Lily Felts (15) attacks the ball through the Pittsburg block resulting in a kill in Thompson-Boling Arena on September 5th, 2021.

No. 23 ranked Tennessee volleyball flexed its muscles in a dominating, straight set victory over Ohio Valley Conference opponent Morehead State 25-17, 25-21 and 25-16.

The Tennessee offense was rolling in the first set. They gained a 17-10 advantage in kills to win the first set 25-17.

“We played a much cleaner game today,” head coach Eve Rackham Watt said. “Morehead State is a very good team, but on Friday it was our first time on the road and I think you could tell.”

Morehead State got out to a quick start in the first set, taking a 4-2 lead before Breanna Runnels was able to smash a point home to gather the Lady Vols some momentum.

From that point on it was all Tennessee. The Lady Vols went on an 8-2 run to take a four point lead forcing Morehead State to take a timeout.         

Runnels led the charge with seven kills on offense in the first set, but also had help from Morgahn Fingall with four kills and Lily Felts with three kills. Not only did Runnels lead the team in kills, but also in digs, collecting eight in the first set.

The second set was a much closer contest to start, as Morehead State was able to find a rhythm and capitalize on some Lady Vols mistakes.

The Eagles were able to tie the score at 11 before Tennessee regrouped, and began to distance themselves.

“I thought they did a nice job going after our block,” Rackham Watt said. “Our floor defense was not as tidy as it needed to be.”

Tennessee took full control of the second set when they assembled a 13-5 run led by their blocking game.

Fingall and Ava Bell led the blocking game and contributed immensely to building the lead as they out-blocked Morehead State 5-1 in the second set.

Fingall emerged as the Lady Vols main source of offense as she was able to convert 54% of her attacks on the day.

“I was hitting to far corners and making sure I had variety in my shots,” Fingall said. “Changing what I did in the first game and bringing it into this one was very important.”

Morehead State closed the gap slightly at the end of the set with a 6-1 run before Fingall floated an attack over the Eagles block to win the set 25-21.

Morehead State came out firing again to start the third set, but Tennessee was able to stifle their momentum. The Lady Vols pieced together an 11-1 run with four blocks to take control of the third set, 17-7. Tennessee continued to roll for the remainder of the set, eventually closing it out 25-16.

The Lady Vols will be back in action on Friday, Sept. 17 with two games against Purdue Fort Wayne and Jacksonville State in the Stacey Clark Classic in West Lafayette, Indiana.

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