Barnhorst Leads Volleyball Cats in Sweep of Mississippi State
Oct. 28, 2001
STARKVILLE, Miss. - The University of Kentucky volleyball team evened its Southeastern Conference record at five with a sweep of Mississippi State on Sunday, Oct. 28, in Starkville, Miss. The Wildcats took the match 30-25, 30-21, 30-21.
Sparking the UK attack was senior April Barnhorst, who hit perfectly in the first two games and finished the match with a career-high .833 hitting percentage on 10-12 hitting. Freshman Sarah Spinner put down 11 kills and 10 digs for her ninth double-double of the year. Kentucky's .366 hitting percentage was a season high as well.
The teams played closely early in the first game, breaking through eight ties before MSU went on a 4-0 run to force a UK timeout with the Cats down 12-8. Kentucky regained the lead at 18-17 and built from there, forcing a Bulldog timeout after a Sissy Canfield kill put UK up 22-19. MSU stayed in the hunt, however, pulling within one several times down the stretch before Kentucky sealed the game on a Sarah Spinner shot down the left side, 30-25.
The Bulldogs seemed to have Kentucky's number early in game two, taking a 7-4 lead before three quick April Barnhorst kills put UK back in the hunt. Mississippi State rebuilt its lead to 15-12, before the Wildcats went on an 8-1 run, including three Anne Koester kills, to force a MSU timeout at 21-16. Four quick UK points, three of which Barnhorst played a key role in, forced another Bulldog timeout. The Dogs scored four in a row to force a Wildcat timeout just two points from the game win, but a Canfield kill down the middle would seal the win for UK, 30-21.
Kentucky started sluggish in game two, but made up for it to start the third game, busting out to a 10-4 lead with key kills coming from Kristen Batt and Barnhorst. Mississippi State fought back, cutting UK's lead to two at 11-9 and forcing the Wildcats to talk it over.
The Cats rebounded after the timeout as Koester found the ground twice in Bulldog territory to help UK to a 19-12 advantage and force a MSU timeout. The Bulldogs cut UK's lead to four at 24-20, but the Cats stayed strong, finishing out the game, 30-21, and match on a Sissy Canfield kill.
"This was an excellently executed match from all standpoints," Coach Jona Braden said. "Everything flowed so well out there. We knew MSU would be coming at us from all angles, but every person just made extremely good decisions out there today."
The Wildcats return to action on Friday, Nov. 2, when they play host to the Tennessee Volunteers at 7 p.m. in Memorial Coliseum. The Cats will turn around and travel to Knoxville, Tenn. on Sunday, Nov. 4 to wrap up the series with the Vols.