Two decorated outside hitters, including two-time All-American Kelsey Robinson, are among four players transferring from the Tennessee volleyball program only weeks after the team made the NCAA tournament for the fifth consecutive season.
Robinson, who led Tennessee in virtually every offensive category and was named the SEC Player of the Year in 2011, is transferring to Nebraska to play her senior year.
Tiffany Baker, who was an All-SEC second-team selection in both her years at UT, plans to transfer to Texas for her final two years of college. She's from Carrollton, Texas.
Additionally, two setters — sophomore Mary Pollmiller and freshman Bianca Arellano — have also been granted releases to transfer.
Pollmiller was the 2011 SEC Freshman of the Year and has played virtually every set for her two seasons. It's not known where she will transfer.
"I can confirm they are all transferring," said Lady Vols coach Rob Patrick, who has led the program since 1997. "This is something that happens in every sport. Florida's football team just finished a top-10 season and a day later two players announce they are transferring. Players leave for a variety of reasons. That happens in volleyball, too."
Baker will be joining the defending NCAA champions in Austin. Robinson will bolster a Nebraska program that has won three NCAA titles, the most recent in 2006.
"Not gonna lie, it's great to be a Husker,'' Robinson posted on her Twitter account Wednesday.
Robinson told the Lincoln (Neb.) Journal-Star last month that there were communication issues at Tennessee and that it "wasn't a healthy environment" for her.
But Patrick, who didn't address specific reasons behind any departures, said he believes Tennessee's program is on solid ground.
He cited a graduating senior class that had just completed the best four-year run of any team in school history and an incoming recruiting class that has three players ranked in the top 45 nationally.
"To be honest, the people we're going to miss the most are the seniors who are graduating, because of the leadership they provided," Patrick said.
UT is losing four seniors in addition to the four transfers, but Patrick said the team is well-equipped to handle the losses.
Patrick said the UT roster had 18 players last year, larger than the 14 to 16 that is the typical size of a squad. He expects to sign at least four new players and possibly more in the 2013 recruiting class.
As for positional depth at setter or outside hitter, Patrick said, "That won't be an issue at all."
Tennessee went 22-8 overall and 15-5 in the SEC in 2012, ending the season with an NCAA tournament loss to Michigan. The Vols went 28-4 won the SEC title in 2011.
Evan Woodbery covers Tennessee athletics. Follow him at www.Twitter.com/TennesseeBeat.