No. 21 Wildcats Capture Kentucky Classic Crown
Aug. 29, 2009
LEXINGTON, Ky. - Junior Sarah Mendoza was named the Kentucky Classic's most valuable player after leading No. 21 Kentucky to a 3-0 (25-22, 25-16, 25-13) sweep of Florida International to cap off UK's home tournament Saturday evening.
Mendoza tallied a season-high 18 kills on the evening in helping the Wildcats remain perfect at 3-0 on the young season.
"This tournament was a really good win for us," said Kentucky coach Craig Skinner. "The most important thing I thought for us was that we improved each and every match. By the time the third match rolled around we were playing at a very high level."
The Wildcats put on another impressive performance offensively registering 48 kills on a .280 collective attacking percentage. Mendoza paved the way in kills, but sophomore Becky Pavan also had an incredible night with 11 kills on .647 hitting. Senior Sarah Rumely continued to distribute the ball among all UK attackers as seven Wildcats registered a kill, with two in double-digits. Rumely totaled 35 assists and also led the way with four blocks on the night.
UK's defense was stifling holding Florida International to just .095 hitting and turning back nine Golden Panther attacks. UK scooped up 53 digs on the night to show balance defensively.
The Wildcats powered their way to a 25-22 opening set victory, despite a late rally from Florida International who extended the set by rattling off seven consecutive set-points. Mendoza and Pavan each had six kills in the frame.
In the second set, UK jumped out to an early lead and never looked back. Mendoza once again led the way with six kills in the stanza with Rumely and Pavan contributing three apiece.
Out of the break, Kentucky came back striking on all cylinders as they hit a match-high .367 in the frame behind six more kills from Mendoza.
Junior Lauren Rapp and Pavan joined Mendoza on the All-Tournament team. Kentucky returns to action Sept. 4 at the Indiana Adidas Classic. UK will face Murray State, Indiana and UT-Martin in Bloomington next weekend.
Stay tuned to UKathletics.com for continued coverage of the UK volleyball team.
Kentucky Classic All-Tournament Team
Sarah Mendoza, Kentucky (MVP)