Volleyball Falls to 2-2 After 3-1 Loss to Fresno State

The University of Kentucky volleyball team dropped its second consecutive match of the season as Fresno State took a 3-1 victory on the closing day of the T.J. Sales Dr. Mary Jo Wynn Invitational in Springfield, Mo. The Wildcats hit a disappointing .173 in the match to Fresno State?s .320.

Kentucky falls to 2-2 on the season after losing last night to host Southwest Missouri. The Wildcats totaled 14.0 total team blocks in the match to the Bulldogs? 11.0, but had just 50 kills to their opponent?s 71. Four Cats recorded double-figure kills, led by senior Sarah Spinner with 14. Danielle Wallace and Alex Montefalco added 11 apiece, while Amy Kaplan had 10 kills and four blocks on the afternoon. Freshman Kathleen Bowler had a solid 11 digs in just her second collegiate match.

The Wildcats got off to a hot start in the first game, using an early 7-0 run to earn a 13-7 lead. UK continued to maintain the margin after a Fresno State timeout, until back-to-back errors allowed the Bulldogs to pull within three at 24-21, forcing a Kentucky timeout. A FS serving error gave the Cats a four-point lead again, which they built on after a Spinner kill. A serving error by Spinner late allowed the Bulldogs to trim the margin to four again at 29-25, but UK sealed a game victory on the next point with a block assist from Wallace and Kristen Cunningham. Wallace and Kaplan led the Wildcats in the first game with six kills apiece. Kentucky hit a solid .429 in the first stanza to Fresno State?s .268.

The teams battled through several early ties to open the second game before Fresno State used a 6-2 run to grab a five-point lead at 17-12, forcing a Wildcat trip to the bench. The Cats kept within reach after the break, but were unable to get any closer than two points before the Bulldogs used a 6-0 run to close the game with a 30-21 win. The Cats hit just .205 in the game to Fresno State?s .385. Spinner, however, was a bright spot for the Cats in the game, recording six kills on .545 hitting.

Four early errors to start the third game put the Wildcats behind 6-1. After the Bulldogs stretched the advantage to eight at 12-4, UK Coach Jona Braden burned a timeout. Fresno State continued to dominate, however, leading by as many as 15 while cruising to a 30-13 victory. Kentucky hit just .062 in the match, while the Bulldogs posted a .364 percentage in the game. The Cats managed just seven kills in the game.

The fourth game saw three early ties before UK worked up to a 6-3 lead. Fresno State came charging back, evening the score at sic before building to a 19-13 lead. After a Wildcat timeout, the teams traded points for a few rallies before several Kentucky errors allowed the Bulldogs to make a 6-0, stretching the advantage to 11 at 27-16. UK couldn?t recover late in the game as FS won the game, 30-17.

The Wildcats take on Middle Tennessee State at 6 p.m. ET to close out play in the T.J. Sales Dr. Mary Jo Wynn Invitational.