Tennessee volleyball defeats Ole Miss 3-1

Tennessee defeated the Ole Miss Rebels 3-1 to win its fifth SEC game of the season.

Photo by Sumner Gilliam.

A lost volleyball makes its way to the Tennessee sideline during a game on Friday, Sept. 23.

Tennessee volleyball defeated the Ole Miss Rebels 3-1 on Friday night inside Thompson-Boling Arena. The win marks the Vols’ first win since sweeping LSU in three sets this season on October 29 in Baton Rouge. Tennessee is now 9-4 at home.

Ole Miss (16-13, 7-9 SEC) took the first set 25-20 to take a 1-0 lead. Tennessee led most of the set leading as much as six points at 14-8 in the set after a kill from sophomore Alyssa Andreno. The Rebels would come back to earn the only lead change in the set at 18-17 off a kill from Lexi Thompson. A kill by Kate Gibson would give Ole Miss the final point of the set. Gibson would finish the opening set with seven kills.

Tennessee (12-13, 5-11 SEC) won the next two sets 25-15, 25-10 to go up 2-1 in the match after dropping the opening set. In both the second and third sets, the Lady Vols led the whole time and never allowed the Rebels to gain the lead. Redshirt sophomore Breana Jeter gave Tennessee a boost in offense with four kills in the third set. One crucial kill came in the final point of the set to give the Vols the 2-1 lead.

Both teams played a competitive fourth set as the set featured six ties and three lead changes. The final lead change came when a ball handling error by Lauren Bars put Tennessee up 14-13. Ole Miss would be unable to regain the lead, but attempted a short comeback at the late stages of the set. Ultimately, two errors from Ole Miss gave the Vols their final two points to win the set 25-19 and the match 3-1.

Emily Stroup and Kate Gibson combined for 27 kills behind 88 attacks for Ole Miss. Ultimately, errors kept the Rebels from getting points at crucial moments throughout the match as Stroup and Gibson also led in errors with a combined 25 errors on the night.

For Tennessee, sophomore Tessa Grubbs led the team offensively with 13 kills behind 35 attacks. Andreno led the team defensively with nine blocks.

Notably missing was Tennessee’s main setter sophomore Sedona Hansen who has registered 14 double-doubles this season. Freshman Callie Williams didn’t miss a beat in Hansen’s absence as Williams finished the match with 46 assists and 12 digs.

Tennessee is approaching the conclusion of its season and will play its final last two matches at home. The next match will be on Sunday, Nov. 19, against the Georgia Bulldogs. The Lady Vols defeated Georgia in a thrilling five-set match in Athens earlier this season. The match will air at 1:30 p.m. ET on SEC Network+ on WatchESPN.

Edited by Seth Raborn

Feature image courtesy of UT Sports