While the Tennessee volleyball team (7-5, 1-1 SEC) may have started this weekend in a rut after their loss to Ole Miss on Friday, they were able to find redemption in the form of a 3-2 win over Texas A&M at Thompson Boling Arena on Sunday.
Tennessee couldn’t seem to find that spark they needed in their SEC-opener on Friday when they dropped a five-set match (25-20, 24-26, 25-19, 24-26, 13-15) to the Rebels (9-3, 1-0 SEC).
Senior setter Sedona Hansen had a career performance, recording her fifth double-double of the season and finishing with 60 assists, four more than her previous record. Sophomore Danielle Mahaffey also broke a few records after tallying a career-high in digs (21) and kills (17).
Junior Madison Coulter collected 35 digs against Ole Miss, making her one of 10 Lady Vols to have every finished a match with 35 or more digs. Senior Tessa Grubbs finished with 19 kills.
Tennessee almost brought it back in the fourth set when they tied it up at 24-24 thanks to Raquel Perinar’s set of kills. Ole Miss managed to score the remaining two points to send it to the fifth where they barley bested the Lady Vols with a final score of 15-13.
Sunday's contest ended in better spirits for Tennessee after they capped the game with a victory in five sets (26-24, 15-25, 25-23, 20-25, 19-17) against Texas A&M (9-3, 1-1 SEC).
Hansen again brought her A-game to tonight’s match, tallying a team-high of 43 assists along with 14 digs. Coulter also made her impact with 23 digs, the fourth time this season she’s finished with over 20 digs.
Lily Felts helped bring her team to a win in the third set with six kills, one delivering the 25-23 victory they needed. She finished the night with a season-high of 12 kills and eight digs, also tying her career-high of four blocks.
When Texas A&M sent the match to the fifth, Tennessee relied on Grubbs once again to push them towards the finish line. Grubbs had a team-high of 18 kills, seven of them arriving in the fifth. Hansen, Felts, and Grubbs all combined forces during the fourth match point of the fifth. After receiving a pass from Felts, Hansen sent the ball straight to Grubbs who delivered a massive kill to finish the set.
"I'm proud of our team for how they responded after Friday night,” stated head coach Eve Rackham. “I have so much respect for the Texas A&M program. They're a terrific team. Our team knew was going to take our best effort to be able to win. Our team came out a little bit inconsistent, but we found a way in the end."
The Lady Vols will look to continue their winning ways in SEC play when they take the court again on Friday, Oct. 4, against the Georgia Bulldogs.
The match is slated for a 7 p.m. start at Stegeman Coliseum in Athens.