No. 12 UK Turns in Complete Team Effort to Sweep Ole Miss
Nov. 1, 2009
OXFORD, Miss. - In the most complete effort of the season the 12th-ranked Kentucky Wildcats rolled to a 3-0 (25-12, 25-15, 25-14) sweep of Ole Miss in Oxford, Miss., on Sunday afternoon. UK's victory at the Gillom Sports Center is the first since 2005 when the Blue and White swept the Rebels in Craig Skinner's first season as coach.
The Blue and White (22-1, 12-1) were simply phenomenal in all phases of the match charting 47 kills on a .396 attacking percentage. Defensively the Wildcats totaled 11 blocks and 49 digs.
"Today we clearly had all facets of the game working," Skinner said. "Our blocking was great, which has just been okay in the last few weeks. Defensively, BriAnne (Sauer) was unbelievable with 18 digs. Then Sarah Rumely, another senior, I thought distributed the ball great and I thought us hitting close to .400 on the road was great."
Sauer paced the back row effort with a match-high 18 scoops. Junior Laura Stokowski chipped in with seven and freshman Stephanie Klefot added four. At the net, sophomore Gretchen Giesler posted the third match of her career with seven blocks while adding a career-high six digs. Junior Lauren Rapp added six rejections while junior Sarah Mendoza contributed four.
Offensively, Mendoza paced the attack with a match-high 15 kills. Sophomore Becky Pavan posted nine hammers on a career-best .818 attack percentage. Rumely struck for six of her own while dishing out 33 assists and adding her UK-record 160 th career ace. Rapp and junior Blaire Hiler each had five kills to add to the distribution. Freshman Christine Hartmann chipped in with four assists in the final stanza of action.
To open the match the Wildcats immediately took advantage of an Ole Miss miscue to take the first point of the match. Rumely and Giesler teamed up for a rejection of a Rebel attack to take the 2-0 advantage before the home team got on the board. With the score at 2-1, UK would use a 6-2 run capped off by a kill from Hiler to take an 8-3 edge and force Ole Miss into an early timeout.
Ole Miss pulled to within 11-6, but the Blue and White charted a 6-2 run that was highlighted by a pair of blocks. Kentucky gained a 17-8 advantage midway through the opening frame, forcing Ole Miss to burn its final timeout of the first stanza.
The Rebels earned the first point out of the break on a service error by the Wildcats, but Hiler answered with her third kill of the set. After a Mendoza kill to make the score 19-10 in favor of the Blue and White UK earned the serve back. Rumely then notched her record-breaking 160 th career ace to take over sole possession of first place in the UK record books. Kentucky continued to roll in the set finishing the opening frame with a block by the team of Mendoza and Giesler giving UK a 25-12 set one win.
Kentucky totaled a .290 attack percentage and tossed down 11 kills in the stanza. But, it was the Blue and White defense that proved to be the difference in the opening set. UK limited Ole Miss to a -.032 attacking clip and forced the home team into nine hitting errors. The Wildcats charted four blocks in the set and 14 digs, including nine scoops from Sauer.
Much like the first set the Wildcats opened the frame by scoring the first points. Mendoza struck for a kill and then teamed up with Rapp for a block. Ole Miss pulled to within 7-6 on back-to-back blocks, but UK scored the next four points to take an 11-6 advantage. Kentucky scored all four of its points on kills including consecutive hammers from Pavan to force Ole Miss into a timeout.
Out of the break Ole Miss scored the first two points to pull to within 11-8, but Kentucky quickly responded with another lengthy run this time an 8-2 edge. The run was capped off by another signature Big Blue block by Giesler and Rapp to make the score 19-11 forcing Ole Miss into its final timeout. Kentucky continued to roll on its way to a 25-15 second set win.
Kentucky used a blistering .424 attack percentage and held Ole Miss to a mere .139 clip. The Wildcats charted 17 kills in the set with six different UK offensive players charting at least one blast. UK once again came up with four more blocks in the set to help stymie the Ole Miss attack.
After the intermission Ole Miss came out firing taking an early 5-1 edge which included a pair of blocks on UK's high octane offense. Mendoza ended the run with her 10 th kill of the match to begin a 7-0 run for the Blue and White giving the visitors an 8-5 advantage. Ole Miss finally broke the stretch with a kill, but UK quickly scored the next four points to earn a 12-6 lead and force the home squad into a timeout. Rumely and Pavan teamed up for consecutive kills in the stretch.
Ole Miss could never regain its composure as the Blue and White's offensive production continued to overwhelm the home squad. UK achieved another stretch of points to take an 18-9 advantage after consecutive kills from Mendoza and Rapp. Kentucky wrapped up the final set by a 25-14 margin behind 19 kills in the set and a .459 attacking clip.
The Wildcats return to action on Friday, Nov. 6 when they play host to Alabama at Memorial Coliseum. Match time is set for a 7 p.m. ET start. UK will also host Mississippi State on Sunday, Nov. 8 at 1:30 p.m. ET.
Stay tuned to UKathletics.com for the most up-to-date news, highlights and features from the Kentucky volleyball team.