The Kentucky Wildcats volleyball team dominated the Louisville Cardinals in a 3-0 sweep (25-15, 25-18, 25-9) on the Cards’ home court. In the annual rival match, Kentucky has a lead in wins and just earned their fourth victory in a row.
Kentucky had a 5-0 run early in the first set from 5 straight kills, and hit a total of 15 kills just in the first set. The Cardinals struggled scoring against the Wildcat offense, earning just 8 kills.
Louisville picked up the pace in the second set, keeping right on the tail of the Wildcats to get within three points multiple times during the game. Kentucky’s offensive game got them the leg up they needed to pull ahead 23-17 and win the set, and used two of their 18 kills in the second set to claim the game.
The Cardinals didn’t have any fight left by the third set, making it easy for Kentucky to win 25-9 and keep Louisville down to single digits.
Courtesy of Kentucky Athletics
LOUISVILLE, Ky. – The Kentucky volleyball team earned an impressive 3-0 (25-15, 25-18, 25-9) sweep of the Louisville Cardinals on Thursday in the KFC Yum! Center behind a dominating effort in all phases of the match. UK grabbed early leads in every set and rolled to a convincing victory – it’s fourth in a row over Louisville.
With the win, Kentucky improves to 6-4 on the young season. Louisville drops to 4-5 on the year. The Wildcats waste little time returning to action. UK will welcome Lipscomb to Memorial Coliseum on Saturday for a 7:30 p.m. first serve to mark the final non-conference matchup of the season.
“I’m very, very pleased with our players and their intensity throughout the entire match,” UK coach Craig Skinner said. “The way they went about their business and their concentration – we’ve been working really hard on being consistent and I thought they did a great job of that offensively and defensively.”
Kentucky received exceptional performances from every player on the court on Thursday. Freshman Leah Edmond led a balanced offensive attack that saw four players register eight or more kills on the night. The freshman posted a team-high 13. It was her ninth match topping double figures and besting the team. Junior Kaz Brown was nearly unstoppable with nine kills on a blazing .533 attacking percentage. She also added four blocks.
Sophomore setter Olivia Dailey was the engineer to UK’s crippling attack that boasted 46 total kills on a .358 attacking percentage. Dailey dished out 37 assists and added seven digs and a pair of blocks.
Sophomore Brooke Morgan chipped in on the attack with nine kills, while junior Darian Mack added eight. Junior Emily Franklin led the defensive effort up front with a team-high five blocks while also chipping in with the same number of kills.
Junior libero Ashley Dusek notched a match-high 15 digs, with Louisville native McKenzie Watson added nine digs. Senior Anni Thomasson contributed a pair of kills, four digs and an ace.
After trading kills to begin the match, UK utilized a 5-0 run and benefiting from five-straight kills to claim a 5-1 lead. UK would never look back. The offensive attack was clicking on all cylinders with five players recording a kill in the opening 10 points. Edmond led the way with six kills and UK notched 15 for the set. UK’s defense frustrated the Cards into a .033 hitting clip and just eight kills. Dusek led the way defensively with five digs.
The Wildcats raced out to a 5-0 lead and were never really threatened, although the Cardinals would get within three several times including as late as 20-17. Kills from Franklin and Edmond helped UK score the next three points to pull away to a comfortable 23-17 lead. Edmond’s 10th kill of the night delivered the 25-18 second set win. UK posted 18 kills in the frame on a .342 hitting clip with Brown and Mack leading the way with a team-high four kills apiece in the stanza. Dailey dished out 15 assists and Dusek picked up eight digs. Louisville managed 11 kills on a .146 attacking percentage.
It was all Kentucky in the third set as the Wildcats rolled to a 25-9 win. The Wildcats took a 4-3 lead off of a Morgan kill and never looked back. UK scored the stanza’s final eight points and the set was highlighted by four UK aces. Kentucky scorched the Cardinals for 13 kills on a blistering .524 hitting percentage. Louisville was flustered into a -.040 hitting percentage behind four UK blocks.
BY THE NUMBERS
15 – Ashley Dusek had a match-high 15 digs. She’s hit double digits in all but one contest this season
9 – For the ninth time in 10 matches, Leah Edmond led UK in kills and topped double figures
4 – Kentucky had four players post eight or more kills on the evening and all hit .346 or higher for the match
4 – The win marks the fourth straight in the series for the Wildcats. UK has also won six of the last seven meetings
Up Next: The Wildcats will host Lipscomb Saturday at 7:30 p.m. in their final non-conference match of the season.
Leah Edmond (13 kills, 1 ace, 8 digs)
Kaz Brown (9 kills, 4 blocks)
Brooke Morgan (9 kills, 3 blocks)
Darian Mack (8 kills, 1 dig)
Follow along with the Cats on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram, and on the web at UKathletics.com.
