No. 10 UK Defeats Georgia in Dig for the Cure Match
Oct. 11, 2009
LEXINGTON, Ky. - With a 3-1 victory over Georgia on Sunday, the 10th-ranked Kentucky volleyball team secured its fifth straight season with 17 or more victories under head coach Craig Skinner. UK captured Sunday's win by set scores of 25-14, 25-23, 22-25, 25-23 in front of 1,205 fans in Memorial Coliseum.
Skinner has led the Wildcats (17-1, 7-0) to 17 or more victories in each of his five seasons at the helm. It is the first time UK has strung together five-consecutive winning seasons of 17 or more wins since the 1989-93 seasons.
"It's another win for us and we're excited to get each and every win," said Skinner. "There are good teams in this conference and Georgia is no exception. There are teams capable of winning every match and in order for us to continue to be successful we can never be satisfied."
Juniors Sarah Mendoza and Lauren Rapp both achieved double-digit kill efforts for the second consecutive match. Mendoza struck for 19 kills with Rapp adding 12. Sophomores Becky Pavan and Gretchen Giesler contributed nine and seven kills respectively. Senior setter Sarah Rumely dished out 49 assists while adding seven kills of her own. Sophomore Ann Armes pitched in with five kills and junior Blaire Hiler added four.
Senior libero BriAnne Sauer tallied 21 kills from the back row to lead all defensive players in the match. Mendoza contributed 17 digs for her 18th career double-double match. Freshman Stephanie Klefot added 14 digs to aid the Wildcat cause. At the net, Rapp posted a team-high four blocks.
Kentucky controlled the opening set from the very start when Rapp struck for two early kills. UK took the lead at 6-5 behind a Rumely kill and never looked back. Kentucky hit for a match-high .400 in the opening stanza. Pavan led the way with four kills as UK posted 13 in the set.
Georgia gained an early 7-1 lead before UK put together a 13-7 run to tie it up at 14 apiece. Kentucky would then easily contain the Bulldogs to go up by two sets. Mendoza came up with six kills in the set and Klefot had eight kills in the frame.
The Wildcats had a 21-18 advantage in set three before Georgia rattled off seven of the next eight points to steal the set from the Blue and White. Neither team hit for a very high percentage with Georgia out-hitting the Wildcats by a .184 to .143 margin. Mendoza once again charted six kills in the stanza.
After taking a 19-13 lead behind a service error from the visitors, UK had to fend off another late Bulldog charge to capture the fourth set and take the match. With UK up set point at 24-19 Georgia battled back and saved match point on four consecutive possessions. Mendoza finally ended the threat with an authoritative kill into the back row to give the Wildcats their 17th win of the year.
Mendoza and Rapp combined for nine kills in the set and Sauer paced the back line with 10 digs in the set.
Kentucky will hit the road next, traveling to Mississippi State and Alabama next weekend. UK is set to meet the Bulldogs at 8 p.m. ET on Friday night.
Stay tuned to UKathletics.com for the most up-to-date news, highlights and features from the Kentucky volleyball team.