Volleyball Cats Take Thrilling Win Over Butler
Oct. 18, 2001
LEXINGTON, Ky. - The University of Kentucky volleyball team earned its 10th victory of the season with a close 3-1 win over Butler on Thursday, Oct. 18 at Memorial Coliseum. Three Cats tallied double-doubles in the contest, while senior April Barnhorst finished one block shy of her first career triple-double.
UK (10-7, 3-4 Southeastern Conference) got off to a slow start, falling behind, 9-4, in the first game before fighting back with two kills and a block solo by freshman Sarah Spinner to tie the game at 11. Butler (7-7, 3-4 Horizon League) pushed the Cats to two more ties in the game before Kentucky pulled away and took the game, 30-26.
The second game stayed close, seeing 11 ties, including four late in the game. Junior Anne Koester led the offensive attack in game two, putting down four kills in eight attempts, while Spinner worked hard on defense, contributing eight kills in the game. UK took the close one, 30-28, and headed into the lockerroom with the 2-0 advantage.
The Cats looked poised to sweep the Bulldogs in the third game, building up to a 12-6 lead before BU charged back. The Dogs tied the game at 18, the first of nine stalemates in the game. A Butler service error put the Wildcats up 28-27, but BU took the next three points to stay alive with the 30-28 win.
The fourth game was indicative of the entire match as the two squads fought through 14 ties in a tense match. Spinner was once again a defensive stopper, digging seven balls in the game, while Barnhorst added two block solos and a block assist to the mix. A Sissy Canfield kill put the Cats on serve for the match which they sealed with a 31-29 win in the game.
Barnhorst posted 12 kills, 10 digs and nine blocks in the match for her fifth double-double of the season. Spinner's 21 kills were one shy of her career high, while she added 18 digs for her seventh DD of her career. Not far behind was junior Kristen Batt, whose 17 kills and 20 digs formed her seventh double dip of the season.
Sophomore Kristi Kelley, starting her third game for the injured Whitney Sample, had a career-high 64 assists in the match, while her four kills were also a personal best.
"I'm proud of our team tonight because they stayed in the fight against a great opponent," Coach Jona Braden said. "We never gave up against a very tough Butler squad. This type of atmosphere is something you can never duplicate in practice.
"It was obvious that our team was really starting to gel around our new setter," Braden continued. "That, coupled with excellent play from April Barnhorst and Aleisha Craven, made the difference for us."
Kentucky returns to SEC action on Sunday, Oct. 21, when it travels to Columbia, S.C., to take on the 22nd-ranked South Carolina Gamecocks at 2 p.m.