UK Volleyball Opens 2001 Campaign with a 3-1 Win at SMU Invitational
Aug. 31, 2001
DALLAS, Texas - The University of Kentucky volleyball team opened its 2001 season with a 3-1 win over host Southern Methodist (0-1) in the opening night of the SMU Invitational in Dallas, Texas on Friday, Aug. 31.
It was a homecoming match for senior Whitney Sample, an Arlington, Texas native, who returned to the Lonestar State for the first time in her collegiate career. It also was a record night for sophomore Sissy Canfield, who canned a career-high 18 kills in the contest, while posting a career-high .586 hitting percentage in the match.
Kentucky put forth a solid effort in the first game, but fell to the Mustangs, 30-21. Canfield looked impressive, charting four kills, while junior Anne Koester tallied her first two block assists as a Wildcat. Beth Karasek and Kristen Peterson each notched 5 kills in the game for SMU.
The Cats came out refocused in the second game, playing solid down the stretch with the help of freshman Sarah Spinner's back-to-back kills. UK won the game 30-26 on a Koester kill from Sample.
Kentucky fought back from a 25-18 deficit in the third game to tie the game at 29. Sample took the lead again for her team, serving up the match point to give UK the game 31-29. Canfield's seven kills in game three led the UK attack.
The Cats entered the fourth game with a 2-1 advantage, keeping even with the Mustangs for much of the game before taking the game and match with solid teamwork down the stretch. Spinner won the match for Kentucky with the final kill, her fourth of the match.
"Overall, it was the heart of this team that won the match tonight," Coach Jona Braden said. "SMU played hard and well. We were struggling for a while and weren't stopping their guns. It took some people stepping up, along with the play of our middle blockers and a solid effort by Sarah (Spinner)."
The Wildcats return to action on Saturday, Sept. 1, when they face Duke at 10 a.m. before taking on Weber St. at 4:30 p.m. Duke (1-0) knocked off WSU (0-1) in the tournament's first match on Friday by a score of 3-1.
Game One SMU 30, UK 21
Game Two UK 30, SMU 26
Game Three UK 31, SMU 29
Game Four UK 30, SMU 20