorded 14 kills, five digs and three blocks while sophomore middle blocker Kristen Clements added six kills. Junior setter Lear posted 39 assists and nine digs. Junior outside hitter Jennifer Elliott played in two games, tallying five kills, five digs and one block.
Up next, the Lady Vols have a week to prepare for a meeting with Eastern Division rival South Carolina on Friday night in Stokely Athletics Center.