No. 18 Wildcats Capture Second Tournament of Season
Sept. 5, 2009
BLOOMINGTON, Ind. - Behind the most impressive defensive performance of the season and a steady offensive attack the No. 18 Kentucky volleyball team rolled to a 3-0 (25-12, 25-16, 25-14) sweep of UT-Martin to capture the Indiana Adidas Classic tournament crown Saturday afternoon. Kentucky improves to 6-0 on the year, the best start for the Wildcats since the 1993 season.
"It was another great performance today," said Kentucky coach Craig Skinner. "I thought we executed in all phases of the game. Sarah Rumely has done an exceptional job in each of the last two matches distributing the ball and allowing us to hit for high percentages."
For the match the Wildcats used a blistering .384 attack percentage while totaling 48 kills in a three set match. Rumely tallied 42 assists on the day while adding a pair of kills of her own. Junior Sarah Mendoza paced the attack with 12 kills and sophomore Becky Pavan tallied her first double-digit kill effort of the season with 10 slams. Even more impressively, Pavan registered her attacks on a .643 hitting clip.
UK's defensive effort was incredible today with the back row really having an amazing performance. UK totaled 47 digs and limited UT-Martin to just .088 hitting for the match and a mere 23 kills. Senior BriAnne Sauer totaled 15 scoops with Mendoza adding 11 for her second double-double effort of the season. Freshman Stephanie Klefot added nine digs and a career-best four service aces.
Kentucky claimed an early 2-0 lead in the opening set behind back-to-back kills from Pavan and Giesler to open the match. UK used a five point run to open a 9-4 advantage highlighted by a Pavan solo block to take a comfortable lead. Giesler slammed home two kills as the Blue and White rattled off four consecutive points to push the score to 17-9 midway through the set. The Wildcats would give up just three more points the rest of the way as they rolled to a 25-12 opening set victory.
UK had five players register a kill in the opening frame, led by Mendoza and Giesler's four each. The Wildcats limited the Skyhawks to a negative hitting percentage as the back row defensive effort was spectacular for UK. Kentucky totaled 18 digs in the stanza including six from Sauer.
Klefot opened the second set with consecutive serving aces to give the designated visitors a 2-0 lead it would never relinquish. After four straight kills by Wildcat attackers to make the score 12-3, UT-Martin was forced into a timeout to try and ease the Kentucky onslaught. Redshirt freshman Christine Hartmann saw her first collegiate action when she stepped into serve with UK leading 13-4. The Skyhawks earned four straight points making the score 20-13, but that is as close as they would get the rest of the way. Pavan's monstrous kill ended the second set in favor of UK at 25-16.
Pavan paced the UK attack with five kills in the second set on an impressive .571 hitting clip. Kentucky's defense in the back row continued its impressive display as the Wildcats registered 22 digs in the stanza.
With an opening set ace in the third frame, UT-Martin claimed its first lead of the entire match at 1-0. The lead would be short lived however, as the Skyhawks then committed three consecutive hitting errors allowing the Wildcats to claim the advantage. With the score knotted at four apiece, Kentucky powered its way to six straight points to break open the set. Klefot tossed two aces in the run with Mendoza slamming down two kills. Hartmann recorded her first career ace and then Rapp finished the match with a kill down the line giving UK the 25-14 set victory and the match.
In the final set the Wildcats hit at an astounding .609 clip with the Blue and White registering 16 kills on just 23 attacks.
The Wildcats return to action Tuesday, Sept. 8 when they play host to Cincinnati at Memorial Coliseum. Match time is set for a 7 p.m. ET start. Live stats and complete coverage of UK and the Bearcats can be found at UKathletics.com.