Frazier Leads Wildcats to 3-1 Win at Arkansas
Sept. 30, 2011
FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. – Junior Ashley Frazier’s 18 kills and a stellar defensive effort led the Kentucky volleyball team to a 3-1 (25-22, 28-26, 21-25, 25-15) win at Arkansas Friday night. Frazier’s kill output is a career-high at Kentucky. Kentucky posted 51 digs as a team to help overcome a feisty Arkansas team.
With the win Kentucky improves to 13-3 on the season and 4-1 in Southeastern Conference action. Arkansas falls to 10-5 overall and 2-2 in league play. Kentucky has now captured a win in 11 out of its last 12 matches. UK remains on the road for a 2:30 p.m. ET match at LSU on Sunday.
“Our offense as not as sharp tonight and I really believe that defense wins matches on the road,” UK coach Craig Skinner said. “Our defense really stepped up in the fourth game and it made a difference in the match.”
Sophomore Whitney Billings led the defensive effort with a season-best 15 digs while adding seven kills. Junior Stephanie Klefot notched 11 scoops, and sophomore Jessi Greenberg totaled an SEC career-high 10 digs for the Blue and White. Freshman Jackie Napper added eight in the winning cause. Senior Becky Pavan led the way at the net with five blocks on the evening. Classmates Ann Armes totaled five kills and added a pair of blocks, while Gretchen Giesler notched four kills and three rejections.
Frazier led a trio of players in double-figures as Pavan totaled 11 and has reached double-figures in three straight league matches. Freshman Lauren O’Conner struck for 10 kills on a team-best .333 hitting clip. Setter Christine Hartmann passed out 45 assists and added three kills of her own.
The squads traded points back and forth in the early stages of the first frame. UK grabbed its first lead at 7-following consecutive kills from Frazier and then maintained a steady advantage for much of the opening set. UK had its largest advantage at 12-8 following a terrific defensive player from Napper finished off by a kill from Pavan. Arkansas fired back with five consecutive points to earn the lead at 14-13. Following a timeout, Frazier fired for her third kill of the early going to knot the score once again.
From there the teams exchanged points back and forth with no team earning more than a two point lead. The final tie score came at 21 apiece before the Wildcats scored four of the final five points to earn a 25-22 opening set win. UK had kills from O’Conner and Pavan to finish off the set.
Kentucky charted 14 kills on .294 hitting with Pavan leading the way with four kills. Arkansas posted 16 kills in the set, but committed seven errors. The Wildcats led the way at the net with a pair of blocks and Arkansas did not turn away any UK attacks.
Billings began the scoring in the second set that was dominated early by the home team who stretched a five-point lead to 9-4 in the early going. UK strung together an 8-4 run to tie the score at 13. Arkansas recaptured its lead and earned set point at 24-20. Kentucky then saved set point four times behind three kills from Pavan and one from Frazier. Kentucky earned set point following another kill from Pavan, but Arkansas kept the match alive by forcing UK into an erroneous attack. Kills from Frazier and Billings propelled the Wildcats to a 28-26 come-from-behind win and a 2-0 edge.
Frazier paced the offensive attack with six kills in the set, while Pavan contributed five. UK as a unit struck for 18 hammers in the set on a .244 hitting clip. Arkansas charted 15 kills on .314 hitting.
Giesler led a charge to break free for a four-point edge at 10-6 in the fourth frame. The senior was in on three blocks and added a kill in the run. Kentucky then expanded its lead to a 19-11 advantage following another kill from Frazier. UK capped off the win with a kill from Pavan and an attack error by the Razorbacks for a 25-15 final set win.
UK had a match-high 20 digs in the final set led by six from Greenberg. Frazier led the offensive effort with four kills in the set. Kentucky also posted a match-high five blocks in the stanza with three coming from the hands of Giesler.
Arkansas captured the third set by a 25-21 score to force the match into extra frames. The Razorbacks forced Kentucky into 11 attacking errors to claim the set.
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. Opening night matches are scheduled for 5 and 7 p.m. ET. Saturday’s finals is set for a 4:30 p.m. ET first serve.
Tickets are now on sale through the UK Ticket Office. All-Session Tickets are reserved for all ages at $14. General Admission tickets for adults are priced at $12 and students or seniors' general admission is slated for $8.
Single session tickets are priced at $8 for reserved for all ages. General admission for adults is priced at $7, with students and seniors priced at $5. Youth single session tickets are $4.
For tickets or more information feel free to call, 1-800-928-CATS.
Visit UKathletics.com for the most up-to-date information on the UK volleyball team and all of Kentucky’s 22 teams.