The Tennessee Lady Volunteers volleyball team improved to 11-8 on Tuesday with a record-breaking 3-1 victory over Middle Tennessee State in the Murphy Center. Senior setter Erica Lear highlighted the match for UT, recording 38 assists and breaking UT's career assist record with her 33rd assist of the match.
"Though it is an honor, I was happier that the team won," Lear said. "It is great to be able to leave a legacy here at UT and really this is a team record because I can not get the assist without a good pass and a solid hit."
Lear's new career total is 4,680 assists, six more than Molly Mooney's previous record of 4,674. Mooney's mark has stood since 1994.
Junior outside hitter Janelle Hester lead the way for head coach Rob Patrick's squad with 23 kills, two blocks and two digs. Senior middle hitter Ariana Wilson had 10 kills in the win, while junior outside hitter Kelli Scott anchored the defense with 10 digs.
Up next, Tennessee will visit Starkville, Miss., on Friday for a 8 p.m. match against Mississippi State.
Soccer team moves up
Now 9-4 overall following Southeastern Conference victories over No. 8 Florida (2-1, in overtime) and South Carolina (3-1), the Lady Vols soccer team was rewarded with significant jumps in the national polls released on Tuesday morning. Tennessee advanced five spots to No. 16 in the Soccer Buzz magazine Top 25 to match its highest position in the six-year existence of the program, initially reached on Sept. 10 of this season. The Lady Vols also ascended six spots to 17th in the National Soccer Coaches Association of America (NSCAA)/adidas ratings.
"We honestly don't focus on rankings here at Tennessee," head coach Angie Kelly said. "We just try to respect every opponent and go into every match like it's our last. With all of the difficult teams we play, the rankings will take care of themselves. There is still a long way to go in the season and we must be ready every time we step on the field."
The Lady Vols were boosted in each of the polls because of their upset win over the Gators last Friday night, a result that ended Florida's conference record winning streak of 50 matches. With the historic triumph, UT raised its '01 mark versus ranked opponents to 4-3. The Lady Vols then came back from a 1-0 halftime deficit on Sunday with three second-half goals to turn back the Lady Gamecocks.
Within each publication's Central Region Top 10, Tennessee held down the fourth spot, behind the Big 12 trio of No. 9 Nebraska (12-2), No. 10 Texas (9-3) and No. 14 Texas A&M (8-3-1), respectively. The Lady Vols will host their final weekend in action at the UT Soccer Complex this weekend by meeting Arkansas on Friday night and LSU on Sunday afternoon.
Track team to hold intrasquad event
Tennessee's track and field squad members will dust off their spikes Thursday for their first team competition since they walked away from legendary Hayward Field in Eugene, Ore., as NCAA Outdoor champions in June. The groundwork for a 2002 NCAA title run begins with the traditional fall intrasquad meet Thursday afternoon from 3:45-4:30 p.m. at Tom Black Track.
"We're looking to find competitors," head coach Bill Webb said. "We're not holding them back. Everybody's going."
On Thursday, the throwers will begin the running events with a football-style 40 yard dash at 3:45 p.m. It will be the only time of the season where the biggest men on the squad test their aptitude on the short track. The 300-meter dash, an in-between distance for competitive events, begins at 3:50 p.m. The 300m dash should be the premier show of the day as Tennessee's sprinters test their fitness level on the fast track. Next up, the decathletes, pole vaulters and high jumpers will take a crack at the 300m dash at 4 p.m. The 800m runners take the track at 4:10 p.m. with a 600m run and at 4:15 p.m. with a 2,000m run. The Thursday session is bookended by a 3,200m run for selected distance runners at 4:22 p.m.
Additionally, the Tennessee track staff invites the public to watch the grueling 8x200m relay Sunday at 3:45 p.m. at Tom Black Track. The squad is split into four relay teams (one team of sprinters, one team of middle distance runners, one team of decathletes and a mixed team). Each team consists of five runners, and each runner runs eight brutal 200M dashes in relay format with less than a two-minute rest in between. Three of Tennessee's all-time best in the event (since records were kept beginning in 1987), in Adrian Wheatley (tied for first), Dwayne Bell (fifth) and Shannon Wheatley (tied for 10th), are slated to report to the line Sunday.
Both media members and the public are invited to both of the above events.
Lear sets record, Lady Vols win
Published: Thu Oct 25, 2001 | Modified: Sat Aug 06, 2005 03:52 p.m.