Rumely Sets Career Record in Assists, UK Defeats Auburn in Four Sets

Nov. 15, 2009

Box Score

AUBURN, Ala. – Senior setter Sarah Rumely became Kentucky's all-time record holder in career assists while a season-high 15 blocks enabled the 11 th ranked Wildcats to fend off Auburn for a 3-1 (22-25, 25-22, 25-11, 25-12) road victory. Rumely posted 40 assists increasing her career total to 5,438 and overtake Laura Linder on the school's all-time chart.

Kentucky (26-2, 16-1) matches its win total from a season ago behind a season-high 15 blocks led by sophomore Gretchen Giesler's career-best 10 total. Junior Blaire Hiler matched her career-high with 14 kills and added five blocks in UK's win.

Junior Sarah Mendoza had a double-double effort with 11 kills and 13 digs. Junior Lauren Rapp added eight kills and sophomore Becky Pavan matched that total. Rumely also had a double-double as she posted 10 scoops while senior BriAnne Sauer had 19 digs in the win.

With the teams each possessing a set victory, Klefot got the Wildcats going to start the third set by opening the set with consecutive service aces. Auburn quickly responded with a kill and an ace of its own, but the Blue and White would go on to score the next two points to reclaim the lead. After consecutive kills from Auburn to tie the score at five apiece, UK rallied for a 7-0 run to grab a 12-5 advantage. In the stretch of points, Giesler and Hiler teamed up for a pair of rejections and Hiler tossed down two kills to ignite the rally. With the two stuffs, Giesler set a career-high in blocks with nine at that point.The Wildcats continued to put on a blocking assault as the visitors combined for four total blocks in a seven-point scoring run.

Rumely broke the school assist record in that same stretch when she fittingly found Mendoza for a kill to make the score 17-9 in favor of the Blue and White.

With the momentum clearly on its side, UK continued to impress both offensively and defensively rolling to a 25-11 set three win and grabbing the 2-1 set advantage. Kentucky's offense was at its best in the third set, but it was the defensive unit that really provided the difference. Kentucky accounted for six blocks in the stanza and forced Auburn into nine hitting errors and a -.067 hitting clip. Offensively, UK hit a match-high .542 and tossed down 13 kills in the stanza.

Pavan gave the Wildcats the opening point of the fourth set with a kill. After trading points back and forth Kentucky used a 4-0 run with kills from Rumely and Giesler to grab a 6-2 advantage.  Auburn opted to burn a very early timeout with Kentucky's offense finally exploding. The Blue and White continued to thrive laying down six kills in its first 11 points to take a convincing 11-3 lead. Auburn chose to use its final timeout of the set with Kentucky striking quickly.

Hiler matched a career-high in blocks with a solo rejection to help UK push its lead to 13-3. From that point on it was UK's offense that carried the squad to its 26 th win of the season. Kentucky capped the match with a 25-12 win behind 15 kills and .382 hitting.

The Wildcats gained the first point of the match after an Auburn hitting miscue. The teams would trade points back and forth until UK broke free with a 3-0 run that was highlighted by an ace and a kill from Mendoza. Hiler and Giesler also teamed up for a block in the stretch to give the Wildcats some breathing room. UK stretched its lead to five at 12-7 behind consecutive kills from Mendoza and Rapp forcing Auburn into an early timeout.

Giesler and Rumely teamed up for a rejection and then in an odd rally Kentucky earned a point when Auburn could not return a ball sent over the net off of a dig to take a 15-8 edge. Auburn opted to use its final timeout of the stanza after the crazy play. Kentucky earned a six-point advantage at 17-11, but Auburn was able to string together three straight points which included a pair of blocks to pull to within 17-14. Despite a timeout from the Wildcats, Auburn continued to battle with the visitors and inched to as close as 18-17. Mirroring the success of the entire season UK's offense came up with a timely kill from Rapp to once again give UK a two-point cushion.

The Tigers would not go away though as the stingy defense of the home team enabled them to tie the score at 21 a piece after forcing the Wildcats into consecutive hitting errors. After another UK timeout, Giesler responded with a powerful slam to once again give Kentucky the lead. Auburn responded with a kill of its own after Mendoza's block attempt fell out of bounds. The cushion was all the more the Tigers would need to claim an early-set upset as the Tigers captured the final three points of the set behind an ace, a block and forced UK into a hitting error to take the set 25-22. 

Kentucky's offense was ineffective for perhaps the first time all season as the Wildcats were limited to just 11 kills on .070 hitting. Auburn was not much better, but it was enough as the Tigers tossed down 14 kills on .179 hitting. Defensively, the squads were fairly even with Auburn totaling 16 digs and UK 15. Both teams had a pair of blocks. Kentucky committed eight hitting errors while the Tigers posted seven erroneous attempts.

Rapp began the scoring in the second frame with a kill, but Auburn quickly responded to even the score. The teams would continue to exchange points throughout the stanza until Kentucky strung together back-to-back kills from Rapp and Hiler to gain an 8-6 edge. Auburn continued to fight, never allowing UK to take a lead larger than two points at a time. Consecutive kills enabled the home team to tie the score once again at 11.

Immediately following the back-to-back kill efforts the home squad got a stuff to take the lead for the first time in the set. However, Hiler responded in a big way with an authoritative slam and then Rumely and Pavan teamed up for a rejection to once again give UK a lead at 13-12.

Kentucky took its largest lead at 17-14 after benefiting from consecutive Auburn errors. After the squads traded kills, the team of Giesler and Mendoza combined for a block to give UK a 19-15 advantage forcing Auburn into the first timeout of the stanza. Out of the break, Giesler paired with Rapp for another Big Blue block to give UK a five-point edge. Auburn responded with a 4-0 run that featured a pair of Tiger kills and two hitting mistakes by the Wildcats to allow the home team to pull to within 20-19.

UK opted to take a timeout to attempt to halt the home team's string of points. The strategy worked as the Wildcats scored on back-to-back possessions with kills to earn a 22-19 advantage. Auburn then took its final timeout of the set. The squads would trade kills for the rest of the set, but the strategy worked to UK's advantage as the Blue and White pulled out a 25-22 set two victory to even the match after Hiler ended the frame with the final kill.

The Wildcats attacked with a .289 percentage in the second frame and totaled 14 kills in the frame. Auburn hit .231 and registered 17 kills, but it was UK's defense that propelled the Blue and White to the set two win with five game-changing blocks in the stanza.

UK will return to action for its final two-match homestand of the regular season. The Wildcats welcome South Carolina to Memorial Coliseum at 7 p.m. ET on Friday. Kentucky will then have its Senior Day and play the final regular season home match against Florida on Sunday at 2 p.m. ET. That match will be aired live on FS South (Lexington – Channel 52).

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