KNOXVILLE, Tenn. - The Tennessee Volunteers rallied in the fourth set to close out a 3-1 (25-23, 16-25, 25-16, 28-26) victory over the Alabama Crimson Tide on Friday night at Thompson-Boling Arena.
Trailing 22-18 late in the fourth set, the Vols (16-2, 2-1 SEC) rolled back to tie the match behind the energy of the season-best crowd of 1,302. Alabama (7-9, 1-2) saved two match points but not a third. Senior Lexi Dempsey recorded a block to clinch the set and match at 28-26.
Junior Kanisha Jimenez led the way with a double-double, recording a team-leading 18 kills and 14 digs. Freshman Erica Treiber had nine kills and eight blocks. Dempsey ran the offense with 39 assists.
Tennessee continues SEC play Sunday on the road, taking on Missouri at 2:30 p.m. Eastern.
The first set was wire close all the way. Trailing by three points, the Vols jumped on a 4-0 run late in the set with a block by Dempsey and Treiber putting Tennessee up 20-19. Treiber gave Tennessee the lead for good two points later for a kill to make it 21-20.
Alabama fought off two set points but not a third. Treiber ended the set with a kill to seal the opening set 25-23 for the Volunteers.
The Vols broke open the second set with a 7-0 run. Villano capped the UT scoring spree with an ace to put Tennessee up 14-8. The Vols led the rest of the way, going ahead by as many as eight points. Tennessee ended the set 25-16 on back-to-back kills by Kendra Turner and Bri Holmes.
Alabama upped its hitting in the third set, boosting its attack percentage to .409 in the frame while holding Tennessee to .000. A 4-0 run early put the Tide up 9-5, and they led from there. Alabama closed the set on a 3-0 run to seal the set 25-16.