Courtesy of Louisville Athletics
Leah Edmond’s 13 kills and 8 digs helped to lead the Kentucky Wildcats to a 25-15, 25-18, 25-9 sweep over the University of Louisville volleyball team on Thursday night at the KFC Yum! Center.
“There’s a lot of growing pains in this group – how painful it is depends on how fast we grow, and that’s the bottom line,” UofL head coach Anne Kordes said after the loss. “You know we talked about how we were dealt a tough hand with some injuries, but so what? You have to go out and compete and that’s the hardest part. However, that’s in the past and out of this moment, and now we have to figure out a way to come back and play with them. There is nothing about us. You talk about competing and defining our season and defining our team. This is going to leave an ugly taste in our mouth but then we’ve got to be able to come back strong tomorrow. We’ve got to be able to settle in on some kids. We’ve got to be able to take care of the ball. That’s one of our biggest emphasis we have right now is all of our errors.”
UofL (4-5) hit .062 for the match with eight blocks and were led by Melanie McHenry‘s nine kills. Kentucky (6-4) blocked the Cardinals 9 times and hit .358 with 37 assists from Olivia Dailey.
The Cardinals started the scoring in the first set with a kill by Melanie McHenry, but Kentucky would come back with a 5-0 run to take the lead before a big block from Tess Clark halted the run by the Cats and bring the score to 5-2. Louisville would tighten the set at 10-6 when Tess Clark bounced a ball for the kill. Kentucky would then take a 14-6 lead off three errors and a kill and force Louisville to call a timeout.The deficit proved too much as the Cards fell 25-15.
Kentucky took an early 5-0 lead in the second set until a kill by McHenry would give the Cardinals their first point of the second set at 5-1. The Cardinals cut Kentucky’s lead to 12-9 and made a run powered by McHenry who helped the Cards to come within three at 20-17. Kentucky used a timeout to regroup, went on a 5-1 run and the eventual 25-18 win to take a 2-0 set lead into the break.
Louisville kept it close after the break and kept it close coming to within one at 5-4 early on. The Wildcats turned it up a notch overpower the Cardinals in the third set, hitting .524 to Louisville‘s -.040. Kentucky went on a 20-5 run, including the last eight straight points, to take the third set, and the match, 25-9.
The Cardinals will look to bounce back tomorrow when they host the Lipscomb Bison Friday night at 7 p.m. at Cardinal Arena.
QUOTES from KORDES
(Talk about tonight’s game) “There’s a lot of growing pains in this group. How painful it is depends on how fast we grow, and that’s the bottom line. You know we talked about we were dealt a tough hand with some injuries, but so what? You have to go out and compete and that’s the hardest part. You know, however, that’s in the past and out of this moment and now we have to figure out a way to come back and play with them. There is nothing about us… you talk about competing and defining our season and defining our team. This is going to leave an ugly taste in our mouth but then we’ve got to be able to come back strong tomorrow. We’ve got to be able to settle in on some kids. We’ve got to be able to take care of the ball. That’s one of our biggest emphasis we have right now is all of our errors.”
(With three starters out, coach, it had to be kind of difficult from the start) “It’s just hard for me to say, ‘oh yeah’, and give an excuse for a performance like that. You know, again, I’ll say yeah. we are young and come into a big environment… again, it comes down to competing and playing hard. I’ll tell you now, I couldn’t be more proud. The way they practice, they get after it! You know, and this is the time to go have fun. And right now I think it’s just stress bottled up and nervousness or whatever it is. Maybe everyone’s got something different from that stand point. I just want them to come out here and let loose and compete. I think that’s what we’ve got to work on to be able to do tomorrow as we get into ACC season, regardless who is on the floor.”
(Megan Sloan comes in and gets 5 kills, not a bad performance right?) “No that’s not. I give her credit. She found out she was playing about 20 to 30 minutes before the match so good for her, you know, to go in and just go for it. Like I said, she’s played at a high level in high school so we expect that from her.”
(Anything you can take out of tonight’s game that you can bring to tomorrow’s game?) “Absolutely, from a stand point of understanding. What we have to focus on is just a few things. We don’t have to change a bunch of things. For us to able to be competitive in that match or even push set 2, we’ve got passing and we’ve got to serve. We do so well in practice and we come back here and we’re a little bit tight. I know we’ve got to play much more enthusiastic defense, our defensive range has to improve, like I said it can and it does. I’ve seen it in practice. Just not seeing it right now in the match. It’ll get there”
What’s Next: The Cardinals will face Lipscomb tonight at 7 p.m. for the last non-conference matchc of the season. The next match will be at Notre Dame September 23.
Melanie McHenry (9 kills, 5 digs)
Megan Sloan (5 kills, 2 blocks)
Molly Sauer (14 digs)
Morgan Miller (4 kills, 14 assists, 2 digs)
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