DeeDee Harrison provides momentum for Lady Vols volleyball

Matthew DeMaria/Tennessee Athletics
Tennessee's Bianca Arellano sets the ball during Sunday's match against Alabama at Thompson-Boling Arena.

Photo by Matthew DeMaria/Tennessee Athlet, University of Tennessee Athletics

Matthew DeMaria/Tennessee Athletics Tennessee's Bianca Arellano sets the ball during Sunday's match against Alabama at Thompson-Boling Arena.

After the final point hit the floor at Thompson-Boling Arena on Sunday afternoon, DeeDee Harrison raced towards her huddled teammates with an animated fist pump.

With the teeth-gnashing loss to Kentucky still fresh in her memory, Harrison said the Lady Vols 3-0 sweep of Alabama in volleyball was exactly the rebound she had been hoping for.

"Domination," she said. "That's what it was."

Harrison pounded nine kills, including a string of three consecutive in the second set, to extend the Lady Vols' dominance against the Crimson Tide (14-11, 3-10 SEC) to 10 straight games.

"There was a complete difference in our huddles," Harrison said. "We understand that we can control the game if we play well. If we get up fast and stay organized we can control the game from the start."

Riding the momentum of Harrison's four kills in the first set, the Lady Vols did just that.

The Lady Vols erupted to an early 25-18 win to take the match's first set and didn't look back.

Tennessee (15-6, 8-4) surrendered just two lead changes, both coming within the first nine points of the second set. The Lady Vols won the second set 25-16.

"We used this game to work on everything we did wrong against Kentucky," Harrison said. "Everyone was motivated and everyone contributed to this one."

The win saw three Lady Vols record more than eight kills, fronted by Kelsey Robinson's 13.

Robinson accounted for four of UT's final five points in the third set, hammering the game-winner in the Lady Vols 25-19 win in the third set.

"(Robinson) is always efficient," Lady Vols coach Rob Patrick said. "She was tonight as she always is."

Robinson, who ranks second in the SEC in double-doubles with 13, added one more to that total by complimenting her team-leading kill total with 12 digs.

"We played well and we played clean," Robinson said. "We spread the ball around and everyone was making plays."

Sophomore Mary Pollmiller was at the distributing end of the Lady Vols offensive attack, tallying 33 assists.

Patrick said his team's "complete-game" offensive effort wouldn't be possible without the play of libero Ellen Mullins, who governed the defensive efforts with 13 digs.

"(Mullins) is playing as well as any libero in our conference and maybe in the county," Patrick said. "It all revolves around her."

Sophomore outside hitter Tiffany Baker added eight kills and senior Kayla Jeter was good for six kills and nine digs.

"When it's a team win, it's fun to be out there and no one can stop us," Robinson said.

Riley Blevins is a freelance contributor.

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