Wildcats Sweep Georgia for 11th-Consecutive Win
Box Score (PDF)
ATHENS, Ga. - Paced by 10 or more kills from three different players and a career-day for freshman Kaz Brown, the 12th-ranked Kentucky volleyball team cruised to a 3-0 (25-19, 25-21, 25-21) victory at Georgia on Friday night. With the win, UK's winning streak stretches to 11 matches and UK claimed its 17th win of the year. Kentucky has now garnered 17 or more victories in all 10 seasons under the direction of Craig Skinner.
The Wildcats improve to 17-2 overall on the year and 7-0 in Southeastern Conference action. Georgia falls to 9-9 overall and 1-5 against SEC foes.
"Our win tonight was a combination of our middles, Kaz (Brown) and Sara (Schwarzwalder) and Anni (Thomasson) on the outside (they were) a big reason why we were successful," Skinner said. "We were also really good at the end of sets. We really turned it on after point 20, and I really like the focus of our group when it got to that point."
Kentucky returns to action on Sunday, Oct. 19. The Wildcats play host to LSU at 1:30 p.m. ET in Memorial Coliseum. The match will be available via SEC Network+ with Dave Baker and Mandy Robbe on the call. Dick Gabriel and Katie Eiserman will provide the action via radio on 1580 AM in Lexington and on UKathletics.com.
Brown posted career-high totals in kills (8) and hitting percentage (.667) while not committing an error. She also led the team with five blocks. Schwarzwalder posted 10 kills on a .769 hitting percentage - which also ranks as a career-best total. She logged three kills, and UK's middle blockers accounted for eight of the team's nine rejections.
Thomasson logged 10 kills on a .600 hitting clip - a career-best mark. Junior Shelby Workman added 11 kills and senior Lauren O'Conner chipped in with four.
Junior setter Morgan Bergren dished out 38 assists while adding four kills of her own. Senior Jackie Napper led the floor defense with 11 digs, while Workman had seven and Thomasson six apiece. Sophomore Kelsey Wolf added four scoops in the victory.
Workman opened the scoring for the Wildcats with a kill to the back row to lift UK to the early advantage. A kill from Bergren extended the lead to 4-1. Workman and Brown teamed up for a block to make the score 7-3 in favor of UK, and an ace from Dusek stretched the lead to 11-5. Georgia pulled back to within four, but Schwarzwalder responded with a kill for a 13-8 UK edge. The Bulldogs opted for a timeout late in the set, trailing 18-12 after an O'Conner kill. The home team never got closer than four the rest of the way, as the Blue and White rolled to a 25-19 opening set victory with the winning point coming on a Bulldogs' miscue.
Kentucky notched 16 kills in the frame with four each from Thomasson and Schwarzwalder. Bergren had 13 assists, while UK registered four blocks in the frame. Napper had five digs to lead the defensive effort.
An ace from Georgia started the second set, but Schwarzwalder followed with a cross-court kill to immediately even the score. A back-and-forth battle ensued until UK was able to string together two-straight on consecutive kills from Thomasson and Brown for a 5-3 lead. Georgia eventually reclaimed the lead at 7-6. A 4-1 run sparked by a block and a kill from Workman gave the visitors an 11-8 lead. Another kill from Workman stretched the lead to four at 18-14 in favor of UK. Georgia fired back and pulled back to within two at 19-17, forcing the Cats to take a timeout.
Out of the break the Dawgs were able to come up with a block coming within one, but Workman once again came up with a timely kill. Eventually Georgia would tie the score at 20 apiece. Workman once again came up with a kill to recapture a two-point lead for Kentucky at 22-20. Brown followed with a nice kill to the back corner for a 3-0 run by the Blue and White. It was all the more breathing room UK would need as UK claimed a 25-21 second set win to go ahead 2-0 in the match.
The Wildcats torched the home team for 15 kills on a blazing .419 hitting percentage. Workman led the way with seven kills on a blistering .875 clip. Napper had five digs and Thomasson added four. UK added three more blocks in the frame.
Georgia went out in front by a 3-1 score, but UK fired back to tie it at three apiece following a block from the team of Workman and Brown. From there the teams would swap point until the Blue and White broke free for two-straight to earn a 9-7 lead. The Dawgs would fight back and knot the score at nine all. The battle ensued back-and-forth and at the media break UK owned a 15-14 edge following a Brown kill.
Following the timeout, Georgia scored two-straight to earn a 16-15 lead and UK fired back with a kill from Brown. Bergren came up with a kill, followed by a long attack by the Bulldogs which gave UK a 21-19 edge late in set three. Two of UK's final four points were kills from Workman as the Wildcats claimed the final set by a 25-21 score.Visit UKathletics.com for the most up-to-date information on the Kentucky volleyball team and all 22 varsity sports. For additional info on the volleyball team like Kentucky Volleyball on Facebook or follow the team on Twitter at @KentuckyVB.