Mendoza, Sauer Earn Milestones in UK's 3-0 Win
Nov. 13, 2009
ATHENS, Ga. – Junior outside hitter Sarah Mendoza tallied the 1,000 kill of her career and senior libero BriAnne Sauer became the second player in school history to amass 1,500 digs in a career in helping No. 11 Kentucky to a 3-0 (25-21, 25-22, 25-14) victory at Georgia Friday. With the 3-0 win UK has posted 14 sweeps this season.
Kentucky (25-2, 15-1) charted the win behind a collective team effort. Mendoza led the way offensively with 12 kills and sophomore Blaire Hiler chipped in with 10. Sophomore middle blockers Gretchen Giesler and Becky Pavan tallied nine and eight kills, respectively. Junior Lauren Rapp struck for seven kills to aid the Wildcat cause. Senior setter Sarah Rumely dished out 41 assists and added four kills of her own.
Sauer led all defensive players with a match-high 24 digs for her 26 th career match with 20 or more scoops. Junior Laura Stokowski added eight and freshman Stephanie Klefot posted seven digs in the win for UK. Giesler led the front line with five blocks.
“I thought we got better as the match went on and in the third set our defense was playing really well,” Kentucky coach Craig Skinner said. “When our defense can keep pace with our offense we are a really tough team to beat. I'm extremely excited to pick up another road win and do it in a 3-0 fashion.”
Georgia grabbed the opening point of the match, but the Wildcats quickly responded by earning the next two points behind a Georgia hitting error and a kill from Mendoza. Georgia knotted the score at two apiece, but the Wildcats would then go on a 6-2 run to take a comfortable 8-4 advantage with a combined four kills in the opening portion of the set. After an early timeout by the Bulldogs, Georgia came back firing and used a 4-0 run of its own to pull to within 13-11 forcing UK into a timeout of its own.
Out of the break Georgia was able to take the next two points to tie the score at 13. The teams would trade points back and forth until UK claimed a 16-15 edge they would never relinquish behind a block from the duo of Giesler and Rumely. Pavan scored four straight points for the Blue and White in the run and the set concluded with kills from Rumely and Hiler for a 25-21 opening set win.
Kentucky charted 18 kills in the first set on a .333 attacking clip. Pavan led the way with six kills while Rapp and Mendoza both had four each.
Mendoza opened the scoring in the second set and UK quickly claimed a 5-1 advantage behind five kills forcing Georgia to burn an early timeout. The Bulldogs did not go away though as the home squad was able to pull together a run of its own and tie the score at eight. The two squads would continue to exchange points until UK captured a 14-12 advantage behind consecutive kills from Hiler and Rumely. UK would maintain a comfortable lead for the remainder of the set and claim a 25-22 set two win after a final kill from Hiler.
In the second stanza UK used a .342 hitting clip and tossed down 18 kills to take the second set. Giesler led all scorers with six kills in the set and Sauer posted 11 digs to aid the Wildcat cause.
Rapp began the scoring for the Blue and White in the third set to take the first point of the frame. Georgia was able to come back and knot the score at six apiece, but UK put together a 4-1 run to capture an 11-7 edge midway through the set with Rapp contributing a kill and the UK defense forcing a pair of Georgia hitting errors in the run.
In the opening portion of the set Sauer registered her 17 th dig of the match to tally the 1,500 th of her career. Mendoza struck for her 1,000 th career kill to cap a 6-0 run for the Wildcats to earn an 18-10 advantage. That run would be the decisive string of points as the Blue and White capped off the victory behind a final kill from Mendoza for a 25-14 win.
Kentucky hit .258 in the third set and posted 14 kills while limiting Georgia to a mere four kills on -.182 hitting.
UK will wrap up the weekend with a date at Auburn on Sunday. The Wildcats and Tigers are set for a 2:30 p.m. ET serve on Nov. 15.
For the most up-to-date news, highlights and features about the Kentucky volleyball team please visit UKathletics.com.