The Lady Vols volleyball team fought through early inconsistencies over the weekend to end the Volunteer Invitational with a 3-1 win over Coastal Carolina on Sunday night.
"Overall we did not perform as well as we wanted to and we know that," said head Coach Rob Patrick, whose team finished the tournament 1-3.
Tennessee began the weekend with a 3-0 loss against Georgia Tech.
"We just made too many errors," Patrick said.
He was correct. An abundance of errors showed in the score line and the stats sheet, as the team recorded a hitting percentage of just .06 percent.
The team returned to Thompson-Boling Arena on Saturday morning looking to get back on track against Jacksonville State. Senior libero Ellen Mullins recorded a school record 37 digs in the match, but the Vols were unable to hold on to a two set lead and fell 3-2.
Freshman Raina Hembry also tallied a career best 21 kills.
Entering the final match of the weekend, Tennessee was eager to end a five-match losing streak. The urgency from the Lady Vols was was clear as UT put forth a strong performance en route to a 3-1 win.
Both Patrick and Mullins commended the team's ability to bounce back after a tough loss earlier in the day.
"This weekend, up and down, very inconsistent, but I think we finally had a breakthrough tonight in this match," Mullins said. "(We) finally played together as a team and had some more urgency. (I'm) really, really proud of how we came back in between this morning and tonight's match."
"The way we progressed to this last match I was extremely about," Patrick said. "We played a very good Coastal Carolina team who has a lot of experience, has a lot of physical ability and we were able to play more consistently than we have in the last few matches."
The win over Coastal Carolina also marked a bit of history for head coach Patrick, marking his 350th all-time win in his 16-year career at UT.
The two-time National Coach of the Year acknowledged the accomplishment by singing the praises of the players he's coached over the years.
"Every time there is a milestone, however, the thing that always comes back to me are the players," Patrick said. "The players that have played here, the sacrifices that they made. I'm so proud of the ladies that have worn the Tennessee jersey, it's really a tribute to them."
The event marked the conclusion of regular season non-conference play before the Lady Vols kick off SEC volleyball this Sunday against South Carolina.
"We still have a lot of work to do," Mullins said when asked what needs to change before SEC play begins.
Added Mullins: "Just minimizing our errors is something that we've been working on and working on and just having that maintaining of focus."