The Lady Vols are set to square off with the Auburn Tigers on Wednesday at 8 p.m. EST at Thompson-Boling Arena in an SEC volleyball showdown. Tennessee has slowly been climbing up the American Volleyball Coaches Association rankings, and now sit at No. 20 after being ranked No. 21 and No. 22 in weeks prior.
Auburn is led by junior outside hitter Rebekah Rath who has been a force on offense for the Tigers this season. Rath is second in the SEC with 4.37 kills per set. On defense, Auburn is led by Bella Rosenthall, who has a comfortable lead within the conference with 5.34 digs per set.
Auburn enters the match on a two-game losing streak, but still sits at 8-3 overall. The Tigers are 0-1 in conference play this season, having dropped their opening match to Ole Miss in four sets.
The Lady Vols have a 10-2 record this season, with their two losses coming at the hands of No. 2 Pittsburgh in a thrilling five-set clash, and No. 4 Purdue in straight sets. The Lady Vols completed a two game, back-to-back, sweep over Arkansas last weekend to open up SEC play and look to improve on their 2-0 conference record against Auburn.
Tennessee has shown a deep and balanced attack this season, with many players among the leaders in the SEC in a multitude of statistical categories. Senior Ava Bell leads the conference in hitting percentage, converting 48.1% of her attacks.
Junior Morgahn Fingall currently ranks fifth in the conference with 3.89 kills per set, and Natalie Hayward sits at second in the conference with 11.02 assists per set. In addition, senior Danielle Mahaffey leads the SEC in total blocks, 54, and has a healthy lead in blocks per set with 1.46.