#9 Kentucky Opens Match with 12-Point Run, Sweeps Texas A&M

  0 Bill Stadick | October 12th, 2017 | College - Women's Indoor, News, SEC


After jumping to a 12-0 lead in the first frame and allowing just 20 combined points over the first two sets, the #9 Kentucky Wildcats completed a home sweep of the Texas A&M Aggies on Wednesday night.

“I was very impressed with our team tonight,” head coach Craig Skinner said. “It started in practice yesterday, we had really good focus in practice. To be able to execute the game plan like that right out of the gates was pretty impressive. You’ve got to attribute a lot of that to our leadership and keeping us focused. I thought we did a really good job of keeping focused for those three sets.”

Hitting .400 or more for the fourth time this season, Kentucky was led offensively by sophomore outside Leah Edmond (13 kills), freshman outside Avery Skinner (12 kills) and senior middle Kaz Brown (6 kills). Freshman setter Madison Lilley registered 33 assists.

For the Aggies, senior libero Amy Nettles recorded 11 digs, giving her 1,272 for her career and placing her seventh on the Texas A&M all-time digs list. Sophomore outside Hollann Hans led the Aggies with 10 kills.

The match started with Kentucky libero Ashley Dusek on the service line and the senior went on a 12-point tear that included four Skinner kills, two Franklin kills, two Wildcat blocks and an ace. Franklin’s third kill ended the set with Kentucky on top 25-7.

In the second, Kentucky led by a narrow 15-12 margin before scoring 10 the the frame’s final 11 points to again win easily, this time by a 25-13 score. Like the second, the third set stayed close early with both teams tied at 15 at the media break before Kentucky built a 22-17 lead and that would stand up.

The Aggies return home to host Auburn on Sunday, while Kentucky travels to Gainesville, Florida for a much-anticipated tilt against #1 Florida.



Courtesy: Kentucky Athletics

No. 8 Kentucky Cruises to 3-0 Sweep of Visiting Texas A&M

Wildcats begin the match on a 12-0 run in opening set

LEXINGTON, Ky. – The No. 8 Kentucky volleyball team jumpstarted its night by utilizing a 12-0 run to begin the match to cruise to a 3-0 (25-7, 25-13, 25-21) sweep of visiting Texas A&M on Wednesday night in Memorial Coliseum. Kentucky logged a .410 hitting percentage in the match and dominated in all phases to remain perfect in Southeastern Conference play.

“I was very impressed with our team tonight,” head coach Craig Skinner said. “It started in practice yesterday, we had really good focus in practice. To be able to execute the game plan like that right out of the gates was pretty impressive. You’ve got to attribute a lot of that to our leadership and keeping us focused. I thought we did a really good job of keeping focused for those three sets.”

The win moves UK’s record to 15-2 overall and 6-0 in league play. The Aggies fall to 5-8 and 2-4 in conference action. Kentucky resumes action at No. 1 Florida on Sunday. The match is set for a 1 p.m. first serve and will air on the SEC Network.

Kentucky dominated all phases of the match including kills (43-24), hitting percentage (.410-.075), digs (34-26), blocks (7-4) and aces (3-0) en route to a complete effort.

Sophomore Leah Edmond and freshman Avery Skinner both posted double-figure kill efforts. Edmond amassed 13 and Skinner added 12. Seniors Kaz Brown and Emily Franklin combined for 11, while senior Darian Mack added five.

Freshman setter Madison Lilley directed the offense to the tune of 43 kills on a .410 hitting percentage with 33 assists and a pair of kills. It marked the fourth time this season the Wildcats boasted a .400 hitting percentage or better.

“We’re definitely really close off the court,” Skinner said on Lilley. “I think that definitely helps on the court. I trust her, she trusts me. I think that really helps.”

Senior Ashley Dusek had a match-high 11 digs, while freshman Gabby Curry added eight. Lilley contributed seven scoops and Edmond had five. Lilley also was serving when the team jumped out to a 12-0 lead in the first. Brown and Franklin led the way at the net with four and three rejections, respectively.

“We work on serving every day, so that’s something we really focus on,” Dusek said. “So I really tried hard to get us going.”

Set One:
The Wildcats opened the match with Dusek at the service line and immediately put on the pressure. UK utilized an incredible 12-0 run to open the match. Within that run were four kills from Skinner, two from Franklin, two combined blocks and an ace from Dusek. Texas A&M burned through both of its timeouts during the home team’s impressive stretch. Kentucky kept the pressure on and maintained a 12-point advantage throughout the frame. The lead stretched to 17 on back-to-back errors from the Aggies at 21-4. Franklin’s third kill of the set was the winning point as UK cruised to a 25-7 win. The Cats posted 12 kills on a .526 hitting percentage, while limiting Texas A&M to a -.200 clip and just three kills. Skinner had five kills and hit .444 for the frame. Edmond had four digs, while Franklin led the way with a pair of blocks.

