With a three-game defeat of Gonzaga Saturday night in Reno, Nev., the Tennessee volleyball team closed out the SBC/Sands Regency Invitational an unblemished 3-0 record.
With their fourth straight win, the Lady Vols improved their record to 5-1 this year. Tennessee played perhaps its cleanest offensive match of the early season, hitting .376 with just 12 attack errors.
UT never trailed at any point during any of the three games in the match.
Sophomore outside hitter Amy Morris earned tournament MVP honors after another solid effort. Against the Zags, the transfer from Penn State recorded nine kills and nine digs. During the tourney, Morris averaged 3.82 kills and 2.91 digs per game, with a hitting percentage of .318.
Sophomore setter Julie Knytych was also named to the all-tournament team after averaging nearly 10 assists a game.
"I was very happy to see Amy get her offensive game going," Tennessee volleyball coach Rob Patrick said. "She made a number of key kills for us throughout the tournament.
"Julie did a great job of not only running our offense, but running our team as well. She also made a commitment to working on her defense this year and is really doing a great job."
On Friday, the Lady Vols opened the tournament with a 3-0 shutout of host Nevada. Then the competition was turned up a notch Saturday morning and UT responded accordingly.
Against an Arizona State team that returned all six starters from a squad that went to last year's NCAA Sweet 16, Tennessee grinded out a 3-2 victory.
The Lady Vols will welcome Cal State Fullerton, East Tennessee State and Michigan this weekend as they host the fifth annual Toyota of Knoxville Lady Vol Classic at Stokely Athletics Center.
Record crowd sees No. 7 Lady Vols fall
Brigham Young freshman forward Annie Zwhalen made her first career goal one to remember, as it enabled the Cougars to upset the seventh-ranked Lady Vol soccer team by a 1-0 margin Friday night.
The rookie headed in a free kick taken by senior All-American Aleisha Rose with 12:52 remaining in regulation and the score proved to be enough for the hosts to send an overflow, record crowd of 2,758 spectators at South Stadium home happy.
"Full credit goes to BYU tonight," said Vol soccer coach Angela Kelly. "They brought their 'A' game. ... I am very proud of my young ladies, as they showed a tremendous amount of heart and character and gave it their all.
"They matured as a team and will learn from this loss. This match will certainly help us develop this season as we prepare for SEC play."
With its third straight shutout to begin the campaign, BYU improved to 2-0-1 and handed Tennessee (2-1) its first regular-season defeat since a 2-1 overtime setback at Florida on Oct. 18, 2002.
The Lady Vols played a match at UNLV Sunday night, but results were unavailable as of press time.
Like the volleyball team, the soccer squad will host a tournament on campus this weekend.
As part of the First Tennessee Classic at the UT Soccer Complex, Kelly's team will take on Richmond at 8 p.m. Friday and then Charlotte at 2 p.m. Sunday.
Lady Vols excel in tourney
Published: Mon Sep 08, 2003 | Modified: Sat Aug 06, 2005 05:20 p.m.