Volleyball Cats Drop Close Match to Crimson Tide, 3-1
Sept. 27, 2002
LEXINGTON, Ky. - The University of Kentucky volleyball team lost a close match with Alabama, 3-1, in Memorial Coliseum on Friday, Sept. 27. The loss drops the team to 0-2 in Southeastern Conference play on the year and 6-6 overall.
The Cats used primarily two offensive weapons in the contest, getting a career-high 23 kills from Sarah Spinner to go with 13 digs and a .347 hitting percentage. Kristen Batt was close behind, driving in 21 kills while countering with 16 digs on the defensive side. Both players missed Kentucky's last match against Oral Roberts after a coaches' decision to change the lineup.
"We made too many mistakes tonight," Coach Jona Braden said. "We were in it in every game, but our execution was on and off. I think both teams had similar matches as far as ups and downs go. Kristen and Sarah took care of the ball extremely well. We just let this one get away."
Kentucky took an early 4-1 lead in game one, but the Tide was able to tie it at four after a UK ball handling error. The teams remained close throughout the course of the game, tying things as late as 26 all. But, a UK error gave the first go-around to Alabama, 30-27.
The second game was a thriller as the squads fought through 18 ties en route to a 32-30 Wildcat win. Batt and Spinner each had six kills in the game, which saw UK hit .262 to Bama's close .250. Erin Heffner led the Crimson Tide with seven kills in the game.
The Cats found themselves on the losing end of the third game by the familiar tally of 32-30. The Cats again dropped the match on an error, after seeing Sarah Spinner put down nine kills on .471 hitting. The final game was another nail biter starting with a Kentucky service ace. UK was able to build an 8-5 lead before the Tide tied it on three straight points. The Cats took a five-point advantage at 15-10, but couldn't maintain its distance, letting a 6-0 UA run put them behind the eight ball at 28-22. Kentucky was able to rack up three more points before a Heffner kill sealed the win for Alabama.
Heffner finished the match with 26 kills on .296 hitting for UA. The Tide hit .228 for the evening to UK's .169. Batt and Spinner's 44 kills accounted for 77.2% of the team's total.
The Wildcats return to action on Sunday, Sept. 29, when they play host to the Auburn Tigers. Auburn dropped its Friday night match to South Carolina, 3-0, to fall to 1-12 on the season. Play gets underway at 2 p.m. in Memorial Coliseum.