Volleyball Preview: 7 Pittsburgh

KNOXVILLE, Tennessee – After a five-set victory over No.9 Baylor, the Tennessee volleyball team is preparing for another top 10 opponent – No.7 Pittsburgh. The Lady Vols and Panthers meet Sunday at 1 p.m. ET at the Thompson-Boling Arena.

For fans planning to attend, note that Tennessee’s clear bag policy will be in effect again this season.

While not required for entry to the Thompson-Boling Arena or to move around the seat bowl, face coverings are encouraged for arena patrons. For a full overview of the arena’s policies on match day, click HERE.


Sunday’s game will be available to stream on SEC Network + or through the ESPN app. Live stats are provided and can be found by visiting the volleyball schedule page on UTsports.com.


On Friday night, the Lady Vols hosted No.9 Baylor, winning the match in five sets. The victory over a Top 10 opponent is the first for a Tennessee team since losing to No.10 Iowa State on August 25, 2012.

It is also the first victory against a top 10 team for an unranked UT team since their victory over Florida, No.6, on September 9, 2011.

Lily felts (17 kills, 15 digs), Morgahn Fingall (16 kills, 23 digs), Nathalie Hayward (57 assists, 12 recoveries) and Breana alleys (20 kills, 15 digs) all won double-doubles in Friday night’s win.


In addition to Lily felts and Morgahn Fingall, Tennessee added another lethal attack option to its graduate transfer list Breana alleys. On her first weekend as Lady Vol, Runnels totaled 34 kills – tied for second on the team with Felts – averaging 3.78 kills / set and hit 0.311. The forward trio combined for 109 of Tennessee’s 142 kills in the first weekend of the season. The three players led Tennessee in kills between the three games, with Runnels and Fingall tied with 17 kills against Texas Tech. Felts led in the eliminations against ETSU with 11 and Fingall recorded a team best 16 in the weekend final against NC State.


Tennessee is in the top six in the SEC in five separate categories. UT leads the conference in kills per set (15.00) and assists per set (13.43) while placing third in recoveries per set (15.79). He’s fifth in hitting percentage at 0.294 and sixth in blocks per set with a rating of 2.43.


Tennessee was 10-1 last season when it hit 0.250 or better, and for Eve Rackham WattIt’s three seasons on Rocky Top, UT is 39-3 when it hits the .250 mark or better. Under Rackham Watt, the Lady Vols are 42-4 when they win the second set.


2021 report: 3-0 overall

Series record: UT son, 9-8

Last meeting: September 11, 2011 – A four-set victory for the Lady Vols.

Player / Key stat: Pittsburgh, seventh in the standings, has been the ACC class for the past few seasons, winning three straight ACC titles. The Panthers advanced to the NCAA quarterfinals last season and are off to a 3-0 start this season, with two wins over ranked teams.

Kayla Lund leads Pitt in eliminations per set at 3.17, while Leketor Member-Meneh, Chinaza Ndee and Serena Gray average 2.58 or better eliminations per set. Kylee Levers and Lexis Akeo shared the tuning tasks, with Levers averaging 5.83 assists per set and Akeo averaging 5.00.


Tennessee hit the road for the first time this season, heading to Morehead State for a showdown on Friday night, September 10.

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