Wildcat Volleyball Looks Impressive in 3-1 Win Over LSU
Nov. 5, 2002
BATON ROUGE, La. - In a match that saw the Kentucky volleyball team beat in nearly every statistical category, the Wildcats found a way to defeat Louisiana State, 3-1, on Tuesday, Nov. 5 in Baton Rouge, La. Kristen Batt turned in another stellar performance with 21 kills and nine digs.
Also performing well for the Wildcats (12-12, 6-7 SEC) was Amy Kaplan, who put down 13 kills on .455 hitting, while adding five blocks. Anne Koester proved herself a valuable force at the net, blocking eight balls, including two in the final moments of the match, while adding the match-winning kill. Another highlight for UK was Kristi Kelley, who added 12 digs to her 57 assists for her second double-double of the year.
Batt recorded her 1,000th career dig in the match's third game, becoming one of only three players in school history to have 1,000 kills and 1,000 digs in her career. She joins current UK assistant coach Katie Eiserman and Lisa Bokovoy in the elite club. She now has 1,316 kills and 1,007 digs, both ranking in the all-time top-10.
The Wildcats opened the match with a 2-1 advantage in the first game before falling behind 7-3 after several big Tiger blocks. LSU maintained its distance for much of the game but UK was able to tie it up at 14. A 4-0 Louisiana State run gave them a 21-17 lead and forced a Kentucky timeout.
The Cats couldn't seem to recover as the Tigers stretched their advantage to seven at 26-19, forcing UK to burn another timeout. The blue would cut the lead to five at 28-23, but a powerful LSU block gave the home team the 30-23 win. Canfield led the attack in the first game with seven kills and a .500 hitting percentage, while Kaplan put down six kills with a .645 percentage.
UK opened the second game with a 3-0 run before the Tigers tied things at six. After pushing through three more ties, UK took a 12-9 edge. The Cats stretched the advantage to four at 14-10 before the LSU squad began chipping away. The Tigers cut it to one at 15-14 but Kentucky remained strong, building back to a four-point lead at 20-16 on a Kaplan kill. The Cats continued to play well, finishing out the 30-25 win on a Tiger miscue.
Both teams returned from the halftime break with renewed intensity and battled hard early in the third game. After racing to five ties, the Wildcats broke out to a 15-11 advantage on a 6-2 run. The LSU squad took three quick points out of a timeout to cut the deficit to one at 15-14, forcing the Kentucky bench to call a timeout. After regaining its composure, UK kept its distance from LSU, fighting off several scares.
With Kentucky leading 23-20, the Tigers went to the bench again. Just when it seemed the Cats had closed the door on the game, LSU came barging in to tie the match at 25 before taking the lead at 27-26. After a UK timeout, the Cats refocused and used back-to-back kills to lead again at 28-27. The game would tie again at 28 and 29 before kills by Sarah Spinner and Kaplan sealed the win for UK, 31-29.
After trailing 1-0 to start the fourth game, Kentucky would take a 2-1 advantage and build from there. The Cats would lead by as many as five, using scrappy play to keep the Tigers at bay. LSU wouldn't back down, however, tying the game at 24. UK was unstoppable down the stretch as a combination of two kills by Batt, a kill by Koester and two huge blocks by Koester and Canfield sealed the 30-24 win.
Kentucky now leads the series 21-15 and has taken the last two matches in the series. UK returns to action on Thursday, Nov. 7 for its final home match against Morehead State. Play gets underway at 7 p.m. in Memorial Coliseum.