KNOXVILLE, Tenn. - A stingy Ohio State defense simply proved too much on Friday as the 14th-seeded Tennessee volleyball team saw its season come to a close with a hard-fought five-set loss, 25-23, 21-25, 23-25, 25-22, 12-15, in the second round of the NCAA Tournament at Thompson-Boling Arena in Knoxville.
The loss ends one of the most successful seasons in Lady Vol history as the Southeastern Conference champions finished with a 28-4 overall record, including a near-perfect 14-1 mark at home.
Defense was the key for the Buckeyes as they limited the Orange and White to their third-lowest hitting percentage of the season at .171. On the other side of the net, it was the Tennessee defense that kept it in the match as it set the single-match school record for an NCAA Tournament contest with 35 blocks.
As she did all year, sophomore Kelsey Robinson paced the Big Orange with her 23rd double-double, accumulating a team-high 17 kills to go along with 16 digs, two blocks and an ace. The 2011 SEC Player of the Year finished with 561 kills, good for the fourth-highest single-season total in Tennessee history.
Behind Robinson, it was a trio of freshmen that carried the load. First-year Lady Vols Shealyn Kolosky and Mary Pollmiller each notched double-doubles and Tiffany Baker produced a solid all-around effort with 13 kills, six digs and a personal-best eight blocks.
Kolosky's double-double consisted of a pair of career-highs with 10 blocks and 11 kills on .391 hitting, while Pollmiller tallied 48 assists and 19 digs, also a career high.
The loss ends the career of UT's lone senior Kelsey Mahoney, who helped the Lady Vols reach four NCAA Tournaments and post a combined record of 99-29 in her four years at Rocky Top.