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BeckysTXA
09-13-2008, 10:06 PM
Tennessee coach Rob Patrick is feeling the heat from fans. After last weekend going 0-3 with losses to Iowa, Virginia and Denver fans lit up the volleyball message boards with "we need a new coach". Patrick is or soon will be Tennessee's all-time winningest coach for volleyball. He took the 2005 team to the Final Four. His best player is injured this year after playing in four matches earlier in the season. The team is 4-4, but they could upset Dayton Sunday if we don't come prepared and ready to play "Dayton Volleyball."

Leah Hinkey was leading the team in kills, hitting %, blocks and aces before going down in the first set last weekend. She was a 6-1 Junior MB who started her freshman and sophomore years and had a lot of experience.

Tennessee tried some other MBs, but just this weekend Freshman MB Hilby has surfaced as her likely replacement. Message boards say she was going to redshirt, but now will move into the starting MB rotation. She is blocking at a 1.12/set rate -- higher than any Dayton blocker for the season. Tennessee is a VERY GOOD blocking team - averaging 2.55/set compared to Dayton's 1.85... but we are getting better. None-the-less, they will challenge our hitters. They've got 4 other hitters averaging around .77 blocks/ set. Compare that to Dayton and you have Lindsay at 1.08, Becky at 0.77 and then it drops down below 0.52. Expect TN to block A LOT with 5 capable blockers.

They are also a good Service Ace team averaging 1.3/set. Nobody really stands out, but everyone averages between 0.15 and 0.31. Dayton averages 0.97 with Mandy, Erin and Kacie all in the 0.20-0.28 range. Where we win in the service game is on Service Errors. TN gives up 2.2/set to Dayton's 1.4. That all nets out to Dayton giving up about half a point a set and TN giving up almost a point a set. And, Dayton's serving is getting better as the team continues to work on their serves to make it tough for opponents to get into their offense. That doesn't show up on the stats.

The teams are about even on hitting % with Dayton slightly ahead at .212 vs .200 for TN. PLUS, Dayton has gone up against tougher teams so far this year.

Dayton is WAY AHEAD in digs/set. We average 17.2 and TN is at 13.4

They play a 6-2 offense with a freshman and junior setter. The Jr is only 5-8 and rotates out of the front row. The freshman is 5-10. We need to go after her in the front row. The setters distribute the ball really well to all the hitters with So OH Fowler getting 26% of the attempts and she averages .231 %. This team is lacking a lead hitter with Hinkey out. The freshman MB Hilby has played in 14 sets and is by far their best hitter - averaging .333, but only 42 attempts so far - 6%. I would expect her to get more sets against Dayton than her season average. She is their emerging player. No one else is hitting over .163 %.

The good news is their freshman MB will have to go up against our two best net players - Lindsay and Bethany. Not something I'd bank on for a game plan to beat us.

But Tennessee is certainly capable of beating us. Lindsay-Becky-Bethany need to get their blocking going like they have in the past and shut down Hilby and Fowler. We can contain the rest of their hitters. Our backrow plays outstanding defense and I think you'll continue to see improved serving and passing.

We do this and Dayton is capable of sweeping TN and can head home tourney champs for the second sraight weekend.