Volleyball Cats Fall Short Against Arkansas
Oct. 6, 2002
FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. - The University of Kentucky volleyball team lost a tough match to Southeastern Conference foe Arkansas, 3-1, on Sunday, Oct. 6, in Fayetteville, Ark. Kentucky was able to tie the match at one game apiece, but couldn't put together a run in the fourth game, falling to the Lady Razorbacks for the eighth consecutive time.
Leading Kentucky (7-7, 1-3 SEC) on the afternoon was freshman Amy Kaplan with eight kills on .400 hitting. Senior Aleisha Craven led the defensive corps with 16 digs, while Kristen Batt and Sarah Spinner each recorded double-doubles on the afternoon. Batt had 19 kills and 16 digs, while Spinner posted 14 kills and 13 digs.
"We definitely put up a fight today," Coach Jona Braden said. "Arkansas is an excellent team. When we were executing we matched them pretty well. We just faltered too many times and didn't reel it in quick enough. It was a fight, I just wish we could have gotten to a fifth game to see where we could have gone."
After dropping the match's opening point to the Lady Razorbacks (12-4, 3-1 SEC), the Cats took a 6-3 lead on a Sarah Spinner kill. UA then used a 6-0 run to take over at 9-6 and force a Wildcat timeout. UK retied the first game at 11 on a Batt kill. The teams saw three more ties before the Hogs broke through and used an 8-2 run to force another timeout with UK trailing 22-16. The Wildcats took three consecutive points out of the timeout but couldn't hold off Arkansas, dropping the game, 30-24.
The start of game two was a hard-fought battle with neither team gaining more than a two-point advantage to the game's midpoint. Arkansas broke the stalemate at 16-13 causing the Cats to talk it over. As Arkansas continued to shine, the Cats seemed to be fading. But five straight points by UK tied the game at 24 and forced the Razorbacks to take their first timeout of the day. The Wildcats were able to push to game-point at 29-27, but two quick UA points and it was knotted again at 29. Back-to-back kills by Spinner and Kelley gave UK the 31-29 win and tied the match at one entering halftime.
After breaking through five early ties in game three, the Lady 'Backs used a 7-2 run to take a five point lead at 15-10. But after UK cut the lead to one at 16-15, Arkansas took a timeout. The teams cut through two more ties before the Hogs ripped off three straight points to lead the game, 22-19. UK was able to cut the lead to two several times, but couldn't find a way to overcome the deficit, falling 30-25 to give UA a 2-1 advantage in the match. The game proved to be a poor performance for the Cats as they hit just .063.
Kentucky busted out to a 4-1 lead to start the fourth game, but let the Hogs put up five-in-a-row to take a 6-4 lead. A timeout didn't seem to help the Wildcats regain composure as a 9-2 run gave UA a 15-7 lead. The Razorbacks continued to pile up the points on Kentucky miscues, making the deficit too much for the Cats to overcome. Arkansas closed out the match with the 30-23 game-four win.
With the loss, Kentucky drops to 4-8 in the series with Arkansas as the Hogs have won the past eight meetings.
The Wildcats return to action on Wednesday, Oct. 9, when they face South Carolina in Lexington. The match gets underway at 7 p.m. in Memorial Coliseum.