No. 17 UK's Offense is Masterful in Sweep of Ole Miss

Sept. 25, 2009

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LEXINGTON, Ky. - The 17th-ranked Kentucky volleyball team used a masterful offensive attack in its dominating 3-0 (25-22, 25-16, 25-11) sweep of Ole Miss Friday night in front of 1,706 fans at Memorial Coliseum. The Blue and White totaled a season-best .420 hitting percentage to improve to 12-1 overall and 2-0 in the Southeastern Conference.

Junior Sarah Mendoza posted 16 kills on a season-high .500 hitting percentage. Junior Lauren Rapp chipped in with nine kills on .471 hitting. Sophomores Gretchen Giesler and Becky Pavan both tallied seven kills, while junior Blaire Hiler added six.

Senior setter Sarah Rumely dished out 35 assists in leading the Wildcat attack. In the back-row effort senior BriAnne Sauer notched a match-high 16 digs in the victory. Kentucky turned back five Ole Miss attacks, but limited the Rebels to just .171 hitting for the match. Ole Miss posted 15 hitting errors and five service errors.

"Mississippi started out on fire, but we were able to neutralize that a little bit and close out the first set strong," said Kentucky coach Craig Skinner. "Our defense got better as the match went on and it was very good in the last set. Offensively, we were off the charts."

After committing five hitting errors in the opening frame, the Wildcats would yield just one hitting error the rest of the way.

Ole Miss jumped out to a commanding lead in the opening frame taking a lead by as many as eight points at 14-6. However, Kentucky's offense ignited a rally and the Blue and White finished the set on a 19-8 run to overcome the early hot-hitting of Ole Miss. Trailing by eight, Rapp began the rally with a thundering kill that brought the crowd to its feet. Mendoza and Pavan each posted four kills in the final stretch in helping UK to a 25-22 set one victory.

For the stanza, Kentucky used a .289 hitting percentage while posting 18 kills. Ole Miss was limited to just 14 kills on a .200 clip.

UK opened the second set with a kill from Pavan to take the early 1-0 lead. UK would control the opening portions of the frame as the team jumped out to a 9-2 advantage. Although Ole Miss would score four of the next five points to make the score 10-6, Kentucky was never threatened rolling to a 25-16 win.

Kentucky posted 16 kills in the frame led by Mendoza's five. The Wildcats hit .485 as a unit in the set and did not commit a single hitting error.

The Wildcats capped off the match with their most complete performance in a 25-11 set-three victory. Kentucky tallied a match-high .591 hitting percentage in the stanza with Giesler and Mendoza paving the way with four kills apiece. Giesler and Rapp both posted perfect hitting percentages.

UK opened the set with a service ace from freshman Stephanie Klefot. After Ole Miss took the lead at 3-2 behind a UK attacking error, the Rebels would score just eight more points the rest of the way. Kentucky's defense was stifling allowing Ole Miss to strike for a mere eight kills on a .103 hitting percentage. With the score at 18-11, UK finished the set with a 7-0 run which was highlighted by four kills and a match-clinching ace by Mendoza.

Kentucky returns to action on Sunday, Sept. 27. Kentucky welcomes Arkansas to Memorial Coliseum for a match televised live by CWKYT (Lexington Channel 5) at 1:30 p.m. Live stats and complete coverage of the match can be found at UKathletics.com.