Lady Vols sign three for volleyball

Rob Patrick

Rob Patrick

With a front row hit by graduation, Tennessee volleyball coach Rob Patrick has rounded up replacements.

Patrick announced a recruiting class that includes a middle blocker, an outside hitter and a combination of the two.

Raina Hembry of Portland, Ore., is a 6-foot-3 middle blocker ranked the No. 45 prospect in the Class of 2013.

"She'll come in and challenge for the middle hitter position,'' Patrick said, "but also is flexible enough to put on the right side.''

Jamie Lea of Efland, N.C., is a 6-2 outside hitter with big hops. Lea is ranked No. 37 in the class.

"We're excited about what we can do with her offensively and defensively,'' Patrick said.

Ashley Mariana of Arlington, Texas, is the 31st-ranked recruit and 6-1, a middle blocker and outside hitter.

"Ashley can play anywhere on the net,'' Patrick said. "She was training with the USA Junior National team so she'll bring a tremendous amount of very high-level experience.''

The Lady Vols must replace DeeDee Harrison, Kayla Jeter and Leslie Cikra from last year's team that lost to Michigan in the first round of the NCAA tournament. All three have won All-SEC honors at different points.

Tennis: Former Tennessee All-American J.P. Smith won his first-round match in the Australian Open Playoff in Melbourne and is three more wins away from a wild-card berth in next month's Grand Slam event.

Smith, who is seeded No. 2 in the playoff, beat Jay Andrijik 6-2, 7-5, 6-1, to advance to the quarterfinals. Smith, from Townsville, Australia, is the highest seed remaining in the quarters.

Meanwhile, two of Smith's former UT teammates, Rhyne Williams and Tennys Sandgren, will play in an Australian Open wild-card playoff this weekend in Norcross, Ga.

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