Volleyball Cats Look Revived in 3-1 Win Over Western Michigan
Sept. 14, 2002
LEXINGTON, Ky. - The University of Kentucky volleyball team got back on the winning track with a 3-1 win over Western Michigan on Saturday, Sept. 14 in the final match of the Kentucky Conference Challenge in Lexington, Ky. Senior Anne Koester was unstoppable for UK, hammering in 19 kills and hitting .452 on the night.
Kentucky (6-3) bounced back from a loss to Dayton early in the day with the help of Koester and Sissy Canfield, whose .417 hitting helped the Cats to a team .262 hitting percentage. The duo each had six blocks for the match, helping UK to a team total of 15 blocks.
"Our matches today were as different as day and night," Coach Jona Braden said. "Our players knew they had a job to do. We explained to them that they had a choice. We brought our "A" game. I have to compliment Anne Koester for a fine performance and Aleisha Craven. She ran the backcourt with confidence and really served as a floor general for us all weekend."
Kentucky found itself behind early after surrendering game one to Western Michigan, 30-27. WMU advanced to a 7-3 lead early, before UK tied things at 14. The squads battled closely throughout the match before the Broncos put together several five-point swings. UK held the opponent at game point four three rallies before allowing the Broncos to walk away with it after a service error.
UK allowed a quick start by WMU in game two before taking control and building a seven-point lead at 17-10. The Cats continued to build and after going up 24-16, Western Michigan was forced to take a timeout. UK finished up the match-tying win with a 6-2 run for the 30-18 win.
After WMU opened up an 11-7 lead in game three, Braden and the Cats took a timeout. Returning strong, UK tied the match at 12 before taking the lead for good at 15-14. UK closed out at the game with a 5-1 run to gain the advantage with a 30-22 win.
Kentucky was in familiar territory to start the fourth game, finding itself at a deficit several times before gaining a 9-8 lead on an Amy Kaplan kill. A block assist by Kaplan and Kristi Kelley forced WMU to talk it over. UK continued to build on its lead and closed out the match with a Kelley kill for the 30-20 victory.
Kaplan had a solid game for UK with a career-high six kills and five digs, while adding five blocks. Canfield's blocking was a season high, while senior Kristen Batt had yet another double-double with 13 kills and 10 digs. Freshman Danielle Wallace saw her first action at UK in the match, grabbing two kills, four digs and three blocks in the four games.
The Cats shut down Western Michigan's main weapon, Carman Malone, forcing the junior to hit -.414 on the match, while earning only one kill. The Broncos hit just .089 on the evening and fell to 2-7 with the loss.
UK returns to action on Friday, Sept. 20 when they open Southeastern Conference play in Columbia, S.C., against the South Carolina Gamecocks. Kentucky will then face Oral Roberts in a neutral site game in Columbia on Saturday, Sept. 21.