In a doubleheader on Saturday, Tennessee defeated USC Upstate 3-1, and Furman 3-2 to sweep the Rocky Top Invitational.
Tennessee vs. USC Upstate
In the first ever meeting between the two programs, Tennessee easily took the first two sets 25-12, and 25-17 on Saturday morning. The Vols would drop the third set 24-26 after they were unable to close out the win against the Spartans late in the set. Tennessee would eventually defeat the Spartans 25-16 in the fourth set.
Sophomore Alyssa Andreno and junior Erica Treiber led the team offensively with 25 kills to contribute to the team total of 67 kills. The Vols were set up well with a combined total of 45 assists from sophomore Sedona Hansen and freshman Callie Williams.
Sophomore Tessa Grubbs made her season debut, coming back from an injury. After being named to the SEC All-Freshman team last season, she is a valuable weapon offensively for Tennessee, as she contributed seven kills and 23 attacks in the match against the Spartans.
Tennessee vs. Furman
For their first meeting since 1993, the Vols and the Paladins played to a five set thriller on Saturday night in Thompson-Boling Arena. Furman came out attacking in the first set, as they were led by Jamila Johnson who would finish the match with a total of 28 kills and 63 attacks. The visitors won the set 25-10 while the home side would turn things around in the second set to win 25-10.
Furman would take the third set 25-23 behind a team total of 17 kills. The Paladins looked to close out the match in the fourth set, but fell short 23-25 to a tenacious Tennessee side. The Vols cruised by their opponents 15-7 in the fifth set to finish the match.
Tennessee was tested for most of the match, but finished out on top. Despite only having 45 kills and 142 attacks compared to Furman’s 61 kills and 173 attacks, the Vols were more efficient on offense with a hitting average of .204. Tennessee was also sound defensively with 19 blocks overall. Junior Erica Treiber led the team with 10 blocks.
Start to SEC Play
The Vols will look to build on their momentum from this weekend as they head on the road to face Arkansas, as they begin conference play. The match will air at 9 p.m. ET on ESPNU.
Tennessee closes out non-conference play with the tournament sweep after defeating South Carolina schools USC-Upstate and Furman.