Four Players Record 10 or More Kills as UK Rolls
Oct. 30, 2009
FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. - For the first time in nearly a year four Kentucky players reached double-figures in kills as the 12th-ranked Wildcats scored a 3-1 (25-18, 17-25, 25-22, 25-15) victory at Arkansas Friday night. The last time UK had four players with 10 or more kills was on Nov. 28, 2008.
Junior Sarah Mendoza led the way with 16 kills. Sophomore Becky Pavan added 13 and junior Lauren Rapp and sophomore Gretchen Giesler each totaled 10. Senior Sarah Rumely dished out 49 assists and added a pair of kills of her own. Junior Blaire Hiler narrowly missed adding another double-digit effort when she added eight kills of her own.
Defensively, senior BriAnne Sauer had a match-high 19 digs in the back row. Junior Laura Stokowski posted 10 and freshman Stephanie Klefot added seven scoops. At the net UK registered nine blocks led by Rumely's four.
"I thought we did a nice job in the first game coming out strong," Kentucky coach Craig Skinner said. "We played awfully well in the fourth set as well. If we play like we did in the first and fourth sets we are a lot of fun to watch. We made plays defensively, our blocking was strong and we had a couple of hitters get really hot tonight."
The Wildcats struck for the first point of the match when Rapp and Mendoza teamed up for an opening rejection of an Arkansas attack. The Blue and White quickly emerged with an 11-5 lead and three of those first 11 points came off of blocks. Four different UK players also registered a kill in the run as Rumely found options all over the court. With UK leading by six, Arkansas was forced to use an early timeout.
Out of the break Arkansas took the first two points with kills, but the Wildcats quickly responded and the offensive production erupted for the Blue and White. UK regained a six point advantage at 17-11 forcing Arkansas into its final timeout of the set. UK opened up an eight point edge at 21-13 off of a kill from Rapp. Arkansas fought back and pulled to within 21-16, but the Blue and White ended things quickly with three kills and a miscue from the home squad to take the opening frame 25-18.
Kentucky charted 18 kills on a .341 attack percentage in the first set. Mendoza led the way with eight kills and Rapp and Hiler each posted three. Rumely dished out 16 assists in the stanza and Sauer posted seven digs.
UK began the second set with back-to-back kill efforts from Rapp and Mendoza to take the early 2-0 edge. UK stretched its lead to 4-1 behind another Mendoza kill, but the home team equalized with three consecutive points. The teams continued to trade points back and forth until Arkansas broke free for four straight points to take a 14-11 lead. UK opted for a timeout, but out of the break Arkansas claimed back-to-back points to stretch its lead to 16-11 which forced the visitors into another timeout.
The Blue and White could never come up with enough offense to overcome the deficit and dropped the second set 25-17. Arkansas used a .333 attack percentage and limited UK's high octane offense to a .093 clip. The Wildcats put down just 11 kills in the stanza, while Arkansas tallied 16.
Pavan began the third set with back-to-back kills off of poor Arkansas digs to give UK the early 2-0 edge. Arkansas claimed the next two points to knot the score at two apiece. The squads traded points back and forth until UK broke the run with four straight points to take a 9-5 edge. Hiler had consecutive kills to help the visitors stretch their lead and force Arkansas into a timeout.
Out of the timeout Rumely and Pavan combined for a block to give UK its largest lead of the set at 10-5. Arkansas scored the next three points to pull to within 10-8, but Hiler came up with another huge kill to end the run. The teams continued to swap points from that point until Arkansas was able to pull to within one at 15-14 and force UK into a timeout of its own.
After Arkansas once again pulled to within one at 17-16, Pavan came up with back-to-back kills to give UK a 19-16 advantage. The combo helped her elevate her kill total to 10 and keep UK at a comfortable lead while forcing the home squad into its final timeout. Arkansas continued to fight and came to within 23-22, but the Blue and White capped off the set behind a kill from Giesler and a hitting error by Arkansas to win 25-22.
Kentucky used a blistering .406 hitting percentage in the third set and threw down 17 kills in the stanza. Pavan and Giesler led the way with five hammers each in the frame and Rumely dished out 13 assists. Sauer led the back row effort with five scoops.
For the fourth time in the match Kentucky began the set by taking the first point when Mendoza found a spot on the floor. UK took a three-point lead at 5-2 after a Giesler kill, but Arkansas responded with two straight points to pull to within one at 5-4. Pavan ended the threat with a nifty touch shot, but the home team continued to fight and eventually tied the score at 10 apiece. Giesler's 10th kill of the match allowed the Wildcats to immediately reclaim the lead.
The Blue and White grabbed a 16-10 advantage after scoring four straight points beginning with a kill from Rumely and capped off by another kill from Pavan. Arkansas chose to take a timeout to attempt to slow down the UK's offense.
With UK leading 18-13 Rumely found Rapp for her 10th kill of the match. Rapp became the fourth player to reach double-figures in kills for the Blue and White. From there UK maintained control and rolled to a 25-15 victory to seal the match.
Kentucky capped off the match with a .242 attack percentage while limiting the Razorbacks to a negative number at -.030.
The 12th-ranked Wildcats return to action again Sunday, Nov. 1. UK travels to Ole Miss for a matchup set to air live on FS South at 2 p.m. ET.
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