Stellar Individual Performances Not Enough to Overcome FSU

Sept. 10, 2010

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LEXINGTON, Ky. - Five impressive individual performances were not enough to prevail the 16th-ranked Kentucky volleyball team in a 3-2 (21-25, 25-22, 25-20, 17-25, 15-6) loss to No. 17 Florida State, Friday night at Memorial Coliseum. The match scripted as a rematch of last season's Sweet 16 matchup featured a number of new faces, but it once again needed five sets to determine a winner mirroring the last meeting between the two squads.

Freshman Whitney Billings charted a career-high 23 kill performance for the Blue and White (4-4) who have now dropped consecutive five-set matches after falling to Cincinnati on Tuesday by the same margin. Senior Blaire Hiler matched her career-high 15-kill performance which she set against Florida State in 2009. Sophomore Stephanie Klefot tallied a career-best 22 digs, while freshman Jessi Greenberg had a career-day with nine scoops. Setter Christine Hartmann rounded out the individual performances with a career-topping 47-assist night.

Billings and Hartmann added to their efforts with their third double-doubles of the season. Billings tallied 15 digs and Hartmann added 11. Senior Lauren Rapp pitched in with 10 hammers and a team-best six blocks. Junior Becky Pavan had eight kills with classmate Gretchen Giesler earning four points off of kills.

Kentucky out-hit the Seminoles by a .229 to .199 margin. UK also charted more blocks (12-11) and digs (70-68).

Trailing 2-1, Kentucky stormed back to force a decisive fifth frame with an impressive 25-17 fourth set victory. UK hit .444 in the stanza and 20 of its 25 points came off of kills. Billings and Hiler combined for 14 of those 20 hammers.

Billings opened the scoring with a kill and then the teams would exchange points until UK broke open the score with four straight points to take an 11-6 edge after another kill from Billings. The Seminoles would pull to within 13-10, but junior Ann Armes struck for a kill to begin a three-point swing in favor of the home team. Hiler lifted the Wildcats to the win with the final point of the frame in a 25-17 win.

In the fifth set, the Seminoles would claim a 3-2 advantage and never again look back. The visitors used a 6-0 run to take a 10-4 edge UK could not overcome. Florida State struck for a .500 hitting clip in the set while charting nine kills.

The Wildcats began the match with a 25-21 opening set victory behind .244 hitting and 14 kills. Billings paced the offense with seven hammers and Hartmann dished out 10 assists. After trading points back and forth, Kentucky earned a 9-8 lead by forcing the Seminoles into an attacking error and would roll the rest of the way. A kill from Rapp and another forced miscue by the visitors propelled the Blue and White to the early advantage.

Florida State would answer by securing the next two sets by 25-22 and 25-20 set scores. Consecutive errors by the Wildcats to end the second set lifted the Seminoles to the win after the score was 23-22 in favor of the visitors.

The Seminoles earned a 10-9 lead behind an offensive kill to break free of the back-and-forth battle and would score a 25-20 set three win.

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Saturday, Sept. 11

VCU vs. Kentucky, 10 a.m.
Florida State vs. VCU, 3 p.m.
Kansas State vs. Kentucky, 5 p.m.

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