Tennessee opens up Rocky Top Invitational with a win

Tennessee defeated Marshall in straight sets on Friday night. The Vols will look to build off their momentum from this weekend before starting conference play on the road at Arkansas later this week.

In the first game of the Rocky Top Invitational, Tennessee (5-2) defeated Marshall (3-10) on Friday night in Thompson-Boling Arena. This was the Vols’ first game since Sept. 2 when Hurricane Irma forced three games to be cancelled in the FSU-FAMU Classic.

The Vols settled in comfortably to begin the game, finishing 25-11 to take control of the set. Senior Kanisha Jimenez led the team with three kills and had a hitting percentage of .600 following the first set.

Tennessee would cruise by the Thundering Herd in the second set 25-11. The Vols continued to dominate behind senior Kendra Turner’s six kills and a hitting percentage of .667 to keep Marshall from gaining any momentum.

For the third set, Marshall took an early lead 8-4 before Tennessee regained momentum after a crucial timeout. The Thundering Herd kept the match close in the end, saving a match point, but the Vols finished with a game-winning kill by freshman Madison Coulter to win the set 26-24.

Tennessee was led offensively by Jimenez and Kendra Turner who combined for 18 kills and 39 attacks. The Vols played efficiently in their offense with a team total of 36 kills and with their defense having a total of 47 digs to keep the ball in play throughout the match.

The Vols will look to finish the tournament on Saturday against USC Upstate at 10 a.m. and Furman at 7 p.m. Both games will air on SEC Network+.