- No. 11 Kentucky def. Missouri 3-1 (19-25, 25-18, 25-19, 25-19)
- Kentucky moves to 10-2, 1-0 SEC; Missouri drops to 7-7, 0-1 SEC
- Columbia, Missouri
- Attendance: 1,601
- Box Score
COLUMBIA, Mo. – No. 11 Kentucky hit at a .313 clip and pounded down 23 more kills than its foe in a four-set win over Missouri to open SEC play.
Sophomore outside hitter Leah Edmond was tops among the Wildcats with 18 kills in the win, which was UK’s fifth straight. Edmond hit at a .485 clip, with just two miscues, while also adding eight digs and four blocks. Freshman outside Avery Skinner followed with 14 kills, while senior outside Darian Mack and senior middle Kaz Brown chipped in eight apiece. Senior middle Emily Franklin also managed eight kills to go with a team-best eight blocks. Senior libero Ashley Dusek (17) and freshman setter Madison Lilley (12) led the backcourt with double-digit dig totals.
Redshirt senior outside Melanie Crow led Mizzou with eight kills, followed by junior middle Alyssa Munlyn and freshman outside Dariana Hollingworth with six apiece. Munlin and redshirt freshman middle Kayla Caffey paced the net defense with four stuffs apiece, while redshirt sophomore libero Riley Sents notched a team-high 12 digs to guide the backcourt defense.
Kentucky registered 63 kills to Missouri’s 40 and outhit the Tigers .313 to .164. Both teams served up five aces, while the Wildcats boasted a slight 12-11 lead in blocks.
Missouri took an early 6-3 advantage, but Kentucky knotted the score at 7-all. Down 10-7, the Wildcats used a pair of Tiger miscues to pull back even at 10. After ties at 11, 12 and 13, Mizzou broke free with a 10-4 run to go up 23-17. A trio of aces, two by Kira Larson, and two kills by Munlyn guided the surge. UK got back-to-back points, including a Lilley ace, but couldn’t hold off kills by Caffey and Munlyn in the 25-19 loss.
Kentucky jumped out to an 11-4 edge in Set 2 with help from two kills and a block by Edmond. Missouri sliced the margin to three at 12-9 on a solo stuff by Sydney Deeken. A 9-4 run pushed the UK advantage to nine at 21-13. Franklin registered three kills and a block in the stretch. The Tigers countered with five of the next seven points, but the Wildcats held on for the 25-18 win with kills by Brown and Skinner.
UK scored six of the first eight points in Set 3 and carried on to a 16-11 lead midway through. Franklin’s net defense garnered three points, while Mack, Edmond, Skinner and Franklin turned in two kills apiece. Edmond downed three more putaways to push the margin to six at 21-15. Missouri rallied to within four at 23-19, but Edmond and Mack stopped a further comeback.
A pair of blocks by Mack and Franklin set the tableat the start of Set 4, then the Wildcats upped the advantage to 6-2 with two Mack putaways. The teams tied at 7, 8 and 9, before Kentucky notched six of the next seven to go up 15-10. Mizzou was within two at 19-17 and 20-18 as UK errors piled up, but the Wildcats salvaged the set and the match with a final 5-1 run. Edmond and Franklin downed two kills apiece in the final stretch.
Courtesy: Kentucky Athletics
Behind a career offensive day from sophomore Leah Edmond and the fifth double-double of the year from freshman Madison Lilley, the No. 10 Kentucky volleyball team opened Southeastern Conference action with a 3-1 (19-25, 25-18, 25-19, 25-19) win at Missouri on Wednesday.
Kentucky improves to 10-2 overall and 1-0 in league play. Missouri drops to 7-7 and 0-1 in the SEC. UK will return to action on Sunday with a home date against LSU at 1:30 p.m. ET.
“I’m really pleased with the mental toughness after set one,” UK coach Craig Skinner said. “Gabby’s (Curry), (Darian) Mack’s play off of the bench and our middles patrolling the net were difference makers while the match went on. Missouri is always tough at home and it was great to play better and better throughout the match.”
Edmond shined for the Wildcats after posting 18 kills on a career-best .485 hitting percentage. Edmond committed just two errors on her 33 swings en route to the productive night. In an all-around effort, Edmond finished just two digs shy of a double-double with eight. She also had four total blocks.
Lilley added her fifth double-double of the season behind 52 assists and 12 digs. The freshman setter matched her career high in digs with 12 and posted 50 or more assists for the third time in her young career. She helped UK hit .313 over four sets and produced 63 kills.
Freshman Avery Skinner produced her eighth double-digit kill total of the season behind 14 hammers on 37 attacks. Seniors Kaz Brown and Emily Franklin both totaled eight kills. Franklin was a beast on the frontline with a match-high eight blocks. It marked the fifth time in her career she has totaled eight or more blocks in a single match.
Senior Darian Mack made her presence felt with eight kills on a .333 attacking clip. Junior Brooke Morgan contributed three kills to the winning cause.
In addition to Lilley and Franklin’s stellar defensive play, senior libero Ashley Dusek led all players with 17 digs. It was a season-high for the two-time SEC Libero of the Year. Freshman Gabby Curry chipped in with five scoops, while junior McKenzie Watson added three. Curry also contributed three service aces.
Missouri earned the first two points of the set. Franklin put the Wildcats on the board with a kill. Teams traded points until Mizzou went up 5-2 after rattling off two straight. After going down 10-7, Kentucky tied the set thanks to a Brown termination and two attacking errors. UK grabbed the lead at 13-12 on the back of Skinner. Mizzou fired back and led 15-13 at the media timeout. Out of the media timeout, Kentucky was forced to burn one after Mizzou went on a 3-1 run to go up 18-14. Kentucky couldn’t cut the lead, and Missouri won the set 25-19.
Kentucky earned the first point of the set, a block from Morgan and Franklin. After Mizzou tied it at 3-3, UK went on a 5-0 run, capped by an Edmond kill after the helper from Lilley. MU scored to make it 8-4, then the Cats went on another run, this one 3-0, helped by kills from Brown and Lilley to go up 11-4. Mizzou cut the lead to 12-8. Kentucky got back out to a 16-10 lead after a kill and a block from Franklin, forcing MU to burn its second timeout. Lilley grabbed an ace out of the break to extend the Wildcats’ advantage to 17-10. Play seesawed until MU was able to cut the lead to 21-16. Kentucky ended the run on a Brown kill with the help of Dusek. Kentucky won the set, 25-18 after kills from Brown and Skinner.
Kentucky grabbed the first two points of the set after kills from Skinner and a block from Franklin and Mack. Mizzou tied the set, and then UK went on a four point run after kills from Skinner, Franklin and Mack and a Curry ace. Play seesawed until 10-8, where the Cats swung the set with three straight. Missouri answered with three of its own, and then UK did the same to go up 16-11after kills from Edmond and Mack to force a Tigers’ timeout. Both teams traded points until the Cats finished the set with two kills from Edmond and Mack to win 25-19.
Kentucky took the first three points of the set from Skinner kills and back-to-back blocks from Mack and Franklin. A Curry ace made it 5-1. The Tigers earned the lead down to 6-5, and tied the set at 7-7. After play alternated a bit, Kentucky went on a three-point spurt to go up 12-0 after kills from Skinner and Mack. Mizzou scored out of a timeout, but then UK rattled off three more to take a 15-10 advantage. UK grabbed its largest lead of the set at 16-11. Missouri was able to cut the lead 18-15, forcing a Wildcats’ timeout. Missouri got the lead down to two at 20-18, but UK would score five of the final six points for the 25-19 win. The match was capped with a kill from the hand of Franklin.