Volleyball example: Lady Vols plays Thanksgiving series in Alabama

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. The Tennessee volleyball team will close out the 2022 regular season on the road with a two-game series in Alabama.

The teams play around Thanksgiving with the opening game of the series on Wednesday at 8 PM ET. Game two is scheduled for Friday at 6 p.m


Wednesday’s series opener airs on SECN, with Eric Frede (play-by-play) and Katie George (analyst) on the call. Fans can stream Friday’s game on SECN+ or via the ESPN app.


UT and Mississippi State played a two-game series this past weekend in Knoxville, with Tennessee triumphing in both games. The Lady Vols won the opening match 3-0 before beating the Bulldogs in five sets in match two.


Setter Natalie Hayward scored a triple-double in Sunday’s game vs. MSU – 10 kills, 61 assists and 14 digs – and did so on the final day in her final home game as Lady Vol. It was Hayward’s first career triple-double and the first from a Lady Vol since Mary Pollmiller in 2012.


Hayward was named SEC Player and Setter of the Week after her performance last week. Senior Morgan Fingall joined Hayward in receiving SEC awards as she was named the league’s Offensive Player of the Week.

Over three games, Fingall averaged 4.75 kills per set, 5.25 points per set and batted .394. She recorded two 20-plus kill forays, including a career-high 29 kills against Mississippi State on Sunday.


Head coach Eve Rackham Watts has been successful against Alabama during her career, going 6-1. Recently, Tennessee won three in a row against the Crimson Tide.


Nine of Lady Vols’ 16 wins this season have come in three sets. Including last season, 23 of UT’s last 36 wins have been sweeps.

The Lady Vols won both games against Alabama last season.


Tennessee is 13-4 if it scores better than .250 this season and is 14-3 if it wins the second set. During Eve Rackham Watts‘s tenure, UT is 61-8 when hitting .250 or better.

Under Rackham Watt, the Lady Vols are 70-11 as they win the second set.

2022 record: 9-19 (3-13 SEC)

Series records: UT leads 41-19

Last meeting: 19 Nov. 2021 – A 3-0 win for Tennessee at Knoxville.

Key Player/Stat: Alabama leads the SEC in service aces — No. 9 nationally — with an average of 1.83 per set. Abby Marjama leads the Tide with 66 aces this season and an average of 0.67 per set.

Alabama is led by Rashinda Reed, who is in her first season as head coach. No stranger to the SEC, Reed played Georgia from 2002-04.


Tennessee will gather at home in Knoxville to watch the 2022 NCAA Volleyball Selection Show, which airs Sunday at 7:30 PM on ESPNU.

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