A short highlight video plays at the beginning of every home Tennessee volleyball game at Thompson-Boling Arena.
In the video, Lady Vols coach Rob Patrick scowls into the camera, with his shoulder pinned back and arms folded across his broad chest.
Patrick had a very different demeanor when the final point hit the floor on Friday night.
With a tempered grin and a modest fist pump, Patrick was all smiles after the Lady Vols squeaked out a 3-2 triumph over Auburn (17-10, 8-9 SEC), 23-25, 25-20, 29-31, 25-19, 25-6.
The contest marked Patrick's 500th career match as Tennessee's coach.
His smile resurfaced when asked about the milestone.
"I've just been here a long time, that's all that means," he said. "Heck, I could be 0-500. But I might be fired if that was the case. But no really, it's an honor to be wanted somewhere like Tennessee for so long."
The win extended the Lady Vols (20-6, 13-4) unbeaten streak to six straight matches, winning 11 of their last 12 games during that stretch.
"We were able to weather a lot tonight," Patrick said. "We kept fighting."
The Lady Vols battled through 21 lead changes during a contest that saw the score tied 39 different times.
"Auburn is always tough," Patrick said. "We got impatient at the start and played right into their hands."
Facing an early 2-1 set point deficit, UT rallied to dominate the final two sets.
Senior Leslie Cikra fronted Tennessee's comeback efforts, hammering down a career-tying 20 kills.
"I had no idea," Cikra said. "It was good and fun to get in a groove tonight, I guess. But I can't do it without my teammates. They all played great."
Five Lady Vols tallied double-digit kills.
Kelsey Robinson and Kayla Jeter both recorded double-doubles with 13 digs each.
"I was real excited, (Cikra) had a very nice game," Patrick said. "Here's a young lady that works hard and is playing great during the last leg of her senior year. That's always great to see."
After dropping a strenuous third set 31-29, the Lady Vols utilized a flurry of seven Cikra kills to force a fifth set.
Tennessee took a 4-0 advantage to start the final set and didn't look back.
Senior DeeDee Harrison pounded down the final point at the net. She finished with 11 kills and six blocks.
"I was proud of how they found their patience," Patrick said. "I was relieved we were able to stay in it. It had the feel that one team would break down at a point."