COLUMBIA, Mo. – After a four-match homestand, the 12th-ranked Tennessee Lady Vols are back on the road for a midweek contest against the Missouri Tigers at Hearnes Center on Wednesday night.
First serve for the match is scheduled for 8 p.m. ET, and the contest will be televised on SEC Network. The Big Orange (16-3, 7-2 SEC) won the first meeting between the two squads earlier this season, sweeping the Tigers (13-7, 5-4 SEC) in Knoxville to open conference play.
In that match, head coach Eve Rackham Watt earned the 100th victory of her career, becoming the fastest coach to reach that milestone in the modern era of Tennessee volleyball. The Lady Vols held Missouri to just .080 hitting and finished with 12 blocks and nine aces to cruise to the win.
BIG ORANGE ATTACK AMONG NATION’S ELITE GROUPS
Tennessee’s attack has been stellar this season, and it’s the primary reason for the Lady Vols being 16-3. UT currently leads the nation in kills per set with 14.89, while ranking third in assists per set (13.64) and ninth in hitting percentage (.295). The Lady Vols lead the SEC in all three categories.
FINGALL CLIMBING THE LEADERBOARD
One of the top attackers in program history, right side Morgahn Fingall continues to climb UT’s career kills list. Fingall now boasts 1,441 kills to rank eighth in UT history. She’s 13 away from moving into seventh. For the year, her 4.16 kills per set are lead the SEC and rank 26th nationally.
BREAK OUT THE BROOMS
So far this year, the Lady Vols boast 12 sweeps. Over the last three seasons, UT has swept 36 opponents, including 24 at home. The Big Orange has swept eight of its last 11 opponents and went on a streak of 18 straight set wins between Loyola (4th set) and Mississippi State (2nd set).
A WIN WOULD…
Be Tennessee’s third in a row against the Tigers, which would match the longest win streak by the Lady Vols in the series.
LADY VOLS IN THE RANKINGS
For the first time since 2005, Tennessee cracked the top 10 in the AVCA polls earlier this season. It was the program’s highest ranking since being sixth following UT’s Final Four run in 2005. The Big Orange currently ranks 12th and has been a mainstay in the polls since Week 2 of the season.
SIDEOUT SUCCESS KEY FACTOR FOR UT EACH MATCH
One element of Tennessee’s impressive season that’s easy to miss has been the Big Orange winning the battle on sideouts. The Lady Vols are scoring 67 percent of the…