Eve Rackham Watt earns 100th win in SEC opener

Photo Credit: Ian Cox/ Tennessee Athletics

By Gabriel Daniel

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. – Coach Eve Rackham Watt earned her 100th win as No. 14 Tennessee swept Missouri in three sets Wednesday night at Thompson-Boling Area at Food City Center.

Rackham Watt reached the 100 wins in the second quickest time in Tennessee Volleyball history and the quickest time since 1982. She has also led the Lady Vols to their highest ranking in a decade.

“To me the best thing about these recognitions is the ability to recognize my staff and … didn’t serve or pass or set any single one of those ball in all those wins,” said Rackham Watt.

The Lady Vols (10-1, 1-0 SEC) sweep of the Tigers (8-3, 0-1 SEC) is Tennessee’s fourth straight
sweep and its fifth straight win.

After an evenly matched first set that the Lady Vols won 26-24, Tennessee dominated the other two sets taking the second 25-19 and the third 25-11.

The Lady Vols ability to get up at the net for blocks seemed to be the biggest difference in the game. Tennessee finished with 12 blocks, including eight in the first set, to the Tigers’ four.

“I really thought we had a nice week of practice and we harped on blocking again Sunday,
Monday, Tuesday. But I thought Emily Beeker kind of had a ‘ah-a’ moment practice on Sunday or Monday where something really clicked for her,” said Rackham Watt.

Beeker, a sophomore from Hendersonville North Carolina, tied for the team lead in total blocks with five which is also her career high.

Another key part of Tennessee’s win and overall success has been the play of redshirt freshman setter Caroline Kerr. Kerr is sixth in the nation in assists per set with 11. 29 and has taken conference honors in three straight weeks, including winning SEC Player of the Week and SEC Freshman of the Week last week.

“I took my redshirt year to put myself in the position to get to this place. I made it my personal goals…It’s not going to be a surprise when I do well but I also know nothing I’m doing isn’t going to come with out my team. Those assists I’m getting are of my teammates kills.” said Kerr.

The Lady Vols travel to Lexington to take on Kentucky on Sunday the start to a four-game road trip. The game is scheduled to start at 3 P.M. ET.