Kentucky Suffers Heartbreaking Five-Set Loss at LSU
Sept. 21, 2012
BATON ROUGE, La. - Despite career-high dig totals from senior Stephanie Klefot and sophomore Jackie Napper the Kentucky volleyball team suffered a heartbreaking 3-2 (25-21, 22-25, 17-25, 25-20, 15-11) loss at LSU on Friday evening in front of 1,471 fans at the Pete Maravich Center in Baton Rouge, La.
Klefot matched a career-high with 29 kills and Napper topped the 20-dig plateau for the first time in her career in the loss to highlight the day for the Blue and White. With the loss, Kentucky falls to 6-6 on the year and 0-2 in Southeastern Conference action. LSU improves to 5-7 and 1-2 in league play.
"I've got to give credit to LSU," UK coach Craig Skinner said. "They came out and competed hard and they were energized by the crowd that they had. After game three, we had to respond and make plays even though we were up 2-1. LSU fought back and made the plays that they needed to in the end."
UK remains on the road for a matchup at Texas A&M on Sunday for a 2:30 p.m. ET start time.
LSU trailed 2-1 in the match and fought back to force a decisive fifth set and opened the fifth frame by scoring the opening two points of the stanza and never trailed en route to the win. UK knotted the score at two following consecutive kills from junior Whitney Billings. The Tigers then shook loose for two-straight points of their own to reclaim the lead. UK would get back to within one on three occasions before LSU posted a run of four of the next five points going to the home team. That separation was enough as the Tigers finished the match with a 15-11 win.
Kentucky was led by 17 kills from senior Ashley Frazier followed by 14 from Billings and a career-high 12 from junior Alexandra Morgan. Senior setter Christine Hartmann passed out 43 assists and added eight digs.
Billings gave UK the early lead in the second set, but the home team would fire back and take a two-point lead at 6-4. The junior then had a pair of blocks in a UK run to push the Wildcats to a 12-9 lead midway through the frame. LSU responded with a mini-run of its own to grab a 15-14 lead to force the Wildcats into a timeout.
Benefiting from a Tiger service error and then the tag-team blocking effort from Morgan and Frazier lifted UK to a 19-17 lead it would not relinquish. Frazier closed out the set with her eighth kill of the match to give UK a 25-22 second set win evening the match at one set apiece.
Kentucky totaled 16 kills on .275 hitting but benefited from five blocks in the set. The Tigers matched UK's kill output but used only a .211 attacking clip.
The Blue and White surged ahead to a 2-1 advantage following a 25-17 third set victory. Kentucky raced out to a 5-0 lead in the stanza and never looked back. Schwarzwalder, Frazier and Billings had consecutive kills to lead the early charge. The Tigers got within two at 9-7, but UK put together a 10-4 run to grab a commanding 19-11 advantage en route to the dominating set victory.
UK had 14 kills on .270 hitting in the third set, while LSU posted 11 on a match-low .070 hitting.
LSU forced a decisive fifth frame behind a 25-20 fourth set victory. The Tigers opened to a 2-0 advantage, but UK quickly stormed back to take a 5-2 lead behind a Billings solo block. The home squad benefited from a 6-0 run in the middle portion of the set to take a commanding 16-12 lead it would never surrender.
The Tigers charted 15 kills and benefited from eight hitting errors by the Wildcats in the fourth set.
In the opening set of action the Wildcats scored the match's first point with a kill from Frazier. From there the teams exchanged points back-and-forth until LSU charted a 6-0 run midway through the frame to take a commanding 18-14 lead. UK clawed back to within two at 23-21 following a 4-0 run of its own, but the Tigers would score the final two points of the stanza to claim the first frame.
LSU utilized a .267 attacking clip and a pair of blocks to power past the Cats for the opening set victory.
Visit UKathletics.com for the most up-to-date information on the UK volleyball team. For additional coverage of the volleyball squad be sure and check out CatScratchesBlog.com/volleyball.