Wildcats Drop Season Opener at Wake Forest, 3-0
Aug. 29, 2003
WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. - The University of Kentucky volleyball team dropped its season opening match at the Wake Forest Demon Deacon Invitational to the host team, 3-0. Wake Forest hit a stellar .453 on the night to the Wildcats' .206. Junior Sarah Spinner led UK with 13 kills and six digs in the match.
Three freshmen debuted for UK in the opener, including Louisville native Jenni Casper, who had eight digs and three assists. Outside hitter Melissa Popp totaled six kills in her debut, while Julie Gagnon saw limited action, but earned two assists.
UK earned an early 1-0 lead in the first game after a kill by senior Liz McCaslin, but couldn't hold the advantage for long. Wake Forest took over at 4-3 and never trailed again, cruising to a 30-15 win. The Demon Deacons shot .583 in the first stanza to UK's .086. Marcum had two kills in the first game on two attempts, while Popp recorded her first collegiate kill in the game.
The second game saw seven ties early before the Wildcats used a 3-0 run to take a 10-7 lead. The run included kills by Popp and Spinner. WFU used its own 3-0 run to tie the game at 10. The teams stayed close throughout the game, fighting to three more ties before the Deacons escaped with the 30-27 victory. Spinner recorded six kills in the game, while Popp and Canfield each had three.
Again the competition was close to start the third game, with the teams seeing four ties early. With the match tied at nine, an error by Spinner gave WFU's Lauren Peterson the serve. Peterson ripped off four consecutive aces to put UK down14-9 and force Jona Braden to call a timeout. The Demon Deacons would take the next three points before the Cats would get back on the board at 17-10.
Kentucky played tough down the stretch, but couldn't make up the deficit, dropping the game, 30-18, and the match, 3-0.
The loss drops Kentucky to 19-8 all-time in season openers, 3-3 in Braden's tenure at UK.