Volleyball Back on Winning Track with 3-0 Win Over New Mexico
Sept. 19, 2003
ALBUQUERQUE, NM - The University of Kentucky volleyball team earned its eight victory in the last nine matches with a 3-0 sweep of New on Friday, Sept. 19 in Albuquerque, N.M. The contest was the first of three performances by the Wildcats at the Albuquerque Marriott Lobo Volleyball Classic. Kentucky (8-2) used a very balanced attack in the victory with three players tallying double-figure kills. Middle blocker Sissy Canfield was in the zone with 13 kills on .500 hitting, while fellow senior Liz McCaslin had 12 stoppers and nine digs. Freshman Melissa Popp was strong for UK as well with 11 kills and five digs.
Middle blocker Julie Davis had a career-best six blocks to lead the front line in defense, while setter Leigh Marcum added five, also a personal best. The Wildcats, who are enjoying their best start since the 1997 season, hit .241 to New Mexico's .031.
The Cats jumped out to an early 3-1 lead in the opening game, led by two Sarah Spinner aces. After New Mexico cut the advantage to two at 11-9, the Cats used a 4-1 run to earn a 15-10 edge, forcing the Lobos to burn a timeout. UNM looked revived out of the break, scoring four in a.
After the Wildcats used their own bench time, UK used strong play from McCaslin and Spinner to stretch to a 23-18 advantage. The lead would only extend from there as Kentucky cruised to the 30-21 win. McCaslin led the Cats in the first game with seven kills.
The second game saw even play early on as the squads broke through four ties before Kentucky ran up a four-point lead at 9-5. UK maintained its advantage, even building the lead to five at 22-17, before the Lobos clawed back.
New Mexico again tied the score at 26, but a Kentucky kill by Canfield and a block assist by Spinner and Canfield left the Cats close to a victory. The two would post the final two kills of the game for a 30-27 Wildcat victory, pushing the Cats up 2-0 in the match at halftime.
New Mexico came back from the break and ripped off a 4-0 start, but the Cats kept their composure, pulling even at 5-5 on a McCaslin putdown. Miscues by UNM and another kill by McCaslin would put UK ahead 8-5, forcing a Lobo huddle.
Kentucky cruised down the stretch, winning by a final margin of 13 at 30-17, its largest lead of the night. Popp was a driving force behind the dominant play in the final game with five kills.
UK returns to the court on Saturday at 10 a.m. MT to face the Sacramento State Hornets. The Cats will close play at the Lobo Invitational with a 5 p.m. match with Ohio University.