The No. 22 Tennessee volleyball team (22-5, 13-2 SEC) defeated the Lady Tigers of Missouri (22-6, 12-4 SEC) in four sets (19-25,25-21,25-22,25-12). The Lady Vols handed Missouri their first home loss of the season, and Tennessee improved their road record to 8-4 while pushing their winning streak to eight straight games.
"They were undefeated at home so far this year,” coach Tyler Adams said. “It is a really good tribute to our team and the steps we have taken this year to come into a road environment and get a big win."
After the first set, the Lady Vols played with a different energy on their way to victory. Tessa Grubbs registered 20 kills in the match to give her four 20-kill games in the last five matches.
The Lady Vols raced out to a 5-2 lead in the second set and never trailed again.
"There was definitely a mentality change,” Adams said. “I think we always played hard but, I think we played a little smarter in sets two, three and four.
“We switched the lineup a little bit with Asha (Phillips) staying in the back row and put Rocky (Perinar) in the front row. I think that those changes definitely helped us,”
Grubbs, an SEC player of the year candidate, lead her team in kills once again, while Perinar earned 11 and senior Erica Treiber registered nine. Treiber also recorded at least 3 services aces for the sixth time this season.
Defensively, Madison Coulter lead the team with 15 digs. Asha Phillips and Lily Felts contributed nine digs each. Brooke Schumacher recorded seven on the evening, moving her into 5th all time in the program’s history.
The individual standout for the Lady Vols on Wednesday was Sedona Hansen, who recorded 48 assists to go along with 11 digs. The 48 assists tie a career high, which she set in a win at LSU earlier this year. Hansen’s double-double is her 11th on the season and 48th for her career.
“To be able to make the other team struggle scoring wise is a huge step forward for our team because we have been working on that for weeks during practice,” Hansen said.
With the win, the Lady Vols moved into second place in the SEC outright. The team has not finished this high in conference play since 2011, when the Lady Vols won their 5th regular season SEC title.
In the midst of their 8 game overall winning streak, the Lady Vols have taken six straight on the road. Their last loss on the road came against No. 11 Kentucky on Oct. 10.
Tennessee will be on the road for the last time this season when they head to Arkansas to play the Lady Razorbacks (11-14, 5-10 SEC). It will be Arkansas’s Senior Day.
Tennessee has two more games at home before the season turns in to the postseason. They play No. 13 Florida on Nov. 21 and close the season on Nov. 24 against Ole Miss.