Tennessee’s SEC volleyball woes continued Friday night with a 3-1 loss to Ole Miss at Thompson-Boling Arena.
The Lady Vols (9-17, 1-11 SEC) won the first set, 25-23, but lost the next three decisively, 18-25, 14-25, 18-25. The second set was a hard-fought battle with six ties before Ole Miss took control of not only the set, but the match.
Ole Miss (13-12, 3-9 SEC) beat UT for only the ninth time in 49 tries. Tennessee had won 22 of the 25 previous matchups in the series.
Freshman Ashley Mariani, who leads the team in kills, paced the Lady Vols with 14, while fellow freshman Jamie Lea added 12 of her own.
Sophomore Lexi Dempsey dished out 26 assists and sophomore Megan Hatcher had a team-high 13 digs.
Senior libero Ellen Mullins had nine digs, and now has 1,703 for her career, tying her for ninth on the SEC’s all-time career digs list. The Nashville native now has 542 for the season, moving her into second on UT’s single-season digs list, 16 shy of Chloe Goldman’s record of 568 set in 2009.
Melanie Crowe led the Ole Miss attack with 16 kills while Nakeyta Clair added 15 in the Rebels’ second straight victory.
Tennessee is off until a trip to College Station, Texas, to battle Texas A&M on Friday.