"I was very pleased with the win," UT Head Coach Angela Kelly said. "We scored three goals in the second half and created many more opportunities. So, I was very happy with the result."
In a match that saw the Orange and White dominate offensively, UT took 31 shots to the Bulldogs' two. MSU put just one shot on goal, making an easy day for junior goalkeeper Jaimel Johnson, who made just one save, and sophomore keeper Sarah Kitchin, who combined with Johnson to record the team's eighth shutout of the 2007 campaign.
The Lady Vols first got on the board in the 35th minute, after getting several early chances in the first half. After the UT frontline won the ball near the left corner, Rossi crossed it in to Emerson who found the back of the net from six yards out. The goal was Emerson's fourth of the season and her third in the past four matches.
"The first goal was a world-class goal," Kelly said. "It combined the three forwards and an attacking mid, which is just a sign of having a dynamic frontline. It was done in a limited amount of touches and was a great goal, so I was pleased to see that."
Tennessee out-shot the Bulldogs 13-1 in the first 45 minutes, forcing MSU keeper Taryn Holland to make three saves in the half. The Lady Vols put four shots on goal in the first hlaf, while holding Mississippi State without a shot on frame.
Following the halftime break, Rossi continued to contribute, adding a second score for UT in the 58th minute. With the ball at her feet in the box, Rossi drew Holland out to dive on the ball, but it slipped out of the keeper's arms. Rossi snagged the loose ball inside the six-yard box, finishing with a shot on the ground into the lower left corner of the net. The goal was Rossi's team-leading seventh of the year and sixth in SEC play.
The Lady Vols continued to put the pressure on the MSU defense, scoring again just three minutes later. This time, Redberg found the back of the net in the 61st minute after bringing the ball up on the left side.
The senior was just getting started, however, as she converted again in the 67th minute to give Tennessee its final 4-0 lead. The goal came after sophomore midfielder Mick Imgram fed a ball to Redberg on the right side of the box, where she put it past Holland and into the lower left corner again. The goals give Redberg six on the season and 25 in her career, tying her for seventh all-time with Rossi. Imgram's assist was her team-leading sixth of the season.
With 18 shots – six of which were on goal – in the second half, the Lady Vols forced the MSU defense to make two saves of their own, while the Bulldogs' second keeper of the match, Stephanie Dallas earned 21 minutes of playing time and made one save.
Several Lady Vols came into the match off the bench, earning valuable playing time and experience, leading up to the SEC Tournament which will be held Nov. 7-11. Senior forward Hayley Prendergast, freshman midfielder Grace Cuenin and freshman forward Anna Fisher all saw significant time, along with Kitchin, who got her first touches in goal this season.
"For the first time in my coaching career I was able to play everybody on the bench who was able and willing," Kelly said. "That's a credit to the team and the level of the talent of the players on the bench. We don't drop in our level of play, which is something we need because I need to be able to rest our legs."
The blanking is Tennessee's 81st in program history and improves the team to 8-2-0 all-time against the Bulldogs. The victory, combined with Georgia's 0-0 tie with Ole Miss, gives the Orange and White sole possession of first place in both the Eastern Division and overall SEC standings with just three matches remaining in the regular season. Georgia and UT will meet in the teams' final match before the SEC Tournament on Nov. 2 in Athens.
After earning their third weekend sweep of the league season, the Lady Vols will now look ahead to their Thursday night matchup with Alabama. Tennessee will play its fifth road match in the last seven games in Tuscaloosa at 7 p.m. CT on Oct. 25.
LADY VOL ROWING: The Tennessee women's rowing team followed yesterday's Club 8+ gold with a program-best fifth-place finish in the Championship 8+ race at the prestigious Head of the Charles Regatta in Boston on Sunday. The Lady Vols also finished 15th in the Championship Four event.
Leading the UT shell to its first top-five finish in the Championship 8+ event in Boston was sophomore coxswain Katie Ross. Her boat of seniors Nina Dobratz, Krista Gearing, Mary Jones, Jessica Ayers and Renee Brittle, juniors Kate Brownlee and Erin-Monique Shelton and freshman Libuše Bruncvíkova' completed the three-mile course in 16:26.99, just five seconds behind the third place shell.
The U.S. Rowing Princeton Training Center team took gold in 15:26.572 followed by the London Training Center team. Michigan took third in 16:21.65 with the Yale squad following closely behind in fourth. Tennessee's took fifth ahead of 34 other boats including defending national champion Brown University and Stanford University.
In the first race of the day, the Championship 4+, the Lady Vols took 15th. This year's event marked the first time UT has entered in the Championship Fours event which featured 21 shells. The Orange and White boat was comprised of freshman coxswain Johanna Greenberg, sophomores Mary Dreusike and Brittany Sehring, junior Kendra Warren and senior Genevieve Collins. Sunday marked Greenberg's first race action at Tennessee.
