Tennessee (16-13, 10-7 SEC) was slowed offensively by Alabama as it batted just .189 for the game and scored 46 kills.
Senior Morgan Fingall led all players with 19 kills and added 10 digs for her ninth double-double of the season.
Toney, Alabama, born Jasmine Brooks counted nine kills for UT, while Danielle Mahaffey notched five with four block assists.
Sophomore Libero Ashlyn King tied her career high in digs at 22.
Alabama (10-19, 4-13 SEC) entered the game as the SEC’s top team in aces per set and used the service line pressure to keep Tennessee off balance – scoring 13 aces.
Abby Marjama led the Crimson Tide with six aces and 18 kills. Sydney Gholson scored three aces, Victoria Schmer scored two and Emily Janek and Alyiah Well added one each.
Sami Jacobs and Wells joined Marjama in double digits as they racked up 14 kills each.
The first set belonged to the Lady Vols and they won 25-22. Fingall (4) and Brooks (3) combined for seven of UT’s 10 kills in the frame. Tennessee jumped out to a 14-5 lead in the first inning and appeared to be in control, but the Tide worked their way back to take a 21-20 lead.
A kill by Fingall and back-to-back kills by Brooks put UT back on top and it was able to close out the set and take the early lead in the game.
Alabama tied the game in the second, as it won 25-21. The Crimson Tide was efficient offensively, batting .294 with 13 kills. Fingall put away five for the Lady Vols, while Marjama scored four for the Crimson Tide.
The third set lasted a long time as both teams had chances to win, but failed to do so. Alabama eventually won the frame, 29-27. Tennessee’s block worked well as it posted a total of five, led by Keondreya Corn Berry and Natalie Hayward assisted by three. Mahaffey and Fingall assisted on two blocks each.
With Tennessee leading 24-20, the Tide made a run to tie the set at 24-24 before the teams traded points to reach 25-25. The Lady Vols then fought off the set point twice, but fell in the set.
The Crimson Tide increased the service line pressure in the fourth set, scoring five aces to help win, 25-23. Neither side had a high hit percentage—Tennessee .105 and Alabama .098—but The Tide defeated the Lady Vols 13 to 10 as they again cleared an early deficit to win the set and the game.
Tennessee will return to court on Friday at 6 PM ET as they meet Alabama for game #2 of the series and the last regular season game of the season.