Volleyball wins eighth consecutive match

FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. - The Tennessee volleyball team (18-8, 11-4) was able to overcome a spirited effort from a hard-working Arkansas squad (6-18, 3-11 SEC) to win its eighth consecutive match with its fifth straight sweep, 29-27, 31-29, 25-18, Friday night at Barnhill Arena.

Junior libero Chloe Goldman tallied the third-highest, three-set dig total in school history with 25, while senior Milan Clarke posted a match-high 15 kills in the victory.

"Arkansas certainly did not make anything easy for us tonight, but it's always great to win on the road in this tough conference," UT Head Coach Rob Patrick said. "I thought we made quite a few unforced errors in the first two sets, which I attribute to us not being as focused as we needed to be.

"Kylie, Mindy and Chloe helped us out significantly as they were our most consistent players throughout the match. Kelsey did a very nice job of settling us down when she was on the court as well. After we survived the first two sets, the team did a much better job of playing low-error volleyball which is what has allowed us to be so successful during this streak."

In addition to her 15 kills, Clarke also hit at a solid .375 clip with just three errors in 32 swings. Sophomore Nikki Fowler, meanwhile, recorded 13 kills of her own, while senior Mindy Flynn and junior Farren Powe each collected 11 putaways in the match. Last week's SEC Offensive Player of the Week, Powe continued her efficient offensive output, collecting a team-best .529 hitting percentage with just two errors in 17 total attacks.

"Milan continues to get big kills for us while also reducing her unforced errors," Patrick said. "I'm really proud of how she has matured into such a good hitter. We are very comfortable putting the ball in her hands during key situations and she came through in a big way tonight."

Freshman Kelsey Mahoney finished just one dig away from her fifth career double-double with a team-high 38 assists and nine digs, while junior Kylie Marshall and Fowler tallied seven and six digs, respectively. Fowler also paced the UT blocking effort with four putbacks, including one solo block, while Powe tallied three and Flynn and freshman Alyssa Hilby each posted two.

"I can't say enough about Chloe's maturity on the court," Patrick said. "She is the anchor of our defense and was simply amazing today. She continues to impress me with how well she controls the ball, not only in serve receive but the rockets Arkansas was hitting at her."

As a team, the Big Orange set three-set match season highs in four different categories, including kills (60), total attacks (139), assists (56) and digs (61).

The Orange and White will next be in action at 1:30 p.m. CT on Sunday, Nov. 9, when it will take on Ole Miss in Oxford, Miss.

The Lady Vols will then return to Knoxville for a pair of contests next weekend. They will first host No. 12 Florida at 7 p.m. on Friday, Nov. 14, before welcoming South Carolina to Rocky Top at 1:30 p.m. on Sunday, Nov. 9.

Sunday's match will be tape delayed and broadcast on FOX Sports Regional Networks at 3:30 p.m. that same day. In addition, the first 300 fans to the match against USC will receive a free set of Lady Vol volleyball trading cards.

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