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No. 15 Tennessee dominates Evansville in sweep

158 days ago
Tennessee Athletics
Photo: Tennessee Athletics

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. - Graduate student outside hitter Jenaisya Moore enjoyed a strong performance Friday night at Thompson-Boling Arena at Food City Center, guiding No. 15 Tennessee to a sweep (25-18, 25-13, 25-23) against Evansville.

Moore led all players with 14 kills and three aces, a season best for her, to go along with six digs, a career-high-tying four blocks and one assist. She opened the match on fire, scoring four of the first five points for the Lady Vols (9-1), and never looked back. She hit an impressive .500 for the match.

Graduate student right side hitter Morgahn Fingall also added double-digit kills, posting 11 while hitting .409. She added five digs, three blocks and two aces on the day. Earning the first start of her career, freshman outside hitter Mackenzie Plante recorded eight kills and four digs. Leading the way on the Tennessee attack was redshirt freshman setter Caroline Kerr, who finished with 35 assists, six digs, two aces, two kills and one block on the day.

Defensively, sophomore middle blocker Keondreya Granberry held down the front row for the Big Orange thanks to a match-high six blocks to go with four kills and a dig. Redshirt sophomore Klaudia Pawlik added three blocks and a kill as well. On the back row, graduate student libero Yelianiz Torres posted six digs, four assists and two aces, while junior defensive specialist Abby Ekeler added a season-best four digs and an ace in limited action off the bench.

As a team, Tennessee out hit the Purple Aces (5-5) .326 to .129 and bested them in kills with a 43-29 advantage. The Lady Vols also scored points thanks to 10 aces and 10 blocks on the night. With the 3-0 victory, the Big Orange has now swept seven opponents on the season and has yet to lose a set at home so far on the year.

In the first frame, Tennessee quickly jumped out to a 5-2 lead thanks to four kills from Moore. The Big Orange would never trail in the set as it took the early lead. Moore finished with seven kills on nine attacks in the period, while Fingall added four kills and three digs to lead the way.

Plante settled in during her first career start in the second set, posting four kills to pace the Lady Vols. As a team, UT blocked five attacks in the frame to shut down Evansville's offense, which hit .034 in the period. On the other side of the net, the Big Orange attack was on fire, hitting an impressive .619 in the set, as four individuals recorded multiple kills and Kerr assisted on 12 kills.

The Purple Aces fought until the end in the third set, going up 21-18 on the Lady Vols and forcing UT to call timeout. Similar to how the match started, Moore took over and recorded three kills down the stretch to help the Big Orange go on a 7-2 run to complete the sweep.

Up next, Tennessee begins SEC play with a home match against Missouri next Wednesday, Sept. 20, at 7 p.m. The match will be televised on ESPN2.