The No. 22 ranked Tennessee volleyball team (25-5, 16-2 SEC) defeated Ole Miss (14-18, 4-14 SEC) on Saturday in four sets (25-13, 25-13, 21-25, 25-23). The win rounded the Lady Vols record at home to 14-1.
On Senior Day, the Lady Vols came out on fire in the first two sets. During the two opening frames, Tennessee out-killed Ole Miss 28-13. On the day, Tennessee out-killed Ole Miss 57-36 and had more digs than the Lady Rebels, 69-53.
"All the players knew this was a meaningful match and it was our seniors’ last match so we all played for each other," senior libero Brooke Schumacher said
Senior Erica Treiber was second on the team with 16 kills and led her team on the day with two of Tennessee’s six aces. Junior Tessa Grubbs led the team in kills with 20. Seniors Breanna Jeter and Stephanie Spencer combined for seven kills in extended action.
Callie Williams and Sedona Hansen made the offense run on Saturday. Williams led the team with 25 assists and Hansen recorded 19 against Ole Miss.
On the defensive end, sophomore Madison Coulter recorded 16 of Tennessee’s digs while Schumacher earned 14. Hansen recorded 12 in the match, good enough for her 10th double-double of the season.
Treiber also stepped up on the defensive end, leading the team in block attempts with nine and blocks with two. She also had four digs on Saturday.
After struggling in the first two sets, Ole Miss rallied back from the early deficit. The Lady Rebels bounced back and recorded their highest hitting percentage in the third frame.
"They started passing a little bit better," assistant coach Tyler Adams said. "(They) mixed up their offense a little bit and that created some problems."
The Lady Vols would end the rally attempt by the time the fourth set was over. After being tied late at 23-23, the Lady Vols found a way to win. The win gave them the sweep of Ole Miss on the season and clinched second place in the SEC.
"We knew what we needed to do in practice," Schumacher said. "…Our coaches really pounded us with scouting and what we needed to know before the match."
Tennessee’s team performance was what earned the win on Saturday. Six Lady Vols recorded four kills or more and seven Lady Vols recorded four or more digs.
"(It) doesn’t matter who it is," Adams said. "We train everybody in practice so everybody is prepared for the games. When it is their time to be called, (you) have to be ready… It has been different people at different times, but we have gotten contributions from our entire team."
The Lady Vols will find out their fate on Selection Sunday. Tennessee has not been to the NCAA tournament since 2012, but it seems as if that six-year skid will end this season. They achieved their best conference season since 2011 this year.