Volleyball Cats Knock Down Ole Miss, 3-1
Oct. 26, 2001
OXFORD, Miss. - The University of Kentucky volleyball team won its fourth Southeastern Conference match of the season with a 3-1 win over the Ole Miss Rebels on Friday, Oct. 26 in Oxford, Miss.
Leading the way for Kentucky (11-9, 4-5 SEC) was freshman Sarah Spinner, who posted 21 kills and a .366 hitting percentage in the win. Also shining for UK was sophomore setter Kristi Kelley, who tallied seven kills in 11 attempts for a .455 percentage to add to her 54 assists and 12 digs. Junior Kristen Batt had her eighth double-double of the season with 14 kills and 13 digs.
The first game saw its share of momentum shift as the teams saw a total of seven service errors before Ole Miss built a four-point lead at 16-12 to force a UK timeout. The Cats rebounded well, taking the next three points with two kills by Kelley and a Spinner shot to cut the lead to one.
The Rebels maintained a consistent two-point lead down the stretch before Kentucky tied it up at 26. Kentucky took its first lead at 27-26 on Kelley service ace. The teams would see three more ties in the game before UM took the game, 31-29.
Ole Miss continued its strong play into the second game, building a 6-2 lead before the Wildcats came chomping back. Three hitting errors by UM enabled UK to take the lead. The Cats built their lead to as many as five down the stretch forcing an Ole Miss timeout. The Rebels cut the lead to three at 28-25, but a kill by Kelley and an error on the UM side handed UK the game and tied things at one entering the break.
The second game marked the return of senior Whitney Sample following a two-week absence due to a broken finger. The setter saw game action just two weeks after her right pinky finger was surgically repaired.
The Cats took off in the third game, building to a 7-3 lead powered by three strong Anne Koester kills. Sissy Canfield added strong play with two kills and a block assist to advance UK to a 15-11 lead. After two Ole Miss timeouts, Sarah Spinner hammered down back-to-back kills to put the Cats up 24-15. UK sealed the game at 30-20 on a Kristen Batt kill to the right side.
Ole Miss grabbed an early 8-4 lead in game three before the Wildcats began to chip away. Kentucky managed to tie the game at 13 before kills by April Barnhorst and Batt helped put the Cats up 16-13, causing a Rebel timeout. More strong play by UK, including back-to-back Spinner kills, forced another Ole Miss timeout with Kentucky leading, 22-14. Kentucky stayed strong down the stretch, grabbing the game and match win, 30-19, on an Anne Koester kill, her 12th of the evening.
"Our goal is always to step on the court and grow through a match," Coach Jona Braden said. "Mississippi was doing great executing offensively, and we were not taking care of that in the first game.
"We had some players to really respond well," Braden continued. "Kristen Batt and Kristi Kelley stepped up big for us. Our defensive effort made Ole Miss' offense fade."
The Cats return to action on Sunday, Oct. 28 when they continue their road swing at Mississippi State. Kentucky takes on the Bulldogs at 2 p.m. ET.