Blocking Keys Sweep of Loyola Marymount for UK Volleyball
Sept. 10, 2011
LEXINGTON, Ky. - Senior Gretchen Giesler totaled nine of Kentucky's 13 blocks in the match to lead the way in a 3-0 (25-14, 25-22, 25-20) sweep of Loyola Marymount Saturday morning at the Kentucky Classic. UK has now strung together six consecutive victories and will return to the floor at 7 p.m. ET against West Virginia to conclude non-conference action in 2011.
With the victory Kentucky improves to 8-2 on the season, while Loyola Marymount drops to 5-3.
|Kentucky vs.West Virginia
Sat., Sept. 10 - 7:00 p.m. ET
UK Match Notes
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"It was another good defensive performance against a really faced-paced offense," UK coach Craig Skinnersaid. "It is really difficult to get the timing down of their offense and I thought we did a nice job as the match when on making our adjustments."
Giesler led the defensive charge with the nine blocks. Junior setter Christine Hartmann matched a career-high with six rejections. She also directed the offense with 40 assists as UK had four players with eight or more hammers in the win. Giesler led the attack in that category as well with 11 kills, while junior Ashley Frazier chipped in with 10. Senior Ann Armes posted nine and freshman Lauren O'Connerfinished with eight points from kills.
"Hartmann did a good job distributing the ball today," Skinner said. "We had four players with a number of kills, and that needs to continue to be a theme of ours."
After achieving a career-high in digs in last night's victory over Houston, sophomore Jessi Greenberg topped her own performance with a career-best 12 scoops in today's victory. Sophomore Whitney Billingsled the way for the back-line defense with 15 scoops in the win.
"Jessi Greenberghad a nice match defensively," Skinner said. "She continues to make a positive impact for us."
Kentucky dominated the opening set of action with a match-high 17 kills on a sizzling .438 hitting percentage. Frazier led the charge with seven kills in the opening set on an impressive .778 clip.
Back-to-back kills from Hartmann and Frazier gave the Wildcats its largest lead of the set with a 17-10 edge. UK capped the set on a 8-4 run which concluded with the duo of Armes and Billings teaming up for a block.
UK had to stave off a Loyola Marymount lead in the second set, and fired back to tie the score at 15 following a kill from Armes. Consecutive Big Blue blocks lifted UK to a 21-17 edge and the frame finished with back-to-back kills from the hands of O'Conner and Giesler.
Loyola Marymount once again opened up a lead in the third set, but UK was not fazed. The Wildcats responded quickly and tied the score at 14 after forcing the Lions into an erroneous attack. Three straight kills from the home team forced a visitor timeout. Out of the break, Giesler and Hartmann teamed up for a block and the momentum was back squarely in Kentucky's hands. Giesler capped her near double-double performance with a solo rejection to give the Blue and White its sixth consecutive victory.
Kentucky's Memorial Coliseum will play host to the NCAA Regionals Dec. 9-10. UK is one of four sites selected for Sweet 16 and Elite Eight matchups with one team advancing to the Final Four in San Antonio, Texas, from the Lexington Region. Tickets are on sale now through the UK Ticket Office.
Visit UKathletics.com for the most up-to-date information on the UK volleyball team and all of Kentucky's 22 teams.
UK Invitational Schedule
Friday, Sept. 9
Houston def. West Virginia - 3-1 (25-20, 20-25, 25-19, 25-18)
Loyola Marymount def. West Virginia - 3-0 (25-15, 25-15, 25-19)
Kentucky def. Houston - 3-1 (28-26, 15-25, 25-20, 25-17)
Saturday, Sept. 10
Kentucky def. Loyola Marymount - 3-0 (25-14, 25-22, 25-20)
Loyola Marymount vs. Houston - 5 p.m.
Kentucky vs. West Virginia - 7 p.m.