KNOXVILLE, Tenn. – In its final road match of the season, the University of Arkansas volleyball team lost in three sets to No. 21 Tennessee (25-17, 25-15, 25-15) Sunday afternoon at Thompson-Boling Arena in Knoxville. Janeliss Torres-Lopez had a team-high seven kills while Charmaine Whitmore, also in the middle, tallied five kills and a match-high eight total blocks.
The teams traded points early in the opening set but Tennessee (22-6, 13-5 SEC) took a five-point lead after a triple block. The Razorbacks pulled to within two but another Lady Vol block made the score 15-12 at the first media timeout. Out of the break, the home team continued to extend its advantage, ultimately taking its largest lead of eight on a kill by Kayla Jeter. Despite four kills by Whitmore in the first game, UT won the set with a kill by DeeDee Harrison.
Torres-Lopez and Whitmore were the early bright spots in the second set for Arkansas (13-15, 7-10 SEC). Torres-Lopez had the first two kills of the game for the team and Whitmore was in on back-to-back blocks to bring the Razorbacks to within two points, trailing 7-5. However, Tennessee won the next four points to take control of the set. The Lady Vols took their first 10-point lead of the match, 23-13, on a tandem block and on a second set point, the team closed out the set on a hitting error by Jasmine Norton.
Game three started similarly to the previous two with both team fighting for momentum but Tennessee used an 8-1 streak to go ahead for good. Whitmore notched three blocks late in the set but the Razorbacks’ deficit, as high as 12 points at one point, was too much to overcome. On the first match point of the day, the Lady Vols closed it out on an Arkansas hitting error.
Libero Brooke Fournier had a match-best 11 digs and was the only player on the court to reach double digits in the category. Norton and Kelli Stipanovich were held to four and three kills, respectively. Nikki Fowler led the Lady Vols with a match-high 12 kills.
The Razorbacks will close out the regular season with three matches on their home floor. Arkansas returns to action Friday, Nov. 19, against top-ranked Florida. First serve of the Southeastern Conference matchup is scheduled for 7 p.m. (CT) at Barnhill Arena in Fayetteville. For game day coverage and more information about UA athletics, log on to ArkansasRazorbacks.com.