Wildcats Win SEC Home Opener
Oct. 1, 1999
The UK Volleyball team used an inspiring team effort on Friday night to up-end the Crimson Tide of Alabama in a tough five-game match. The Cats were led by their freshman on this night as Kristen Batt totaled a team-high and personal-best 22 kills, while walk-on Aleisha Craven displayed some incredible defense with a team-high 20 digs.
The win by the Wildcats (8-6, 1-2 SEC) broke the team's two-match losing streak. Alabama (8-7, 2-1 SEC) was attempting to drop the Cats to their first 0-3 SEC start in school history, but coach Jona Braden's squad persevered throughout and prevailed in the deciding see-saw game five, 16-14.
"This was just an incredible effort by our girls tonight," said Braden. "It's good to be on the other side for a change. This time we took early leads and had to fight to hang on. This was a real growing experience for our girls."
The match was not necessarily a pretty one as 'Bama only out-hit UK .176 to .158. But it was the defense that really decided this match as the teams combined for 156 digs and 30 blocks. Shelly Adamcik of 'Bama had a game-high 12 blocks. Behind Craven’s season-high dig effort, Katie Eiserman (19), Megan Weiskircher (16) and Kristen Batt (12) also had double-digit dig totals.
Junior Michelle Green also had a solid game for the Tide as she totaled team-highs with 20 kills and 18 digs.
Also noteworthy was the five service aces by UK’s Craven. The defensive specialist entered the game in seventh place in the SEC with .41 aces per game put certainly improved her standing with the season-high ace output. With 25 total aces this season, Craven stands at second in the conference.
The Cats will look to maintain the momentum from this match into its next home match, Sunday, Oct. 3 against the SEC Western Division leading Auburn Tigers. The match will begin at 2 p.m.