The Tennessee Lady Vol volleyball team was swept by SEC rival Kentucky Wildcats (15-25, 16-25, 15-25) at Memorial Coliseum on Friday night. The No. 3 team in the nation now stands at 1-0, while Tennessee falls to 0-1.
Ava Bell and Raquel Perinar led the Lady Vols in kills, with Bell recording eight and Perinar adding six. Bell also finished the night with a .353 hitting percentage. This was the junior’s first time playing since suffering a season ending injury last season.
Perinar started tonight as a middle blocker, instead of her usually position on the outside. She made the most of the change as she hit .545 with two blocks.
Kailey Keeble finished the match with her second career double-double thanks to her team-high 13 assists and 10 digs.
Avery Skinner and Madison Lilley helped to lead the Wildcats to their win on opening day. Skinner tallied 13 kills on a .542 hitting percentage, while Lilley led Kentucky with a game-high 42 assists.
The Wildcats also got help from Alli Stumler and Azhani Tealer who combined for 15 kills. Elise Goetzinger made her Kentucky debut and finished with seven kills on nine swings, while Gabby Curry tallied a team-high 12 digs.
Kentucky hit .421 in Friday night’s opening frame to help secure a 25-15 set win. The Lady Vols stayed competitive in the second set until Kentucky went on a 6-1 run, eventually taking the set to a score of 25-16. In the final frame, Kentucky got hot again, with the final score being 25-15 while recording a .484 hitting percentage to finish off the sweep.
Three Lady Vols made their Tennessee debut on Friday night. Redshirt freshman Emily Merrick, recorded two kills in two sets. Freshman Jasmine Brooks finished with three kills against the Wildcats. Natalie Hayward, a junior transfer, tallied 12 assists and five digs after getting the start at setter.
Tennessee will play its next match tomorrow night at 7 p.m. against the Wildcats in Memorial Coliseum.