Balanced Performance Guides UK Past Georgia

Sept. 18, 2011

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LEXINGTON, Ky. - Behind career-performances from freshman Lauren O'Conner and senior Ann Armes, the Kentucky volleyball team earned its ninth consecutive victory with a 3-1 (25-21, 21-25, 25-18, 25-15) win over visiting Georgia, Sunday afternoon in front of 1,243 loud Big Blue fans.

O'Conner posted a career-high 14 kills on .364 hitting and added a pair of blocks to lead the offensive output for the Blue and White. Armes tallied 11 kills on a sizzling .450 hitting clip and added a career-high seven blocks.

"Ann Armes performed really well," UK coach Craig Skinnersaid. "She was a senior today. Throughout the conference season, you need your upperclassmen to step up, and ours did today."

Kentucky improves to 11-2 on the season and a perfect 2-0 in Southeastern Conference action. Georgia drops to 4-8 overall and 0-2 in SEC action.

Kentucky has captured wins in nine consecutive matches and claimed 27-of-29 sets played in that stretch.

"We did a nice job in those final two sets," Skinner said. "We did a nice job of making adjustments on the court. Georgia is a very good team. Their record is no indication of how good they are as a team. It took us a while for us to make adjustments to the things that they were doing well."

Junior setter Christine Hartmanndid a marvelous job of distributing the ball in UK's win with six players earning five or more kills in the victory. Hartmann posted 42 assists and directed the Wildcat offense to 54 kills on .292 hitting with an average of 13 kills per stanza.

Junior Ashley Frazier contributed eight kills and three blocks. Senior Becky Pavan posted seven kills in three sets of action, while classmate Gretchen Gieslerturned in a five-kill performance.

Sophomore Whitney Billings added six kills and 10 digs in the win. Junior libero Stephanie Klefotcontinued to shine with 17 scoops in today's match.

Kentucky earned a 25-21 opening set victory after claiming an early 2-0 lead it would never relinquish. A service error by the visitors opened the match and Giesler struck for the first kill of the match for the early advantage. The Wildcats earned its largest lead at 24-19 behind a kill from Frazier. An erroneous attack by the Bulldogs gave UK the opening set win.

Kentucky struck for 13 kills on .320 hitting in the opening frame. Giesler led the charge with four kills, as Frazier and Armes both chipped in with three.

The second set featured two lead changes and four tied scores, before Georgia finally broke loose for a 25-21 victory to even the match going into the locker room.

UK came out firing in the third frame and quickly stole a 3-0 advantage behind a kill from O'Conner and a service ace from Armes. After a tie score at six, UK would go on an 8-4 run which was highlighted by a pair of O'Conner kills for the 14-10 edge.

O'Conner struck for five kills in the stanza on a smoking .556 hitting clip. UK also charted four blocks in the set as it limited Georgia to a mere .038 hitting clip and just 10 kills.

With the 2-1 advantage, UK quickly surged ahead for the match-clinching 25-15 fourth set victory. Three different players recorded four kills in the frame as UK posted a match-high .412 hitting percentage and 16 kills.

Georgia pulled back to within three at 10-7, but the Wildcats wasted little time in stretching the advantage to 17-11. UK scored the final three points of the set beginning with dart from Billings. Armes then teamed up with O'Conner for a rejection before combining with Billings for the match-clinching point.

UK concluded its 10-match home stand with today's win and will now hit the road for four consecutive matches. Up first for the Blue and White is a matchup with top-10 ranked Florida in Gainesville, Fla., Friday at 7 p.m. ET.

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.

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