Volleyball Preview: Seniors Weekend vs. Mississippi State

KNOXVILLE, Tenn.— The Tennessee volleyball team welcomes Mississippi State to Rocky Top for their final home series of the season. The Lady Vols and Bulldogs will face off Saturday at 4:00 p.m. ET and Sunday at 12:00 p.m. ET at Thompson-Boling Arena.


Beginning this fall, tickets for all Tennessee Athletics events will be digital and accessible via a mobile device to improve security, reduce the risk of ticket fraud and make the process more convenient for fans.

Fans gain access to all venues via a unique QR code scanned directly from a mobile device. For quick and easy access to Tennessee Athletics venues, fans are encouraged to download the Tennessee Athletics app from the App Store (iPhone) and Google Play (Android).

Digital tickets can be managed via a mobile device or desktop web browser, however a mobile device is required to access the venue on matchdays.

Your mobile device is your ticket on match day. All valid digital tickets show a moving barcode or a tap-and-go icon to hold near the reader. PLEASE NOTE: SCREENSHOTS OF TICKETS WILL NOT BE SCANNED AT THE GATE AND WILL NOT ALLOW ENTRY!


Saturday’s game can be streamed on SECN+ or via the ESPN app. Sunday’s second game will be broadcast on SECN, with Kevin Barnett and Paul Sunderland detailing the action.


UT played in Kentucky Wednesday night, going in four sets against the No. 18 Wildcats. Morgan Fingall carried the load offensively with 20 kills.


Tennessee will honor its five seniors on Sunday, November 20 before the game at 11:50 a.m. ET. Three of the five seniors – Natalie Hayward, Danielle Mahaffeyand Abigail Matoso – have exhausted their entitlement while Fingall and Kylie Robinson still have the option to return for a fifth or sixth year.

The seniors shaped Rocky Top, with Hayward placing fourth all-time in career assists and Mahaffey sixth in the program in total blocks. Fingall — a right-sided attacker — recently reached the 1,000 career kills milestone and ranks #9 in Tennessee history for kills during the rally era.

Matoso and Robinson – transfers to the program this season – have stood up for their teammates throughout the year. Matoso came off the bench against South Carolina on Oct. 8 and dug a season-high nine balls to help UT win a five-set thriller over the Gamecocks. Robinson has proven her versatility and team-first attitude, playing both as a setter and defensive specialist this season.

MRS. 1,000

Fingall has shone this season, registering over 300 kills for the second straight season. In Tennessee’s Nov. 5 game against LSU, Fingall surpassed the 1,000 career kills milestone in the second set. She is the 23rd player in the program’s history to reach the 1,000 kill milestone and the 10th in the Rally Scoring era – since 2001 to present.

She currently leads the Lady Vols in kills and kills per set this season with 379 and 4.21. She also leads the SEC in kills per set and ranks 28th nationally. En route to the stretch run, Fingall has compiled 22 double-digit kills and seven double-doubles this season.


Tennessee and Mississippi State head into the weekend to solidify their NCAA tournament positions. UT is ranked 44th in the RPI while State is ranked 47th.


Tennessee is 11-4 if it hits better than .250 this season and 12-3 if it wins the second set. While Eve Rackham Watts‘s tenure, UT is 59-8 if it hits .250 or better.

Under Rackham Watt, the Lady Vols are 68-11 if they win the second set.

Record 2022: 13-11 (6-8 SECONDS)

Series record: UT leads 51-14

Last meeting: Nov. 14, 2021 – A 3-2 win for Mississippi State in Starkville.

Key Players/Statistics: Mississippi state ranks in the top 5 in the SEC for digs per set (15.82-1st), assists per set (12.22-5th), and kills per set (13.12-5th). Gabby Waden leads the Bulldogs with 3.62 kills per set on a .286 batting average. She has racked up 10+ kills in 22 of her last 24 missions. Waden has produced four double-doubles this season, most recently against No. 18 Kentucky with 16 kills and 13 digs.


Tennessee will spend Thanksgiving in Tuscaloosa, Alabama as they play two games against the Crimson Tide on Wednesday, November 23 and Friday, November 25.