Volleyball Downs Butler for Season's Second Sweep
Box Score (PDF)
LEXINGTON, Ky. - The Kentucky volleyball team continued its season-opening winning streak with a 3-0 (25-21, 25-19, 25-21) sweep of Butler in its second match of the Bluegrass Battle Saturday morning in Memorial Coliseum.
The Wildcats improved to 2-0 after they opened the season with a 3-0 sweep of Wichita State Friday night. Kentucky concludes the four-team Bluegrass Battle with a matchup against Virginia Tech tonight at 8 p.m. The Hokies, who lost to Butler Friday night, play Wichita State in the second match of this morning's double header.
UK was again led by sophomore Anni Thomasson, who tallied 12 kills. Thomasson added eight digs, to come up just short of a second consecutive double-double performance. Senior Lauren O'Conner added nine kills with four digs, while juniors Morgan Bergren and Shelby Workman and freshman Kaz Brown had four kills apiece, with Bergren and Brown each hitting .400.
Bergren added 25 assists and eight digs and Workman had 12 digs. Senior Jackie Napper led the Wildcats with 17 digs and freshman Ashley Dusek added eight.
Kentucky totaled five blocks as a team, with three coming from Brown and two from Bergren and O'Conner. The UK defense held Butler to .109 hitting with just two service aces.
After the Bulldogs scored the first point of the contest and took a 2-1 lead, the Wildcats responded with a 4-0 run. Butler rallied back to tie it at six-all, and after the teams traded points, UK gained a 10-7 advantage. BU got to within one at 10-9 and took a 13-12 lead. A Thomasson kill put UK ahead, and the two teams again proceeded to trade points until Butler went on a 3-0 run to take an 18-17 lead. Kentucky answered right back though with a 6-0 run of their own, helped by four Butler errors. BU got within three twice, but couldn't get any closer before the Wildcats closed out the frame with a 25-21 win.
Thomasson's four kills led UK in the opening set, while Bergren, Brown and Workman each had two. Napper had eight digs and Workman seven while Bergren dished out nine assists and both Thomasson and O'Conner notched service aces. Brown and O'Conner combined on the set's lone block.
Kentucky jumped out to a 5-1 lead in the second set before Butler responded to tie the set at six apiece. It was more back-and-forth action until, with a 9-8 advantage, the Wildcats went on to score eight of the next nine points to take a 17-9 lead, their largest of the match. O'Conner had three kills in the streak while the Bulldogs committed three errors. The Bulldogs answered right back though with an 8-1 to get within one at 18-17. That's when Dusek came in to serve and led the Wildcats on a 4-0 run to go ahead 22-17 and force a BU timeout. The two teams traded points before Bergren and Brown combined for the set-winning block to give UK a 25-19 victory and a 2-0 lead.
O'Conner's four kills on .800 hitting led the UK offensive attack in the second set, while Thomasson added three kills and Barnes tallied a pair of kills. Bergren added four digs and eight assists and Thomasson and Napper each had three digs. Dusek and Napper each had a service ace, while O'Conner had a solo block and Bergren and Brown assisted on the second.
The Wildcats opened up an early 3-0 lead in the third set, scoring the frame's first point for the first time in the match. Kentucky extended its lead to 8-4, forcing the Bulldogs to call an early timeout. Butler got to within three at 9-6 and 10-7, but that's when the Wildcats turned it up a notch and went on a 7-2 run to go ahead 17-9 and never looked back. The Bulldogs rallied back to get within four but no closer, as UK closed out a 25-21 win and its second sweep of the young season.
Thomasson and O'Conner each had four kills, while six others all tallied one. Dusek had seven digs, Napper six and Workman five, while Bergren dished out eight assists with three digs. Bergren, Brown and redshirt freshmen Sharay Barnes and Emily Franklin all tallied block assists in the match-clinching set victory.
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