Kentucky Falls to Arkansas on Friday Night

Oct. 19, 2012

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LEXINGTON, Ky. - Despite the 11-kill performance from junior Alexandra Morgan the Kentucky volleyball team dropped a 3-0 (25-23, 25-23, 25-20) decision to visiting Arkansas on Friday night in front of 1,502 fans in Memorial Coliseum. The loss snaps a 10-match winning streak against the Razorbacks with Arkansas last winning during the 2006 season.

"It's a tough match against a very good team," UK coach Craig Skinner said, "They turned and executed points and we didn't, bottom line. In games one and two, that was the difference. In the third game, they had momentum and confidence, so you have to get that back on our side. We started off slow, battled back, and then couldn't close the door."

With the loss the Wildcats drop to 12-8 on the year and 6-4 in league action. Arkansas improves to 15-6 and 6-4 in Southeastern Conference play. The two squads will meet again on Nov. 11 in Fayetteville, Ark.

Kentucky returns to action with a home date on Sunday against LSU at 1:30 p.m. ET. The UK IMG Sports Network will carry the match live on the CWKYT locally in Lexington.

Morgan led all Wildcats with 11 kills on a squad-best .400 hitting percentage. It marks the sixth time this season the junior has topped the 10-kill plateau. Junior Whitney Billings and senior Ashley Frazier both contributed nine kills on the night.

Senior setter Christine Hartmann dished out 34 assists and added four kills of her own. Freshman Sara Schwarzwalder posted six hammers on .385 hitting and sophomore Lauren O'Conner added five.

Three Wildcat players recorded eight digs in the match to lead the way as Billings joined junior Jessi Greenberg and senior Stephanie Klefot in that category. O'Conner had a season-high six scoops. Four Wildcats paced the defensive effort at the net with three blocks as Billings, Morgan, Schwarzwalder and O'Conner all had three rejections.

Arkansas claimed a back-and-forth opening set by a 25-23 margin. The visitors accumulated 17 kills on .317 hitting in the stanza, while limiting UK to 14 kills on a .194 percentage. Morgan started off fast with four kills in the opening set.

The Razorbacks opened to a 7-3 advantage before UK began to chip away at the lead and eventually tie things up at 10 apiece on an ace from Klefot. From there the teams would swap points until the Wildcats earned a two-point edge at 20-18 following a kill from Frazier. The visitors stormed back and went ahead 23-21 before a kill from O'Conner once again tied the score. Arkansas would tally the final two points of the frame to claim the opening set.

The second set featured the same back-and-forth battle with Arkansas prevailing by an identical score of 25-23. UK's four blocks set stymied the Arkansas attack to 15 kills on .188 hitting. Kentucky managed 15 hammers on .149 hitting with Morgan once again pacing the attack with four kills.

It was Kentucky's turn to take a large lead to begin the frame as UK scooted out to a 10-4 advantage thanks to a 4-0 run capped off by consecutive kills from Schwarzwalder and Frazier. Arkansas clawed back and would eventually tie the score at 13 before the teams began to exchange the lead. The Razorbacks shook loose for a 3-0 run to stretch its largest lead of the set to 21-18. Kentucky answered with a 5-2 run to tie the score once again at 23 highlighted by a crafty kill from Hartmann. Arkansas once again, however, scored the final two points to earn a 2-0 lead into the break.

The final frame featured a tremendous offensive performance from the visitors as Arkansas laid down a match-high 18 kills on .517 hitting to capture the match with a 25-20 set win. UK logged an equally impressive 15 hammers on .542 hitting, but a 7-3 lead by the Razorbacks was too much to overcome. Frazier led the way with five kills in the set.

Visit UKathletics.com for the most up-to-date information on the UK volleyball team. For additional coverage of the volleyball squad be sure and check out CatScratchesBlog.com/volleyball.