Volleyball Cats Fall to Hofstra in 3-1 Heartbreaker
Aug. 30, 2002
HEMPSTEAD, N.Y. - The University of Kentucky volleyball team opened the 2002 season with a heartbreaking 3-1 loss to host Hofstra on Friday, Aug. 30 in Hempstead, N.Y. The match was the first of three for the Wildcats in the Hofstra Asics Invitational this weekend.
Senior Kristen Batt led Kentucky with 21 kills and 14 digs for her first double-double of the season. Sophomore Katie Bright had a career night, knocking down nine kills for a career high. Fellow sophomore Sarah Spinner also played well, recording 14 kills and 15 digs for her 11th career double-double.
"We played well enough to stay in the match, but we didn't play well enough to win tonight," Braden said. "Hofstra took advantage of the places where we weren't taking care of the ball. It's disappointing. We didn't bring our "A" game." Bright and Batt led UK's attack in game one with five kills apiece. After losing the first point to the Dutchwomen, the Cats made up for lost time, taking its first lead at 4-3 on a Sarah Spinner kill. After a two-hits call on UK, the score was tied for the final time before the Wildcats took the lead for good, winning the game 30-23.
Game two saw the teams fight through eight early ties before Hofstra took control of the match, going on a 17-8 run with the help of very solid blocking. The Cats managed to pull within eight at 28-20 on a Sissy Canfield put down, but after a service error by Canfield, the match was HU's for the taking, 30-20.
Hofstra returned from the break continuing to build on their momentum as the Pride took an early 4-0 lead. The Cats managed to chip the lead away to one at 6-5 on a Spinner kill, but HU made another four-point pad. UK was able to take its first lead in more than a game at 15-14, but would never lead again as Hofstra went on a 15-6 run to close the game and take the 2-1 advantage.
Kentucky looked revived to start the fourth game, taking an early l 6-3 lead before the Pride battled back to tie the score at 10. Hofstra went on to take a three-point lead several times in the game before Kentucky pulled even at 29. From there, the teams fought through two more ties before HU took the match with the 33-31 game win.
Kentucky falls to 19-7 all-time in season openers, including 3-2 in Coach Jona Braden's tenure.
The Cats return to action on Saturday, Aug. 31 when they face Texas Tech in the second day of the tournament. Tech swept Fairfield on Friday evening, 3-0. UK holds a 5-0 advantage in the series with the Red Raiders, but the teams haven't met since Sept. 18, 1993, a 3-2 UK win.