Volleyball Cats Sweep LSU for First SEC Win
Sept. 23, 2001
LEXINGTON, Ky. - The University of Kentucky volleyball team notched its first home and Southeastern Conference win this season on Sunday, Sept. 23, with a 3-0 sweep of the LSU Tigers.
Kentucky (5-4, 1-1 SEC) rebounded from a conference-opening loss to Arkansas on Friday with a strong showing against LSU (4-5, 1-1 SEC). The Wildcats controlled much of the match but had to fight off a strong Tiger squad to grab the win.
LSU jumped out to an early 5-2 lead in game one before Kentucky tied it up at six. It was all UK from there as the Cats held the lead through to the finish. A Sissy Canfield kill gave the Wildcats the game, 30-24.
Game two remained close with UK holding the lead down to the wire. LSU managed to tie it at 25, but after a Kentucky timeout, the Cats held off the Tiger attack and took the game, 30-27. With nine ties in game three, the Cats had their work cut out for them. The teams fought through five early ties to knot it for a sixth time at seven all.
At that point, LSU took control, stretching its lead to five at 14-9 before UK evened the score at 16. After fighting through a final stalemate at 20, Kentucky found its offensive rhythm, tossing in four explosive kills down the stretch to take the game and match with the 30-25 decision.
Junior Kristen Batt notched her third double-double of the season with 12 kills and 10 digs on the day. Also looking strong for UK was junior Anne Koester, who pushed down a season-high 10 kills in 16 attempts for a .500 hitting percentage. Senior Whitney Sample guided the Cats' offensive attack, posting 48 assists, six digs and four kills.
"I really feel like the team brought its whole game today," Coach Jona Braden said. "They had nothing but respect for their opponents. They knew LSU would fight and scrap and that they needed to isolate some things on that side of the net.
"Whitney did an incredible job of running the offense," Braden continued. "She kept control of the game well. The hitters also came through for us today. Everything was there, from the mental, physical and emotional sides."
The win moves UK to 19-15 all-time against the Tigers and gives UK its first win in the series since Nov. 20, 1998, a 3-1 win at the SEC Tournament.
The Cats return to action on Friday, Sept. 28, when they travel to Gainesville, Fla., to face the defending SEC Champion Florida Gators. Game time is set for 7 p.m. The UK road swing continues on Sunday, Sept. 30, when UK visits Athens, Ga., to take on the Georgia Bulldogs at 2 p.m.
Game One - UK 30, LSU 24