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2009 Tennessee Volunteers Volleyball

Looking for our current Tennessee Volunteers Volleyball page? Check out 2010 Tennessee Volunteers Volleyball.

The University of Tennessee Lady Vols are coming another fine year in which the team managed to win 20 games (the final record was actually 22-10) and managed a 15-5 overall record within the Southeastern Conference.

Intense Tennessee volleyball player
Intense Tennessee volleyball player.
Thanks to us2briggs at flickr.com for the picture.

2008 in Review: Despite, however, those fairly lofty numbers overall, the team was only the 3rd best in the entire SEC thanks to the outstanding seasons of the University of Florida and Kentucky. The team was strong on its home court, amassing a record of 11-3 on the home hardwood. However, on the road, the team struggled. Its 9-5 record was still solid, but was clearly a step below the conference elite. The season was highlighted by a 9 game winning streak which occurred in October into November.

What to Look for in 2009: The Lady Vols are definitely going to be taking one of the more significant hits to its 2008 roster as the team enters the 2009 campaign, as compared to other SEC squads, and unfortunately, the biggest hits to the roster all come up on the attack, which creates somewhat of a void that it is essential other players manage to step up and fill in order for this team to continue to compete at a high level both within the conference and as part of non-conference play. The team is losing due to graduation attackers Milan Clarke and Mindy Flynn, along with Lauren LaFlamme.

If there is a saving grace to the loss of Clarke and Flynn up front, it is that neither actually led the team in kills (they actually were 2nd and 3rd respectively), and the player that did lead the team in kills, Nikki Fowler, at 3.62 per game, is, in fact, returning. However, it is going to be incumbent on some of the other returning talent, namely players like Kylie Marshall (who averaged 1.77 kills per game) and Farren Powe (who averaged 1.87 kills per game) to step up and fill the void created by the departure of these seniors.

Defensively, the team comes into 2009 in much better shape overall, with all of their leading blockers and diggers coming back from the 2008 campaign.

Up at the net, the team leader in blocks per game was Leah Hinkey, who returns. She averaged 1.62 blocks per game in limited action. The team leader in blocks among players who played the full season was Alyssa Hilby, who managed 1.21 blocks per game. She also returns. What remains to be seen, however, is whether any of the remaining Lady Vols will step up their game to the range of 1 block per game. Farren Powe, at 0.82 per game last season, seems the most likely candidate.

UT volleyball players go for the block against Georgia
UT volleyball players go for the block against Georgia.
Thanks to us2briggs at flickr.com for the picture.

The team is similarly loaded when it comes to their defensive diggers. Last season's defensive specialist, Chloe Goldman, returns off of her 4.56 dig per game season in 2008. She will be joined by Kylie Marshall (2.85 digs per game) and Nikki Fowler (2.36 digs per game).

2009 Prediction The Lady Vols will be good again; however, given that they were a step behind the Lady Gators and Lady Wildcats last season, and they lost slightly more than either of those two did from last year's squad, I think it is safe to assume they are going to be in the range of 3rd place.

Tennessee Volunteers Volleyball
Tennessee Volunteers Volleyball

You can read more about last year's Tennessee Volunteers Volleyball team at 2008 Tennessee Volunteers Volleyball Team.

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