UK Defense Excels in Win over Tennessee State
Sept. 10, 2008
LEXINGTON, Ky. - The University of Kentucky volleyball team used a stiffening defense in its 3-0 sweep of Tennessee State Wednesday, at Memorial Coliseum holding the Tigers to a negative offensive hitting percentage for the entire match.
Kentucky (6-2, 0-0) held the visitors to a -.075 hitting percentage in its third consecutive sweep of an opponent in five days. UK's defense racked up 42 digs and seven team blocks in a match that the Wildcats needed just a little over an hour to play.
"It really says something for your defense any time you can hold an opponent to a negative hitting percentage," head coach Craig Skinner said. "We've really put a lot of extra effort and focus into our defense in practice. It has definitely paid off for us, and it will continue to be a focus of ours for the remainder of the year."
Six Wildcats registered four or more digs on the night, led by junior BriAnne Sauer who tallied 10 on her own. Sophomore Lauren Rapp paced the blockers, as she was in on three of the Blue and White's rejections.
Rapp also led the offensive effort for the home squad posting 13.0 total points on the night which included a team-high 10 kills. Sophomore Sarah Mendoza and senior Queen Nzenwa each chipped in with seven hammers.
Junior Sarah Rumely moved up in the UK record books with three service aces in tonight's match. Rumely is now ninth all time with 107 aces for her career. Rumely also guided UK's offense to the tune of 29 assists.
Kentucky used a 10-2 opening first frame to set the pace early. Tennessee State fought back within three at 13-10, before UK began to pull away. Mendoza got four kills in the set to guide UK to an opening set 25-19 score.
The second set was dominated by Kentucky with the final score coming to 25-7. Kentucky hit .350 for the stanza and held Tennessee State to a -.400 hitting percentage. In the second set, the Cats registered four of their blocks, two each coming from Rumely and freshman Gretchen Giesler. Nzenwa and Rapp both recorded three kills in the frame.
Out of the break, the Wildcats and Tigers traded points until UK broke away with a 9-8 lead it would never relinquish. A kill by junior Brooke Bartek concluded the match with a 25-17 victory in the third and final set, propelling Kentucky to its third consecutive sweep.
The Wildcats will next be in action Friday when they host the UK Invitational. Albany, Eastern Kentucky and Indiana will visit Lexington for a two-day round-robin tournament. This will be the last non-conference action of the season for the Wildcats who start SEC play Sept. 19th.
Complete coverage of the UK volleyball team's Invitational and live stats for all of the matches can be found at UKathletics.com.