"The four crew had a great opportunity to do some exciting things down the course today," UT Head Coach Lisa Glenn said. "They let a couple of factors become obstacles instead of motivators. We will need to learn from it now in order to help the team in a way they are capable of as we move forward."
The London Training Center team took the gold in the Championship Fours with a time of 17:51.28 followed by Roforeningen KVIK of Denmark in second and University of Victoria rounding out the top three.
Tennessee's fifth place finish in the Championship 8+ race marks the third season of improving results at the Head of the Charles. In 2005, UT finished 12th in the race, while last season the Orange and White shell took seventh.
Today's fifth place finish, combined with Sunday's gold in the Club 8+ race gives UT its best performance in program history at the Head of the Charles. The Lady Vols claimed their third consecutive first-place finish in the Club 8+ on the Charles River.
"I'm pleased with the improvements our Club Eight crew was willing to make going into this weekend," Glenn said. "Because of the entire crew, they put together a solid performance."
While the varsity squad was in Boston, the novices competed for the first time this season at the Head of the Tennessee Regatta on Saturday in Knoxville. Tennessee had three of its four boats finish in the top five of the Women's Collegiate Novice 8+ race.
The Virginia Tech "B" boat took first in 20:54.9, followed by the UT "Smokey" shell in 21:37.3. The boat featured freshman coxswain Rebekah Linn and freshmen Adrienne Lawson, Amanda Lucas, Heather Wilson, Lilly Rowland, Caris Green, Ashley Menner, Jenny Davis and Andrea Turner.
Auburn took third with the Lady Vols' "Rubicon" boat, comprised of freshman coxswain Esther Stratton and freshmen Tiffany Blevins, Cheryl Lueke, Brittney Moore, Angelica Amicucci, Kelly Steffen, Leilani Young, Kelly Dyer and Becky Johns, taking fourth.
Tennessee's "Torchbearer" shell of freshman coxswain Kyndal Williams, junior Andrea Delgado, sophomores Kayla Kmet and Lora Aaron, and freshmen Sara Knoll, Acacia Edmiston, Juliann Perrino, Katie Strader, Stacey Blalock and Andrea Delgado, took fifth in 22:45.6.
UT's "Paladin" boat, comprised of freshman coxswain Gabby Bloodsaw, sophomore Lindsey Kirkland, and freshmen Katie Braga, Sara Horne, Lauren Davenport, Angela Allen, Rachel Bush, Elizabeth Hood and Chelsie Scansen, finished ninth.
The Lady Vols now take a week off before returning to action on Nov. 3 at the Head of the Chattahoochee Regatta in Chattanooga.
LADY VOL VOLLEYBALL: The volleyball team (8-12, 3-9) continued its slide with a three-game loss to Alabama (12-9, 10-3 SEC) on Sunday afternoon at the Coleman Auxiliary Volleyball Extension in Tuscaloosa.
For the second consecutive match, sophomore Jaye Loyd recorded a career-high with 30 assists.
Freshman Nikki Fowler also added the seventh double-double of her young career with 10 kills and 14 digs, while sophomore Leah Hinkey hit at a team-best .556 clip with 11 kills and just one error in 18 swings. Senior Yuliya Stoyanova also put up a solid effort for the second time in three days, finishing with nine putaways and squad-highs with 43 swings and 15 digs.
The match against Alabama followed a heartbreaking decision to Mississippi State on Friday night at the Newell–Grissom Building in Starkville.
Senior Yuliya Stoyanova recorded her first double-double of the year, posting season-highs with 20 digs and 17 kills, all of which came in the fourth and fifth games.
"As a team, we have to learn how to take matches more seriously sooner," UT head coach Rob Patrick said. "We have a tendency to only start fighting when we are too far behind to come back. We have to stop playing like a young team. I'm very disappointed in this match, because I thought we had taken some great strides in the last week.
"I thought Jaye (Loyd) did a tremendous job of coming into a difficult situation and setting our offense. She put up some very hittable balls for our offense and was one of the main reasons we stayed in this match as long as we did."
Sophomore Kylie Marshall also continued her solid play, notching her second double-double in the last four matches. The Puyallup, Wash., native tied her season-high with 11 kills, while collecting her most digs of the year with 19.
Defensively, sophomore libero Chloe Goldman surpassed the 20 digs mark for the fourth consecutive match, tallying 25, while fellow classmate Jaye Loyd and freshman Nikki Fowler each reached double-digits in the category with 11 and 10, respectively.
The Big Orange will return to Rocky Top next weekend to host Georgia and Auburn in Stokely Athletics Center. UT's match against the Bulldogs will begin at 7 p.m. on Friday, Oct. 26, while first serve versus the Tigers is set for 1:30 p.m. two days later.