MINNEAPOLIS The Lady Vol volleyball team took two out of three games over the weekend to finish second in the University of Minnesota-Diet Coke Classic.
The weekend began on Friday with a loss to the host Minnesota Golden Gophers.
The No. 9 Gophers out-hit Tennessee .300 to .116 on their way to a 15-5, 15-5, 15-11 win. Minnesota upped their record to 9-0 with the win.
Junior Ariana Wilson led the way for UT, hitting .269 with 12 kills and four blocks in the contest. Junior Erica Lear registered a team-high eight digs and 26 assists.
Head coach Rob Patrick said his team gave Minnesota too many opportunities in the game.
We have to take this match and use it as a measuring stick for where the program is and what we need to improve on, he said. I really feel like we are not too far away from playing with these teams.
The rest of the weekend proved successful for Tennessee, as the Lady Vols took two wins on Saturday against Akron, 15-11, 15-7, 15-5, and Seton Hall, 15-1, 15-11, 15-4.
In the Akron match, the team started slow to take game one but turned it on late to finish off the Zips.
We had some miscues (against Akron), Patrick said, but the team has shown time and again that they will fight through different kinds of adversity to get the win.
UT out-hit Akron .254 to .121 in the match. Leading the way on offense was sophomore middle blocker Janelle Hester, who hit a match-high .333, recording 13 kills. Wilson tallied 16 kills, six digs and five blocks while Lear registered 40 assists and 13 digs.
Against Seton Hall, the Lady Vols cruised through games one and three, but struggled in between, still escaping with a 3-0 win against the Pirates.
Hester dominated the Seton Hall front line with a match-high 21 kills. Wilson notched 11 kills and a career-high eight digs. Lear matched her assist total from the Akron match, with 40. She also had a team-high 12 digs.
Tennessee went 2-1 on the weekend and now stands at 8-2 on the year. The Lady Vols next take the court when they host UNC-Asheville on Sept. 19 at the Stokely Athletics Center.