Lady Vols Waltz past Mississippi State, 3-0

KNOXVILLE, Tenn.— With a strong offensive performance, the Tennessee volleyball team stormed past the state of Mississippi at the Thompson-Boling Arena on Saturday and defeated the Bulldogs 3-0 (25-10, 25-14, 25-17).

Tennessee (15-12, SEC 9-6) hit .344 with 42 kills and just 11 penalties in the win while throwing eight total blocks.

Erykah Lovett led all players with 12 kills at .348 hitting and ended her night with a double-double when she hit 11 digs. The Newnan, Georgia native now has 22 double-digit kills and 12 double-doubles this season.

Morgan Fingall added eight kills with a .316 hit rate while notching eight digs and posting three blocks. Jasmine Brooks played in with seven kills and a solo block as Tennessee’s pin attackers carried the offense on Saturday.

Feeding the attackers all night was setter Natalie Hayward. She gave out 33 assists, racked up six kills of her own, hit a pair of aces and blocks, and racked up seven digs.

In the middle, Danielle Mahaffey and Keondreya Granberry combined for nine kills and three and a half blocks — one solo and two assists for Mahaffey and three assists for Granberry.

Mississippi State (13-12, 6-9 SEC) was held off by Lady Vols’ net front pressure, committing 21 errors and hitting .046. Gabby Waden led the Bulldogs with 11 kills.

Tennessee was never behind and never tied in the opening set, opening a 7-0 lead early in the frame. UT put on an extended 8-0 run mid-set to extend their lead to 20-8. The Lady Vols hit .379 with 14 kills, two aces and two blocks en route to a 25-10 win.

The Big Orange carried the hot start into the second, hitting .370 with 12 kills, two more aces and three blocks to win, 25-14. Lovett got five kills in the frame, with Brooks, Granberry, and Mahaffey adding two each. Tennessee and Mississippi State shared the first two points before UT used two and three point runs throughout the set to break away from the Bulldogs.

Mississippi State took an early 5-2 lead in the third set, but a 9-2 run by the Lady Vols turned the score 11-7 in their favor. UT stayed ahead of MSU the rest of the way, winning the final frame 25-17. Lovett and Fingall each had five kills in the set, while Hayward had three, Brooks two and Granberry one.

NEXT

The Lady Vols will honor their five seniors – Fingall, Abigail Matoso, Kylie Robinson, Hayward and Mahaffey – ahead of Sunday’s game. Seniors’ Day celebrations begin at 11:50 a.m. ET with Tennessee’s last home game of the season starting at 12:00 p.m.

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