Volleyball bye week story

KNOXVILLE, TN - The Lady Vols won 3-0 against New Hampshire on Friday, Sep. 9th, 2022 at Thompson-Boling Arena.

Tennessee defeated LSU in four sets (22-25, 25-14, 25-12, 25-22) on Sunday in Thompson Boling Arena to complete a weekend sweep of the Tigers. 


A day after she hit 1,000 career kills, Morgahn Fingall set a new career high in kills. The senior from Fairfax, VA finished Sunday with 27 kills on .365% hitting. 


“She was unbelievable all week, really,” head coach Eve Rackham Watt said. “She was great. Being able to set her in the front row and the back row for her to hit with the efficiency she's hitting with. Also, super proud of just her serving at the end of the game today. She had a great weekend.”


Fingall was not the only Lady Vols with an offensive explosion on Sunday. Erykah Lovett and Jasmine Brooks both put up great numbers against LSU. 


Brooks finished with 12 kills on .226% hitting. The junior outside hitter had to earn her kills, coming up in big moments for the Lady Vols. 


“I thought (Jasmine Brooks) was great,” Rackham Watt said. “I thought she managed a lot of really tough situations. She wasn't getting a ton of great sets. She was getting a lot of out-of-system balls. I thought she managed the situations really, really well.”


After a slow first set, Lovett hit her stride. She finished the game with 14 kills on .294% hitting. 


“Erykah came on really strong after the first set,” Rackham Watt said. “I told her I was just happy, proud of her for kind of bouncing back after a tough first set”


Lovett was not the only Lady Vol who struggled in the first set. Tennessee could not get anything going offensively as a whole. 


LSU got six of its seven blocks in the first set. The Tigers held Tennessee to just .067% hitting.


“In the first set we did not control the first ball really well,” Rackham Watt said. “We were pretty predictable offensively. But I think after that we started to control the first pass a little bit better. So, Natalie was able to spread the offense so their block wasn't as set up.”


On top of suffocating Tennessee’s offense, LSU was more efficient than the Lady Vols in the first set. Both teams tallied 13 kills, but LSU did so hitting 0.175%. 


In the end, LSU’s block won it the first set. 


“LSU was doing a lot of off-speed shots,” Fingall said. “So we just had to stay a little bit more active on what we were doing on defense and making sure that there was a good connection between our defensive plays to get kills and transition.”


With the sweep over LSU, Tennessee moves to 13-11 (7-5) on the season. With the month of November chock-full of SEC matches, Tennessee can play its way into the postseason. 


The Lady Vols have another opportunity to improve their resume on Friday, Nov. 11,  as they welcome Georgia to Thompson Boling Arena. First serve is set for 6:30 p.m. ET.


“I'm excited that we got those two wins over LSU,” Fingall said, “I think it just means so much for where we wanna go for the rest of the season and just be able to be a big part of that. It's really awesome.”

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