Volleyball Cats Get Back on Track with Win over James Madison
Sept. 8, 2001
KALAMAZOO, Mich. - The University of Kentucky volleyball team improved its record to 3-3 on the season after a 3-0 win over James Madison in the second day of the Radisson Invitational on the campus of Western Michigan in Kalamazoo, Mich.
Kentucky jumped out to a quick lead over JMU in the first game, pulling away to a 23-11 score. The Dukes (1-3) made a strong comeback effort before UK got back in the swing of things and closed out the game with the 30-20 decision. UK hit .400 for the game, led by senior April Barnhorst's three kills and .600 hitting percentage.
The Cats again dominated play in the second game, finding a quick rhythm to build a strong lead. The Dukes held UK at 28 for three plays before hometown freshman Katie Bright notched a kill to put the Wildcats one point away. A service error by JMU gave UK the victory, 30-20. Junior Kristen Batt posted six kills in the win.
The Dukes looked recharged after the break, fighting back from a 5-1 UK lead to take control of the game. JMU led 18-13, forcing a Kentucky timeout. The Cats regained control of the ball, going on a 7-0 run. Three consecutive service aces by freshman Sarah Spinner started it off for UK, and after a misfired return by the Dukes, the score was tied.
Spinner continued added in another service ace before JMU would regain control. The teams battled through seven ties down the stretch before the Dukes broke free with the 30-28 win. The Wildcats shot a match-low .152 in the game.
Kentucky regrouped after the close loss and went on a tear to start the fourth game, pulling away to a quick 10-1 lead. JMU wouldn't be counted out, cutting the Cats' lead to five at 13-8. UK extended its lead to seven again before the Dukes came fought to within three at 17-14.
UK strung together several strong defensive plays down the stretch to take the game and match with the 30-20 win.
"To come back after losing an emotional match last night and play they way we did is a great thing," Coach Jona Braden said. "We put our best team out of the floor and made a more productive effort."
The Cats return to action later today, when they face Valparaiso in their final match of the tournament. The match is scheduled to get underway at 5 p.m. at University Arena.
Game One - UK 30, JMU 20
Game Two - UK 30, JMU 20
Game Three - JMU 30, UK 28
Game Four - UK 30, JMU 20