UT concluded the 2005 campaign with a program-best No. 6 ranking, while the 2004 squad ranked 10th overall. This year’s team was a mainstay in the polls, beginning with the second week of the season. Tennessee ranked as high as No. 8, which was the highest regular season mark in program history.
The Big Orange enjoyed one of the best campaigns in program history, advancing to the regional semifinals for the first time since 2005, hosting the first and second rounds of the NCAA Tournament for the first time since 2011 and earning the program’s best-ever national seed at No. 10. The Lady Vols finished second in the SEC, which produced a conference-high eight NCAA Tournament teams, with a 15-3 record, and they defeated five ranked opponents throughout the season.
In her sixth year at the helm, Rackham Watt was named SEC Co-Coach of the Year. Tennessee swept 19 opponents in 31 matches on the year, marking the second-highest total for a single season in program history and the most since having 20 in 1983. UT boasted one of the country’s elite offenses, ranking inside the top five nationally and leading the SEC in kills per set (2nd/14.75), assists per set (3rd/13.60) and hitting percentage (4th/.304) entering the weekend.
For the season, the Lady Vols broke the program record during the 25-point rally-scoring era for kills per set, assists per set, hitting percentage and aces per set (1.67).
Right side Morgahn Fingall, the 2023 AVCA Southeast Region Player of the Year and SEC Scholar-Athlete of the Year, was tabbed to the AVCA All-America First Team after finishing with 457 kills on .321 hitting, 193 digs, 84 blocks and 30 aces. She joined Beverly Robinson (1982) as the only Lady Vols in program history to achieve this feat. After being named a Second Team All-American last year, Fingall became the only player in program history to be tabbed a First or Second Team All-American in back-to-back seasons.
Setter Caroline Kerr claimed a spot on the All-America Second Team, joining Julie Knytych (2004-05) and Mary Pollmiller (2011) as the only setters in program history to earn All-America recognition. One of the best setters in the nation, Kerr finished with 1,245 assists, 210 digs, 70 kills, 40 blocks and 33 aces during her first season…