Skinner Becomes All-Time Winningest Coach in 3-1 Win
Box Score (PDF)
CHAPEL HILL, N.C. - Four players topped 10 or more kills as the 16th-ranked Kentucky volleyball team earned a 3-1 (22-25, 25-19, 25-25, 25-18) win over Georgia Southern to help Craig Skinner become the program's all-time winningest coach on Saturday at the Carolina Classic. With the win, Skinner now has 210 in his career passing UK Hall of Fame coach Kathy DeBoer.
UK improves to 8-2 overall on the season, while Georgia Southern falls to 0-9 on theyear. Kentucky will return to action with a pair of home dates this week. Up first, UK will take on Lipscomb on Thursday, Sept. 18 at 7 p.m. ET. The Wildcats will play host to Xavier on Saturday, Sept. 20 at 7 p.m. ET in Memorial Coliseum.
Skinner has tallied a 210-93 all-time record as Kentucky's coach passing DeBoer who finished her career with a 209-92 record from 1984-92.
"Georgia Southern is another team with a tough style of play to adjust to and it took us longer this evening to get used to what they were doing," Skinner said. "Our defense gradually got better as the match went along, and Morgan (Bergren) did a nice job of finding the right person at the right time in the last couple of sets."
Four players reached double-figures in the kills column for UK as Bergren dished out 42 assists and added 13 digs for a double-double effort. Junior Shelby Workman charted 13 and senior Lauren O'Conner added 12. Sophomore Anni Thomasson was the lone Cat to reach double-figures in all three matches at the Carolina Classic had 11, while junior Sara Schwarzwalder had a season-high 10 hammers on .533 hitting.
Freshman Emily Franklin posted seven kills and had a career-high eight blocks to lead the defensive charge. Senior Jackie Napper matched Bergren with 13 digs and has now logged 10 or more in a match in every appearance this season. Thomasson scooped up 10 digs for her seventh double-double of the year.
An ace from O'Conner lifted UK to an early 2-1 lead to begin the second set. The teams exchanged points until Workman gave UK a two-point lead at 14-12. A Schwarzwalder kill off an overpass enabled the Wildcats to surge ahead 17-14 and force the Eagles into a timeout. UK would roll the rest of the way as it evened the match 1-1 into the locker room behind a 25-19 second set win.
The Wildcats logged 15 kills on .367 hitting in the second stanza. Workman led the way with five kills and Schwarzwalder chipped in with four. Georgia Southern notched 13 kills on .367 hitting in the frame.
A pair of blocks helped ignite a UK rally to begin the third set as the Blue and White quickly took a 4-0 lead and eventually stretched the advantage to 6-1. An incredible display of defense sparked a lengthy rally which was won by the Cats when Workman converted down the line for a 15-10 Kentucky lead. Kentucky closed the third set on a 9-2 run to claim a 25-15 victory to go up 2-1 in the match.
Kentucky posted 12 kills on .296 hitting and benefited from five blocks in the set. Georgia Southern was limited to nine kills on a .000 attacking percentage and was flustered into nine hitting errors.
O'Conner's serving helped give the Wildcats a 2-0 advantage to open the fourth frame. A kill from Workman stretched the lead to 5-2. An O'Conner kill down the line enabled the Wildcats to take its largest lead of the set at 8-3. Following a kill laced by Franklin into the middle of the floor, UK earned a 12-4 lead and Georgia Southern opted to burn its second and final timeout.
Following the timeout, Franklin and Bergren teamed up for a block and Kentucky continued to press taking a lead as large as 10 at 14-4. The Eagles pulled back to within five, but UK closed out the set for a 25-18 win and the 3-1 match victory.
UK turned in 15 kills in the frame led by six from O'Conner. Georgia Southern was limited to nine on .053 hitting.
The teams swapped points back-and-forth to begin the first set until the Eagles scored three-straight to earn an 8-6 advantage. It would be all the more breathing room Georgia Southern would need en route to a 25-22 opening set victory. The Eagles totaled 18 kills on a .400 hitting clip to open the match. Kentucky managed 15 kills on .303 hitting with Thomasson notching six kills in the set.
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