After finishing 1-1 in conference play last weekend, the Tennessee volleyball team (10-12, 4-8 SEC) is heading to Tuscaloosa this weekend ready to get another SEC win under their belts.
With only six games left in the regular season, Tennessee is preparing to face SEC rivals, including Alabama (12-9, 4-6 SEC). The Lady Vols will take on the Tide this Sunday and again later in the month.
“We have to go to Alabama and play them on the road and that’s all we’re focused on right now,” head coach Eve Rackham said. “We haven’t talked about what’s left in the season or where we are in the SEC. It’s just the next game we have to play and the next team we have to play. Just focusing on how we can get better and how we can beat them.”
This past weekend Tennessee managed to upset Ole Miss but fell to Georgia. Looking to improve upon some of the mistakes made in Sunday’s game, the Lady Vols are turning to veterans like Lily Felts, Alyssa Andreno, and Tessa Grubbs.
Grubbs finished Sunday’s match with 25 kills, marking her third-straight match with twenty or more kills. She is only four kills away from reaching the program’s career top 10. She currently has 1,339, tying her with Janelle Hester for eleventh place.
“(Grubbs) does a lot,” Felts said. “She brings us a lot of kills and that’s especially important because we don’t have a ton of other players who can score at such a high efficiency like she does. She definitely carries a big load for our team.”
Consistency is a principle the staff at Tennessee has been preaching to the team all season. After facing some struggles against teams on the road (2-7 away), the Lady Vols have been working on bringing uniformity to their game.
Along with consistency, decreasing unanswered errors and enforcing service pressure are skills Tennessee is planning on taking into the remainder of the season.
“Alabama is a good team so going into it we really need to know our scouting report,” explained Grubbs. “We need to go back to trusting our training and not trying to do too much or go outside ourselves. Really, it comes down to our side.”
Tennessee is set to play Alabama on Sunday, Nov. 10 at 3 p.m. in Tuscaloosa.