No. 20 Lady Volunteers sweep aside Auburn
KNOXVILLE, Tenn. - The 20th-ranked Tennessee volleyball team swept aside Auburn Wednesday night at Thompson-Boling Arena as it took down the Tigers in three sets (25-16, 25-21, 25-14).
With the win, Tennessee (11-2, 3-0 SEC) has now swept Auburn (8-4, 0-2 SEC) in three straight matches and in four of the last five meetings, dating to Oct. 6, 2019. The sweep is UT's ninth on the year and second consecutive in SEC play.
Since the beginning of the season, the Lady Vols have only dropped one set to an unranked opponent - that came in the first set against Arkansas on Sept. 25. Since dropping the opening set versus the Hogs, UT has won nine sets in a row.
Senior Lily Felts was all over the floor for UT, coming away with a team-high 14 kills and adding nine digs to her night. Graduate senior Breana Runnels also reached double-figures in kills, putting down 10 in the win.
Setter Natalie Hayward picked up her seventh double-double of the year and fourth in a row with 37 assists and 14 digs. She also put away two kills in the Lady Vol victory.
Morgahn Fingall had a solid night with nine kills on a .300 hit percentage, five digs and a pair of blocks. Coming off the bench to start sets two and three, Nicole Shanahan smacked down two kills while leading the Orange & White in blocks with three.
Ava Bell hit a team-high .636 with seven kills and a block.
Tennessee cruised through the opening set, winning 25-16. The Lady Vols hit .300 in the opening frame while limiting Auburn to a .152 hitting percentage. Felts got off to a hot start, putting down seven kills and hitting .308. The Knoxville native also notched four digs to open the match.
Set two was a tighter affair with UT winning, 25-21. The score was tied four times during the second and the lead changed hands once. Auburn jumped out to a 2-0 lead early, but the Lady Vols used a 5-0 run to take the lead.
Felts again led UT in kills with six, with Runnels totaling five kills.
The third set was all Tennessee as it jumped out to a 7-0 lead en route to a 25-14 third set victory. Fingall led in kills in the set as she tallied four on four attempts. Ava Bell recorded three kills on four swings in the final frame.
Kills - Lily Felts (14)
Assists - Natalie Hayward (37)
Digs - Natalie Hayward (14)
Blocks - Nicole Shanahan (3)
Tennessee returns to the court Saturday and Sunday as it welcomes Texas A&M to Knoxville for a two-match series. First serve Saturday is slated for 5 p.m. ET, while the match Sunday gets underway at 1 p.m.