Offense Erupts as No. 22 Kentucky Downs South Carolina

Sept. 19, 2010

Box Score | Photo Gallery 

LEXINGTON, Ky. - The 22nd-ranked Kentucky volleyball team's offense erupted to the tune of 58 kills on .328 hitting as four players reached double-figures in the kill column en route to a 3-1 (25-20, 25-10, 21-25, 25-20) victory over South Carolina on Sunday in front of 1,167 fans at Memorial Coliseum. The victory over the Gamecocks is the seventh straight in the series for the Blue and White.

Kentucky improves to 7-5 overall on the season and 1-1 in Southeastern Conference action. South Carolina falls to 2-9 and 0-2 in league play.

Freshman setter Elizabeth Koberstein dished out a career-high 48 assists as four players tallied 10 or more kills during the match. Senior Lauren Rapp led the way with 16. Whitney Billings totaled 12, with Ann Armes adding 11 and Blaire Hiler striking for 10.

Armes and Hiler each earned a double-double. Armes' 11 kills and 10 digs is the first double-double of her career, while Hiler picks up her second career double-double on the 10 kills and 10 scoops. Rapp paced the defensive effort at the net with a match-high five blocks. Sophomore libero Stephanie Klefot picked up 21 scoops from the back row for her fifth career match with 20 or more digs. Junior Becky Pavan chipped in with six kills and a pair of blocks in the winning effort.

"I was really excited that we were able to come out and play really well during the first two sets today," UK coach Craig Skinner said. "Our effort and intensity level was very good the first couple of games, but then we kind of let up in the third set and South Carolina played really well."

UK opened up the match with a 25-20 first set victory on 13 kills and .333 hitting. Billings and Rapp combined for nine of UK's 13 hammers.

After South Carolina claimed the opening point of the match, UK fired back with back-to-back kills from the Rapp-Billings duo. The teams exchanged points back and forth until an attacking error by the Gamecocks allowed UK to take a 10-9 advantage. The Wildcat then put together a 4-0 run to stretch its lead to 13-9 capped off by another erroneous attack by South Carolina. The Wildcats then totaled a 6-0 run to earn a 20-14 lead behind a number of miss-hits from the visitors. UK's defense was sparkling in the opening frame as well as UK forced South Carolina into seven hitting errors and just a .121 attacking percentage. Kentucky also charted four blocks in the set. Kentucky posted four straight points to end the set highlighted by a monster kill from Billings to give UK the lead 1-0.

Kentucky's defense was even more impressive in the second frame, limiting South Carolina to a mere 10 points and just five kills on a negative .067 clip. UK's offense was equally as remarkable with 14 kills on .323 hitting. Hiler and Rapp both totaled four apiece in the set.

South Carolina once again opened the frame by taking the first point. However, UK fired back with 12 of the next 15 points highlighted by a pair of kills from Koberstein and Hiler. Armes finished the set with kill giving UK a 25-10 victory and a 2-0 lead into the locker room.

The Gamecocks used a match-low .242 hitting clip from the Blue and White to captured a 25-21 third set win to force the match into extra stanzas. The set was tied at 20-20, before South Carolina scored five of the next six points to claim the frame.

Kentucky responded in a big way, however, answering with a 25-20 fourth set win to claim the match by a 3-1 margin. Kentucky's offense was at its best in the final frame with six players registering a kill to tally 16 in the frame on a dazzling .412 hitting clip. Rapp and Armes each posted four hammers to lead the way.

Rapp gave the Wildcats the first point of the set and it would be a lead it would never relinquish. With the set tied at 10, Kentucky posted five consecutive points to stretch its lead to 15-10 after consecutive kills from Hiler, Armes and Rapp. Armes finished the match with her 11th kill of the match.

Kentucky will hit the road for the first time in SEC action this season next week. UK travels to Auburn, Friday, Sept. 24 and then will visit Georgia on Sunday, Sept. 26.

Follow along all season long with the Wildcats at UKathletics.com.