Kentucky Volleyball Drops Thriller with Volunteers, 3-2
Nov. 10, 2002
KNOXVILLE, Tenn. - The University of Kentucky volleyball team lost one of the most thrilling matches of the season, 3-2, against Tennessee on Sunday, Nov. 10, in Knoxville, Tenn. Four Wildcats had double-figure kills in the match, led by Sissy Canfield's 19. Aleisha Craven had a career-high 25 digs in the loss.
Kentucky (13-13, 6-8 SEC) also received excellent play from Kristen Batt with 16 kills and 20 digs, while Sarah Spinner had 17 kills and 11 digs. The Cats hit .199 on the afternoon to Tennessee's .202. The Vols move to 18-9 with the win and are 7-8 in SEC play.
The teams played closely to open the match seeing 10 ties before UK took a three-point lead at 14-11. A 5-0 Tennessee run gave them a 16-14 advantage, one they would keep for the remainder of the game, despite six service errors. The Volunteers won the first game, 30-20, for the early 1-0 match lead. Kentucky hit just .026 in the first stanza to UT's .400. After busting through six early ties in the second game, UK took the lead at 10-9 and built from there. With the Wildcats leading 18-14, UT took a timeout to talk things over. Back-to-back kills by Liz McCaslin helped UK in the run. The Cats continued to build on the lead, building to a six-point advantage at 23-17. The Vols cut it to four at 24-20, forcing a UK timeout.
Tennessee continued to put things together after the break, tying the game at 26 after a net violation by Kelley. Kentucky recovered, however, ripping off three straight points to face game point at 29-26 on a Canfield kill. The Vols would hold them there for two rallies, and the Wildcats would take their second timeout. Volunteer Kelli Scott would tie the match at 29 before an unusual kill by Aleisha Craven gave UK the 30-29 edge. A Wildcat block out-of-bounds let the Volunteers back in the door, but Kentucky would finally end the game with a Spinner kill two plays later for the 32-30 victory.
UK fell behind early in the third game, 7-3, but used a 6-1 run to take the 9-8 lead. The teams traded the lead several times before the Vols used a run to lead 23-20. A UT error let the Cats tie the match at 24. After tying the game again at 25, UK took the lead at 26-25 on a cross-court kill by Batt. The tight game would see five more ties before the Volunteers hammered a kill out-of-bounds off the Kentucky block for the 32-30 win.
Kentucky headed into the fourth game down 2-1 in the match, but wouldn't quit. After being down 5-2 early, UK rallied to take the 8-6 edge. The game saw nine ties from there before the Lady Vols gained a two-point lead at 20-18, forcing a UK timeout. The Cats rallied to tie the game five times after that before taking a 25-24 lead, causing a UT trip to the bench. UK ripped off four straight points to face the Vols with game point at 29-24.
A UT block and a Wildcat net violation kept them alive for two more plays before a Canfield kill gave UK the tying game, 30-25. The Cats hit .209 in the game to UT's .070 with Canfield putting down five kills.
Kentucky won the toss and elected to serve to open the fifth game. After taking the first point on a Kaplan ace, UK dropped three straight rallies to fall behind, 3-1. The Cats played at a deficit for much of the game and elected to use a timeout after the Vols took a 9-6 lead.
The Wildcats ripped off two consecutive kills and used a Tennessee error to tie the game at nine, but three UK miscues gave UT a 12-9 lead. With UT on match point at 14-10, three straight Kentucky points gave the Wildcats a ray of hope as Tennessee took a timeout to regroup. Kentucky came back to tie the game at 14 on a Spinner kill down the line before going up 15-14 on a Spinner slam through the block. The Vols returned from a timeout to rip off three-in-a-row for the 17-15 victory, devastating the Wildcats.
UK returns to action on Friday, Nov. 15 when the Wildcats travel to Athens, Ga., to face the Georgia Bulldogs at 7 p.m. UK will then face Florida in Gainesville on Sunday, Nov. 17 to close the SEC regular season.