The Tennessee volleyball team (19-5, 10-2 SEC) beat Ole Miss (13-13, 3-9 SEC) on the road in four sets on Friday night (21-25, 25-21, 26-24, 25-23). The win makes it five straight in the SEC for Tennessee.
The result gives head coach Eve Rackham her tenth SEC win in a conference she has not spent a lot of time in. The win clinches an above .500 record for the No. 25 Lady Vols inside of SEC play. It is a mark they have failed to reach since 2012, when they finished third in the conference.
Ole Miss recorded 68 digs compared to Tennessee’s 59 in the match. Sophomore Madison Coulter was a defensive standout for the Lady Vols, recording 15 digs in the win. Senior Brooke Schumacher stepped up as well, recording 11 digs on the road.
Tennessee was the better offensive team on the night, recording 66 kills on a .286 hitting percentage, compared to the Rebels’ 62 kills on a .273 hitting percentage. The Lady Vols recorded five service aces, compared to two from Ole Miss on the evening. Tennessee had aces from five different players.
Standouts from the offense were Tessa Grubbs, who had a team-high 21 kills, Addisyn Rowe who had 17 kills of her own, and Sedona Hansen and Callie Williams, who combined for 55 assists and engineered the offense all night long.
The Lady Vols won the last two sets by a combined four points. Rackham emphasized mental toughness leading up to the match.
The Lady Vols remained on pace with No. 11 Florida (10-2 SEC) in a tie for second place. No. 12 Kentucky (11-0 SEC) currently sits atop the conference, already beating the Lady Vols in both their matchups this season. Missouri (10-3 SEC) currently sits below the Lady Vols in fourth place, already losing to Tennessee on Sept. 28 in five sets.
The Lady Vols will have to wait to until Nov. 21 to take on the national-runner up Lady Gators. They will have four matches between now and then, with three of them on the road and one more against Missouri in Columbia.
Road games have been no problem for lately for the Lady Vols, winning four straight after the result on Friday night. Their record is now 6-4 on the road, and they have not lost since a trip to Lexington on Oct. 10.
Tennessee has a matchup with Texas A&M on Sunday inside of Thompson-Boling Arena. It will be the last matchup before the Lady Vols welcome Florida to town.