Volleyball Preview: Auburn – University of Tennessee Track and Field

KNOXVILLE, Tennessee – The homestand continues for the 20th-ranked Lady Vol volleyball team as they host Auburn on Wednesday at the Thompson-Boling Arena. The first service is scheduled for 8 p.m. ET.

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 seating bowl, face coverings are encouraged for arena patrons. For a full overview of the arena’s policies on match day, click HERE.


The match can be viewed on the SEC network or through the ESPN app. Sam Gore (play-by-play) and Jennifer Hoffman (color) will call the action. Live stats are provided and can be found by visiting the volleyball schedule page on UTsports.com.

The UT opened the SEC game last weekend by sweeping its two-game streak against Arkansas. The Orange & White won the first game of the series in four sets and followed with a straight set victory in Game 2.


With Ava bell and Danielle Mahaffey in the middle, the Lady Vols put the adversary to the test to generate offense in attack. The duo led UT to an SEC record of 3.15 blocks per set – that rating is also the fourth highest in the country.

Individually, Mahaffey leads the conference with 1.46 blocks per set, while Bell is tied for second in the league with 1.39 blocks per set.


After the sweep of Arkansas by Tennessee, the ferryman Nathalie Hayward was named the conference passer of the week, with Mahaffey taking home the defensive player of the week.

Hayward distributed 68 assists against the Razorbacks and landed a pair of doubles-doubles. Mahaffey totaled 18 blocks and 15 kills between the two games, including a career-high 12 blocks in Game 1 of the series.


The Lady Vols won their 10th victory on Sunday in their 12th game of the season. It’s the fastest at 10 wins for Tennessee since 2015 and tied for the fifth best start on the program since 1978.


Tennessee is 7-0 this season when it hits 0.250 or better, and for Eve Rackham WattIt’s three seasons on Rocky Top, UT is 43-3 when it eclipses the .250 hit mark. Under Rackham Watt, the Lady Vols are 48-5 when they win the second set.

2021 report: 8-3 (0-1 SEC)

Series record: UT threads, 35-20-1

Last meeting: November 19, 2020 – A three-set victory for the Lady Vols.

Player / Key stat: Auburn is in his second season under head coach Brent Crouch and started the year with a six-game winning streak. The Tigers arrive in Knoxville after losing three of their last five games, including the SEC’s opener to Ole Miss.
Sophomore Jackie Barrett is leading the offense from her passer position, averaging 8.59 assists per set. In the middle, Tatum Shipes is tied with UT Ava bell for the second of the conference in blocks by series with a score of 1.39.

The Lady Vols wrap up their homestand Saturday and Sunday as they host Texas A&M at Rocky Top. Tennessee will then begin a five-game road swing on Oct. 8 in South Carolina.

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