LADY VOLS RALLY IN 2011 OPENER
The Tennessee Lady
Volunteers rallied in the final two games to beat Ohio 3-2 in the
season opener Friday night at the Comcast Lady Vol Classic in
With three freshmen starting and
senior leader Kayla Jeter out for the season with a knee injury, the
Lady Vols were looking for players to take charge on court.
In a close match to start the year, those individuals were sophomores Kelsey Robinson and Carly Sahagian.
posted a career-high 27 kills and Sahagian pitched in 21 digs to guide
a young Lady Vols lineup to a 23-25, 25-13, 18-25, 25-17, 15-7 comeback
“We expect to maybe play a little uneven here at
the beginning of the season, but I was very excited about how mature
they played on the court, how organized they were and how they played
the big points today,” Tennessee head coach Rob Patrick said. “We were
able to turn around some patches of play that were inconsistent and
pulled out the victory.”
Tennessee (1-0) will finish the
two-day annual classic Saturday against Villanova (1-0) at 10 a.m. and
Maryland (0-1) at 7 p.m. Live streaming will be available at
The Lady Vols found themselves
in a must-win fourth game after losing the third. The squad settled
down and took an early lead on their way to capturing the game 25-17 to
force the deciding set.
In the fifth game, Robinson rifled
a kill down the left side to give Tennessee a 4-3 lead in the final
game, and the Lady Vols never looked back. The team jumped on a 6-0 run
to go ahead 9-3 just a few minutes later.
Freshman setter Mary Pollmiller dumped in a point at the net to win the game 15-7 and clinch the match.
Robinson is just a sophomore, she automatically had more on-court
college experience than the trio of freshmen — Pollmiller, Tiffany
Baker and Shealyn Kolosky — who started for the Lady Vols. She earned a
considerable amount of playing time her first season at Tennessee,
earning SEC All-Freshman honors.
“I definitely feel like I
have some experience under the belt,” Robinson said. “It makes it
easier to lead when you have been on the court more than anyone else,
but I had some great help from everybody. When the block was zoning in
on me, Carly and Tiff came through and made huge plays and just made it
easier for me to have more court to work with.”
Robinson’s 27 kills eclipsed her previous career best of 16 last season. Her five aces were also a career best.
and Carly did a great job this summer of putting themselves in a
position to be in great shape and working on their game, and it really
showed today,” Patrick said. “Kelsey Robinson came up big and really
carried the team when we needed someone to get us through patches of
Meanwhile, Sahagian led the Lady Vols in
nearly every other category, finishing with 12 kills, 21 digs and six
blocks. All were career highs.
“Carly, I always call her
the Assassin or the Ninja, you don’t even really see her until you look
at the scoresheet and all of a sudden, she’s leading us in blocks,
digs, second in kills,” Patrick said. “She just really filled up the
stat sheet today. I told her this is what you practiced for. I’m not
surprised that you did this. I’m really happy for her.”
also excelled on the defensive end as a team Friday, limiting Ohio to a
.134 attack percentage and no aces. For players had at least 10 digs.
3, Maryland 1: In the other Friday match of the Comcast Lady Vol
Classic, Villanova beat Maryland 3-1. Kirsta Andersen had 14 kills and
Kim Maroon had 25 digs.
• The Lady Vols started
just one upperclassman in junior DeeDee Harrison. Three freshmen
(Shealyn Kolosky, Mary Pollmiller and Tiffany Baker) and three
sophomores (Kelsey Robinson, Carly Sahagian and libero Ellen Mullins).
• Shaelyn Kolosky's first collegiate serve was an ace.
• Tennessee did not sub until the second game, when Jasmine Brown came on to serve in place of Kolosky.
Countdown Continues: Head coach Rob Patrick has 293 wins at Tennessee,
putting him just seven away from No. 300. Now in his 15th season, he is
already the winningest coach in program history.
• Last season’s match against Ohio on the road also lasted five games with the Lady Vols winning that meeting too.