No. 15 UK Makes Adjustments for 3-1 Win over Lipscomb
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LEXINGTON, Ky. - The No. 15 Kentucky volleyball team made the necessary adjustments to defeat Lipscomb, 3-1 (21-25, 25-16, 25-15, 25-17) after a first-set loss Thursday night in Memorial Coliseum.
UK improves to 9-2 overall on the season, while Lipscomb drops to 6-5. Kentucky returns to action at home on Saturday, Sept. 20. UK will play host to Xavier at 7 p.m. ET in its final tune-up before opening up Southeastern Conference action.
"Lipscomb is a good team," UK head coach Craig Skinner said. "We knew that coming in and they hit .500 in set one. They run a style that is hard to catch up to, it took us a set. We were blocking the wrong shots on their outside hitters and we had to make an adjustment on that. But we had to change the tempo with our serve, we had to drop in some short balls and stuff like that to slow down the rhythm and that really worked tonight. We kept the gas pedal down in set four and challenged them to do that, and they responded."
Junior Shelby Workman and senior Lauren O'Conner led the offensive effort with 15 and 14 kills, respectively. Junior setter Morgan Bergren distributed 40 assists on the night as six players logged four or more kills on the night.
Sophomore Anni Thomasson chipped in with seven kills and added an equal number of digs. Junior Sara Schwarzwalder and freshman Emily Franklin had six and four kills each, with the first-year player notching a team-high five blocks.Senior Jackie Napper continued her streak of logging double-figures in the digs' column with a match-high 20. Sophomore Kelsey Wolf added seven and freshman Ashley Dusek contributed a trio.
Lipscomb opened to a 2-0 lead to begin the second stanza, but a slicing O'Conner kill through the out-stretched block gave the Wildcats a 5-4 lead. UK forced the Lady Bisons into consecutive hitting errors to stretch the lead to 11-7. Kentucky kept the pressure on and a Thomasson kill down the line gave the Blue and White a 15-8 advantage. Kentucky would roll to a 25-16 win by limiting the Lady Bisons to a .047 attacking percentage.
The Wildcats posted 12 kills on .323 hitting with O'Conner leading the way with five hammers. Thomasson led the defensive effort with five digs, while Franklin had a trio of blocks to head into the locker room tied 1-1.
Kentucky was able to open to a 9-3 lead to begin the third frame benefiting from five early Lipscomb hitting miscues. Lipscomb was able to pull to within five at 13-8, but Workman ended the rally with a cross-court shot. Kentucky capped the third set victory with a defensive charge as well. Schwarzwalder teamed up with Thomasson and then Bergren for two momentum-stuffing rejections as Kentucky earned a 25-15 win to go ahead 2-1 in the match.
UK forced the Bisons into eight hitting errors in the stanza and the visitors hit at a negative .029 rate. The Wildcat offense managed 12 kills on .276 hitting with Workman pacing the attack with five kills in the set. O'Conner added three, while Napper picked up six digs.
Workman opened the scoring in the fourth frame with a kill, but Lipscomb fought back and was able to tie the score at three apiece. A kill followed by an ace from Bergren returned UK's two-point edge back at 6-4. Kentucky stretched the advantage to 10-6 on a Schwarzwalder kill. Two Lipscomb miscues lifted the Wildcats to a 13-7 lead midway through the stanza. Lipscomb clawed back and pulled back to within three at 16-13.
Kills from O'Conner and Workman and a block from the hands of the Workman-Franklin duo allowed the home team to go on a 3-0 spurt and recapture a comfortable advantage at 19-13. That was enough breathing room for the Wildcats who wrapped up the victory following a 25-17 final score following a Schwarzwalder match-clinching kill.
Kentucky posted 13 kills on a .333 attacking percentage with Workman posting five kills to lead UK. Lipscomb was limited to a .061 clip and 11 kills.
UK forced the Lady Bisons into an erroneous attack to begin the scoring in the first set. Bergren followed that point with an ace to lift the home team to an early two-point advantage. A pair of Franklin kills stretched the Blue and White lead to 4-1. Lipscomb fought back to knot the score at four apiece. The teams would exchange points until consecutive kills from Schwarzwalder and Thomasson once again gave UK a two-point cushion at 9-7.
Lipscomb would not go away, however, and took its first lead of the match at 11-10. Consecutive aces from O'Conner gave the Blue and White a 14-11 lead, matching its largest of the set. The teetering battle continued as the visitors claimed the lead once again at 16-15. Lipscomb would not yield and finished the set by going up 1-0 in the match with a 25-21 win.The Bisons utilized a .519 hitting percentage on 16 kills, while Kentucky managed 14 on a .345 hitting with Franklin and O'Conner leading the way with four apiece. Napper had six digs to lead the defensive effort.
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