Second Set Rally Lifts UK to Sweep of Auburn
Oct. 31, 2010
LEXINGTON, Ky. - Kentucky's rally from seven points down late in the second set propelled the Blue and White to a 3-0 (25-16, 26-24, 25-23) sweep of visiting Auburn on Sunday at Memorial Coliseum. Senior Lauren Rapp notched 10 kills on the afternoon to move into sole possession of 10th place all-time on UK's career kills list. Rapp now has 1,199 career hammers.
The Wildcats improve to 13-11 overall on the season and 7-7 in Southeastern Conference action. Auburn falls to 16-10 and 7-7 in league play.
Rapp was sensational for Kentucky as she led the team with 10 kills and a match-high seven blocks on the afternoon. Classmate Blaire Hiler chipped in with eight kills as the senior duo ignited the Wildcats to the impressive victory.
"In matches this season we've really struggled finishing sets and that was an obstacle we closed today by winning those last two sets the way we did in very tight situations," UK coach Craig Skinner said. "I'm proud of our upperclassmen for stepping up late in those sets."
UK faced its largest deficit in the second set when it trailed 22-15. Kentucky would close the frame on a 10-2 run, including scoring the final five points of the stanza to earn a 2-0 lead into the locker room.
Junior Becky Pavan matched Rapp's kill output with 10 hammers while adding three blocks. Setter Christine Hartmann earned a double-double effort with 31 assists and a team-high 13 digs. Junior Gretchen Giesler added five kills, including UK's final two points of the match, while contributing four block assists. Sophomore Stephanie Klefot led the Wildcats in digs for the 20th time this season with 13 scoops.
UK also received contributions from freshmen Whitney Billings who had three kills and six digs, while Jessi Greenberg added five scoops. Junior Ann Armes added two kills and served all four of the crucial points in the second set rally. Freshman Alexandra Morgan added a kill in the second stanza.
Kentucky opened up with a 7-0 run to begin the first set to easily take control. Pavan began at the service line and tacked on a pair of aces in addition to a pair of kills from Hiler. The Wildcats forced the Tigers into three hitting errors in the run. UK never relinquished the lead and maintained a comfortable advantage with Pavan capping off the frame with a kill.
UK limited the Tigers to a negative .152 hitting clip and just seven kills. The Wildcats posted five blocks in the set which proved to be the difference. Rapp had a pair of solo rejections and two block assists to pace the defensive effort.
In a second set that featured six tie scores and four lead changes it was the home team that eventually prevailed after fighting off a seven-point deficit. With Auburn leading 22-15, Kentucky earned its first point off of a Tiger miscue. Armes, Pavan and Hartmann teamed up for a triple-block as the momentum began to swing in the home team's favor. The Tigers earned set point with the score at 24-21. UK then rattled off five straight points behind four kills from upperclassmen. Rapp, Hiler, Armes and Pavan all totaled a kill in the run for the 26-24 victory.
UK scored 16 points off of kills in the set on a .238 attacking percentage. Rapp led the offensive output with five kills in the set. Auburn totaled 17 kills on .279 hitting, but committed a combined 10 errors in the frame enabling UK's comeback effort.
The third set was a back-and-forth battle that saw six tied scores and a pair of lead changes. Kentucky opened the scoring on a Pavan kill, but Auburn quickly captured a lead at 8-4 and would maintain a comfortable edge including a six-point advantage at 17-11. The Wildcats would eventually climb back into things to force a tie score at 20-20 on a kill from Hiler. Hiler then gave UK its second lead of the set at 22-21 with another kill. UK would go on to close the set with a pair of kills from Giesler to win 25-23.
Pavan totaled five kills in the set to lead the offensive output. UK posted a match-high 18 kills in the set with five players totaling two or more. Auburn managed just 12 kills on a .143 hitting clip.
Kentucky will return to action with a set of road matches next weekend. UK takes on Mississippi State on Friday, Nov. 5 at 8 p.m. ET. UK will then play Alabama at 2 p.m. ET on Fox Sports South.
Follow along all season long with the Wildcats at UKathletics.com.