Lovett scores career high, Tennessee battles in four sets against No. 15 Florida


KNOXVILLE, TN – Despite the second year At Erykah Lovett’s On Wednesday night, the career-high Lady Vols fell in four sets (24-26, 23-25, 25-16, 20-25) to No. 15 Florida at Thompson-Boling Arena.

Lovett continued his streak of strong offensive plays by scoring a career-high 21 kills with a .349 hit percentage. Since the start of SEC play, the native of Newnan, Georgia, has totaled 72 kills in four appearances – an average of 4.80 kills per set – and hit 0.386%.

Tennessee (8-8, 2-2 SEC) beat Florida (11-3, 3-1 SEC) .302 to .275 on the night but suffered untimely service line errors that limited their chances to chain the points. UT had 15 service errors in the game against Florida’s 12.

Morgan Fingall hit .212 on the night and finished with 11 kills for UT. She now has 926 career kills and is set to become the 23rd player in program history to reach the 1,000 career kills milestone. The senior added a pair of aces and three total blocks against the Gators to finish with 15 points.

Freshman in red shirt Klaudia Pawlik played well in the middle as she had six kills and posted three blocks. Its intermediary partner, Granberry Keondreyascored five kills and two blocks on the night.

Junior Jasmine Brooks came off the bench and added six kills and a block for the Lady Vols.

In what set the stage for most of the evening, the first set was a tight one as the two teams battled it out to a final score of 26-24 in favor of Florida. Both offenses started slow as the Gators hit .162 and the Lady Vols hit .125.

Fingall carried the charge for UT in the frame as she scored six wins. On the other side of the net, four Gators had three kills. Florida’s block was the difference in the set as it posted five total blocks, preventing UT from keeping pace.

The offenses picked up steam in the second as Florida hit .444 and UT .250. Tennessee also landed a trio of aces in the frame but made two more errors on offense than UF and fell to the Gators, 23-25.

Tennessee came out shooting in the third as they had 15 team kills and hit .542. Lovett led the way with eight kills while Brooks, Fingall and Pawlik each scored two as the Lady Vols won the frame, 25-16. UT’s block also stepped up to frustrate the Gators and kept them at .095 hitting percentage.

The Lady Vols and Gators went swing for swing in the fourth with both teams hitting over .340 – Tennessee at .344 and Florida at .371. Lovett was UT’s star as she reduced seven kills. For Florida, Marina Markova led the team with six kills in the frame.

UT beat Florida 2-0 in the final set, but nine errors plagued the Orange and White as they fell 20-25.

NEXT

Tennessee returns to the field Saturday and Sunday as they host South Carolina at Thompson-Boling Arena. Saturday’s game time is scheduled for 4 p.m. ET, with Sunday’s game starting at noon.

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