Wildcats Roll to an Impressive Sweep of Aggies
Oct. 14, 2012
LEXINGTON, Ky. - Led by the ninth double-double of the season for junior Whitney Billingsthe Kentucky volleyball team rolled to a 3-0 (25-11, 25-22, 25-19) sweep of visiting Texas A&M on Sunday in UK's "Dig Pink" match in front of 1,312 fans in Memorial Coliseum. Billings led the Wildcats with 11 kills and a match-high 14 digs to lead the way.
With the win, Kentucky pushes its record to 12-7 overall and 6-3 in Southeastern Conference. The Aggies fall to 15-3 and 7-2 in league play with their only two losses in SEC action coming at the hands of the Blue and White. UK returns to action on Friday at 7 p.m. ET as the Wildcats play host to Arkansas.
"I didn't really see a change in how we played from point one to the last point of set three, and I definitely saw that on Friday night," UK coach Craig Skinnersaid. "We were up and down with our focus and intensity. Today was a team on mission and it was impressive to be on the sidelines for."
The Wildcats were dominating in all phases of the game including a .351 attacking clip as a team. Billings was joined by sophomore Lauren O'Conner in double-figures with 12 kills. Senior Ashley Frazier added nine, and junior Alexandra Morgan totaled eight kills on .444 hitting. Freshman Sara Schwarzwalderpitched in with seven kills on a.667 attacking percentage.
Senior setter Christine Hartmann passed out 39 assists and added a pair of kills. Senior Stephanie Klefot logged 10 digs with junior Jessi Greenberg and sophomore Jackie Napperboth contributing six. Morgan led the way at the net with a match-high five blocks. O'Conner had four and Hartmann added three rejections including a pair of solo roofs.
Kentucky opened to a 3-0 advantage in the first set and never looked back. Schwarzwalder and O'Conner teamed up for back-to-back kills in the run. UK stretched its lead to 10 at 18-8 as O'Conner and Morgan combined for a block which was the fourth of the set. The Wildcats closed out the frame with a dominating 25-11 victory which was capped off by a kill from Frazier.
UK posted 14 kills on .419 hitting as both O'Conner and Morgan logged four kills apiece in the opening stanza. The Aggies managed just nine kills on a .000 clip.
The second set featured a back-and-forth battle between the two squads as neither team held more than a three-point edge throughout the frame. UK broke a 20-20 tie with a kill from Billings and earned set point with a Hartmann kill. UK's stifling defense forced the Aggies into a set-clinching hitting error for the 25-22 set victory.
UK posted a match-high 18 kills in the set on a .239 hitting percentage. Frazier and Billings led the way with four each and Billings also added six digs in the set. The Aggies logged 11 kills on .150 hitting.
Kentucky scored the first two points of the third set benefiting from a pair of Texas A&M errors to grab a lead it would never relinquish. The Wildcats earned their largest lead of the set at 16-10 with a 3-0 run highlighted by a Billings' kill to notch the double-double effort. The teams traded points from there, but UK's lead was too large for the Aggies' to overcome and the Wildcats secured the sweep on a kill from Morgan for the 25-19 win.
The Wildcats notched 17 kills on a match-best .441 blazing hitting percentage. It marked the second time in the match the home team logged a .400 or better hitting clip. O'Conner struck for six kills in the set and Billings chipped in with five. The Aggies managed just 11 kills on a mere .167 percentage.
Visit UKathletics.com for the most up-to-date information on the UK volleyball team. For additional coverage of the volleyball squad be sure and check out CatScratchesBlog.com/volleyball.