Kentucky Concludes Road Swing with Sweep of LSU
Oct. 2, 2011
BATON ROUGE, La. – The Kentucky volleyball team concluded its four-match road swing in stylish fashion by earning a 3-0 (26-24, 25-16, 25-17) sweep at LSU Sunday afternoon. UK struck for 48 kills on a .385 hitting percentage in the win against the Southeastern Conference Western Division leaders.
With the win Kentucky moves to 14-3 overall on the season and 5-1 in league play. LSU drops to 10-5 overall and 3-2 in conference action. Kentucky will now return home for three consecutive matches. Up first for the Blue and White is a date with Ole Miss at 7 p.m. ET Friday, Oct. 7.
“That was a very special team effort against a very good LSU team,” UK coach Craig Skinner said. “Christine (Hartmann) ran an unbelievable offense today, and our outsides terminated the ball when we needed them to. I’m very proud of this team and their outstanding effort on the road this weekend.”
Hartmann topped 40 assists for the third consecutive match with 41 dimes in today’s match while adding six kills of her own.
Freshman Lauren O’Conner led the offense with 13 kills on a career-best .545 hitting percentage. She has now posted 10 or more kills against SEC opponents three times this season including back-to-back contests this weekend.
Freshman Jackie Napper led a strong defensive effort with 10 digs in the win. It marked the first time in SEC play Napper has posted 10 or more scoops and marks the fifth time this season she has achieved the feat.
Junior Ashley Frazier topped 10 or more kills for the third straight match with 10 in today’s win. Senior Becky Pavan chipped in with eight kills and six blocks. Sophomore Whitney Billings continues to provide an exceptional all-around effort with a season-best six blocks, six kills and eight digs in the match.
The opening set saw the teams in a back-and-forth battle with neither team stretching a lead of more than two points for the entire opening portions of the frame. The teams fought through 13 ties and three lead changes in the stanza before UK earned a 22-18 edge following a kill from Pavan. The Blue and White took set point on a kill from Armes, but LSU saved set point twice and knotted the score at 24. The Wildcats were unfazed; however, as Frazier quickly gave UK the lead back and Armes capped the set with a kill that sliced the middle of the defense.
UK posted 18 kills on a rifling .361 hitting percentage. O’Conner and Frazier both struck for five hammers in the stanza. Hartmann dished out 16 assists in the set, while the defensive unit charted 18 digs including six from Klefot.
Kentucky claimed a 2-0 lead in the first set and never relinquished the lead. A 6-0 run highlighted by an ace from Frazier propelled the Blue and White to a 10-4 advantage. Kentucky forced the home team into its second timeout following a block from the duo of Armes and Billings with the Wildcats still up six at 18-12. Consecutive kills from Pavan and Hartmann and an erroneous attack by the Tigers gave UK the 25-16 second set victory.
UK charted 15 kills on .433 hitting and O’Conner reached double-figures with an additional five in the set. Kentucky limited the Tiger attack to just 12 kills on a mere .188 hitting clip.
Pavan’s kill began the scoring in the third frame, but LSU quickly grabbed a lead at 4-3 for its first lead since the first set. Kentucky tied the score at five though with a kill from Armes and never yielded a lead for the remainder of the set. Kentucky stretched its lead to four by forcing the Tigers into back-to-back attacking errors. An ace from Billings lifted UK to its largest advantage at 21-15 and forced the Tigers to use its final timeout. Kentucky finished the frame on a 4-2 run to close out the sweep with a 25-17 win.
Kentucky charted 15 kills on .367 hitting in the final frame. UK limited LSU to nine kills on just .062 hitting in the match-clinching set. LSU totaled just a .165 hitting percentage for the match.
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.