Fresh out of the gate in SEC play, the Lady Vols already have a conference loss to South Carolina after the team's four-set match against the Gamecocks on Sunday.
But the team (8-7, 0-1 SEC) isn't dwelling on the defeat, as it faces Georgia on Saturday and Kentucky, Sunday, on the road.
Instead, they have a new mindset as they head deeper into SEC play.
"We take one match at a time" Patrick said. "Our whole mindset has been on Georgia and that's who we're preparing for right now. We're just getting ready for that one match, and then when that's finished, then we'll go ahead and put our game plan in for Kentucky on Saturday."
Georgia (11-3, 1-1 SEC) is one spot above Tennessee in the early going of the SEC East standings. The Lady Vols have defeated the Lady Bulldogs the last two times the teams have met.
However, the Lady Bulldogs have gone undefeated at home this fall, while Tennessee is 6-1 on the road so far. Freshman middle blocker, Raina Hembry, has confidence in her squad, despite their rough conference-play start.
"I think we really need to be mentally focused throughout the game" Hembry said. "We tend to come out really strong with a lot of energy, and when something goes wrong we kind of get off focus. I think we just need to be able to come together, recoup, and go out there and play our game. I think we should do pretty well against them."
Hembry is leading the Lady Vols in block assists and total blocks and believes Tennessee has a strong chance to break into the win column for conference play over the weekend.
She is also one of a slew of inexperienced players getting their first taste of SEC volleyball. So how does such a young team prepare to face strong opponents such as Georgia and Kentucky, two solid teams with many impressive veterans?
Hembry's answer—hard work.
"We've been practicing hard in the gym and looking at the scouting report and kinda playing out what we're gonna see from Kentucky and Georgia" Hembry said. "We've been working on our blocking, working on our hitting, mostly, and out of system plays, making sure we can get the ball in the court."
Though the pressure of playing two SEC foes this weekend has been on the team's minds, the Lady Vols, are simply excited to dive into conference play.
"I'm so excited to be able to come in as a freshman, and start, and help my team," Hembry said. "I'm ready to go play and show SEC what I have to bring to this team."
However, Hembry's not the only one with something to prove to the conference.
"I'm just ready to go play Georgia and Kentucky and show that we can be a winning, successful team." Hembry said.
The Lady Vols hit the road to face UGA at 7:00 on Saturday followed by a face off against UK at 1:30 on Sunday in Lexington, Ky.