Set Two:
Skinner rifled a shot cross-court to score the second set’s first point, but the Aggies immediately answered with a kill of their own. A back-and-forth battle ensued until the Wildcats shook loose for two straight behind a block from Edmond and Brown and an erroneous attack from the visitors. The lead swelled to three at 8-5 with a kill from Brown. Texas A&M responded with a four-point run of its own to reclaim the lead at 9-8. Kentucky wasted little time in recapturing its lead. Franklin began the string of points with a kill and then teamed up with Skinner for a block for a 12-10 edge. Kentucky took a 15-12 lead into the media timeout. Following the break, UK would score 10 of the set’s final 11 points to life UK to a 25-13 win. Brown combined with Edmond and Lilley for blocks and trounced the Aggies with a pair of kills of her own to highlight the surge. Edmond had five kills and Brown four in the frame. Curry had six digs, while Brown led the way with three blocks. UK posted 15 kills on a .367 average, while the visitors managed six at a -.040 clip.

Set Three:
The Aggies began the scoring to start the third, but Skinner immediately responded with a kill to tie things at one apiece. Play seesawed all the way to the media break where UK took a one-point edge at 15-14 following an Aggie service error. But, out of the break the visitors immediately scored off of a kill to tie things up once again. Consecutive kills from Skinner enabled the Wildcats to break free for two-straight and a 17-15 lead. It was all the more room the Wildcats would need to claim a 25-21 set victory and the 3-0 sweep. UK had a .382 attacking percentage in the set and the Aggies had a match-high .314.

Courtesy: Texas A&M Athletics

Texas A&M Falls to No. 8 Kentucky, 3-0

LEXINGTON, Ky. – Texas A&M was unable to hand No. 8 Kentucky its first home loss of the season and snap its nine-match winning streak as the Wildcats defeated the Aggies, 25-7, 25-13, 25-21 tonight at Memorial Coliseum.

Kentucky, which outhit A&M .410 to .075 in the match, improves to 15-2, including 9-0 in home matches. The Wildcats also improve to 6-0 in conference matches to take a half-game lead over No. 1-ranked Florida in the Southeastern Conference standings.

Texas A&M, which committed nine service errors, falls to 5-8 overall, including 2-4 in SEC matches only.

The Aggies put themselves in a deep hole in the opening set as Kentucky reeled off 12 consecutive points to begin the match before A&M got on the board only after the Wildcats hit into the net. It was one of only two attack errors Kentucky would make in the frame. Kentucky went on to outhit A&M, .526 to -.200, with sophomore outside hitter Hollann Hans producing A&M’s three total kills in the set.

There were six ties and four lead changes early in the second set. Senior outside hitter Kiara McGee had two kills during a 4-0 run by the Aggies that put A&M ahead, 9-8. The teams exchanged points and A&M maintained a 10-9 edge before Kentucky used a 3-0 run to take the lead for good. The Aggies, who were outhit, .367 to -.040 in the set, were within 16-13 before the Wildcats used a 9-0 run to close out the set, 25-13.

The third set also was closely contested through the halfway point with the teams tied at 15-15. Kentucky, which outhit A&M, .382 to .314 in the set, then began to pull away, outscoring A&M, 6-2 to go up 22-17. A&M got back within 22-19 before the teams began to trade point-for-point for the rest of the set.

Aggie senior libero Amy Nettles, playing in the 100th match of her career, tied for match high honors with 11 digs, giving her 1,272 digs for her career and moving her into seventh place in the A&M career records.

Hans led A&M in kills with 10 while hitting at a .280 clip.

Kentucky was led by Leah Edmond‘s 13 kills.

The Aggies return home this weekend to begin a five-match home stand. In conjunction with October being Breast Cancer Awareness Month, the team will hold its annual “Dig Pink” fundraiser match on Sunday, Oct. 15 when the Aggies play host to Auburn at Reed Arena. First serve is at 1:30 p.m., and all fans wearing pink to the match can purchase tickets at the entrance for only $3.

The first 1,000 fans in attendance on Sunday will receive free pink 12th Man Towels, and fans wearing pink in support of the cause can enjoy free pink lemonade from concessions. Like all Sunday matches this season, the pre-match Kids Court in the volleyball practice gym on the ground floor of Reed Arena will be open from 12:30 to 1:30 p.m. In addition, adults are able to purchase a full price ticket and bring up to four kids to the match free of charge. The Take a Kid to the Match ticket offer is available for all Sunday matches at the ticket window on match day.

Visit 12thMan.com for more information on Texas A&M volleyball. Aggie fans also can keep up to date with the A&M volleyball team on Facebook and on Twitter and Instagram by following @AggieVolleyball.



On the match…
“We met a very tough opponent at their place tonight, and we could not get our serving and passing anywhere close to where it can be, which meant zero attacking and made defense that much harder. Kentucky played awesome. It definitely was not our night at all.”

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