Staff Report: SPORTS

The No. 21 Tennessee Lady Vols will be on the road for an SEC showdown with the Georgia Bulldogs Friday night in Athens, Georgia.

Tennessee enters the match having won six of its last seven matches with a 14-3 record (6-1 SEC) for the season.

Georgia enters the match in the midst of a struggling season. The Bulldogs have a 5-11 overall record this season, including just a 1-4 mark in conference play.

The Lady Vols look to remain amongst the leaders in the conference, having notched a conference-high of six wins within league play. Tennessee only trails behind the No. 5 Kentucky Wildcats, who sit at 4-0 this year in conference play.

Throughout the year Tennessee has featured a balanced attack with Breanna Runnels, Morgahn Fingall and Lily Felts. The trio has a combined 554 kills this year, lifting Tennessee to first in the conference in kills per set, despite no individual being in the top-10.

The Lady Vols have also showcased a strong blocking duo this year with the senior tandem of Danielle Mahaffey and Ava Bell. Tennessee has out-blocked its opponent by nearly 1 per set, and ranks first in the conference with 2.97 blocks per set. Individually, Mahaffey ranks second in the conference with 1.45 blocks per set, and Bell ranks eighth with 1.16.

In addition to Bell and Mahaffey’s contribution blocking, the two also have a combined 190 kills this season, adding to the already deep attack. Bell currently leads the SEC in hitting percentage having converted 48.8% of her attacks while Mahaffey ranks fourth, as she is converting her attacks at a 40.1% clip.

The Tennessee offense will look to capitalize on a Georgia team that has struggled to stifle opposing offenses. The Bulldogs are second to last in the SEC with opponents hitting .227 against them.

On offense Georgia is led by Kacie Evans and Amber Stivrins who have averaged 3.06 and 2.87 kills per set respectively.

The match is set for 7 p.m. EST from Stegeman Coliseum in Athens.

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