No. 23 Kentucky Upset by Northern Iowa
LOS ANGELES – In the final match of the USC Radisson Classic, the Kentucky volleyball team could not get things to click, falling in a 3-0 (25-23, 25-21, 25-23) upset to Northern Iowa on Saturday evening.
Freshman Leah Edmond was named to the USC Radisson Classic All-Tournament team after leading UK with 29 kills across three matches. The Lexington, Kentucky, native hit at a .264 clip over the weekend, adding four blocks, a pair of aces and an assist.
With the Northern Iowa win, both the Panthers and Kentucky finish the weekend with a 3-3 record. Kentucky will host Marquette, Virginia and St. Louis next weekend, Sept. 9-10, at the annual Bluegrass Battle.
Junior outside hitter Darian Mack led Kentucky with nine kills for her second match this season as the leader in that category. She added four digs and three blocks. Classmate Kaz Brown added a season-best six blocks and four kills in the match.
Edmond and sophomore Brooke Morgan notched eight kills each. Junior middle blocker Emily Franklin had five kills and four blocks, while sophomore Olivia Dailey had 31 assists, three digs and a pair of blocks.
Junior Ashley Dusek and sophomore McKenzie Watson each charted double-figure digs, with 14 and 10, respectively. Senior Anni Thomasson added seven digs and an assist.
Mack, Franklin and Morgan each had a trio of kills in the opening set. The see-saw affair saw 13 ties and six lead changes, with both sides trading blows all the way up to 19-all. UNI scored three straight before a pair of Morgan’s kills tied the match at 23-23. Northern Iowa scored the final two points for a 25-23 win.
Brown exploded for four blocks in the second set, as UK eventually fell, 25-21. Once again it felt that Kentucky was always in the match, tying all the way up to 16-16. A 4-1 run sparked UNI to an insurmountable lead. After a timeout at 22-19, Kentucky pulled close before Northern Iowa took three of the last five points to win the set.
Despite a five-kill set from Edmond, the Cats couldn’t force a fourth set, dropping the third, 25-23. Again the teams were tied late, this time 19-19, when kills from Brown and Mack lifted the Cats and forced a timeout from UNI. Northern Iowa then made a 5-1 run. The Cats fought off two set points before a kill from UNI’s Bri Weber closed out the match.
BY THE NUMBERS
.368 – Kentucky’s Brooke Morgan had another efficient performance, hitting .368 in the match.
6 – Junior Kaz Brown had a season best outing with six blocks in the match.
3 – Kentucky had three Wildcats with eight or more kills in the match: Mack (nine), Edmond (eight) and Morgan (eight).
1 – Freshman Leah Edmond earned her first career honor, being named to the USC Radisson Classic All-Tournament Team.
Single-match and season tickets for the 2015 campaign are on sale now. Season tickets begin at $35, and single-match ticket information can be found here. More information on how to buy tickets can be found here or by calling the UK Ticket Office at 800-928-CATS.