Rapp Named MVP as Cats Down Ohio St. for Classic Title

Sept. 4, 2010

Box Score | Photo Gallery 

LEXINGTON, Ky. - Senior Lauren Rapp posted her second double-double effort of the Kentucky Classic in helping the 16th-ranked Wildcats to a 3-1 (25-17, 22-25, 27-25, 25-20) victory over previously undefeated Ohio State to win UK's tournament Saturday evening.

Rapp tallied 12 kills and picked up 12 digs in the nightcap as the Wildcats won their fourth consecutive home match this week to improve to 4-2 overall on the season.

"We're really excited about this win because Ohio State is great team," UK coach Craig Skinner said. "I thought our seniors really stepped up when we needed them, and Stephanie Klefot made some unbelievable plays at some critical times. It was an exceptional team effort, and I'm really proud of the girls for playing the way that they did."

Rapp was joined on the All-Tournament team by senior Blaire Hiler who pitched in 10 kills and six digs. Klefot also earned All-Tournament honors after her third double-figure dig effort of the weekend with 18 scoops in the match against Ohio State.

Setter Christine Hartmann dished out 41 assists and added five kills of her own to lead the Wildcats to a .250 hitting clip and 55 kills on the night. Freshman Whitney Billings matched a career-high with 15 kills and junior Becky Pavan chipped in with 10, while leading the team with six blocks. Junior Gretchen Giesler came off the bench to help spark the Blue and White and she added a pair of kills and two blocks in two sets of action.

The Wildcats opened the match with a dominating 25-17 victory. Billings and Pavan combined for nine kills in the stanza as UK charted a match-high .321 hitting clip and 16 kills in the opening frame. UK's defense limited the Buckeyes to 12 kills on .128 hitting and turned back four Ohio State attacks.

An Ohio State misfire and a kill from Billings gave the Blue and White an early 2-0 advantage. Ohio State would come back and take the lead at 11-10 to begin a back-and-forth battle with neither team taking more than a two-point edge. Kentucky finally broke loose after a 17-17 tie to score the remaining eight points of the set. Behind the stellar serving of Hartmann, UK did not yield another point as UK's offense recorded five kills in the final eight points capped off by a closer from Billings.

Ohio State evened the match at one set a piece with a 25-22 set two victory. The Buckeyes charted 17 kills and limited the Wildcats to a match-low 11 hammers.

Kentucky roared back by claiming a 27-25 third set to take a 2-1 lead. The Wildcats saved two set points before shaking loose and picking up consecutive points to edge out the visitors. Rapp's kill finished things for the Blue and White and brought 1,327 UK fans to their feet.

Ohio State dominated early jumping out in front 4-0. UK would come back to tie the score at 10 after a joint block from Alexandra Morgan and Hartmann. The teams exchanged points back-and-forth with UK eventually earning a 21-18 edge after an Ohio State miscue. The score was tied at 24-24 with Ohio State getting a set point, but Hiler came up with a big answer to rally the Wildcats for the final three points of the frame.

The set was even between the two teams as UK edged out the Buckeyes 14-13 in the kill column. Kentucky also won the battle at the net with UK registering four blocks to Ohio State's three.

In the final set, the Wildcats endured five tie scores and four lead changes to capture the match behind a 25-20 win. Billings and Rapp each posted four kills while Rapp added two important blocks.

UK took the early lead at 3-0 after a service ace from Pavan. From there Ohio State would climb back into things and take a lead at 9-8 after an erroneous attack from the home team. Kentucky reclaimed the lead at 15-13 with a kill from the hand of Giesler and would never look back. Kentucky would go on to score 10 of the next 17 points as Rapp and Pavan teamed up for a stylish block to secure the tournament crown in front of the team's home crowd.

Kentucky returns to action on Tues., Sept. 7 with a road trip to Cincinnati. It will be the final non-conference mid-week tilt for the Blue and White this season. Match time is set for 7 p.m. ET.

Follow along all season long with the Wildcats at UKathletics.com.