Billings Tallies Double-Double in Sweep of Alabama
Nov. 11, 2011
TUSCALOOSA, Ala. - Led by a double-double effort from sophomore Whitney Billings the 18th-ranked Kentucky volleyball team tallied a 3-0 (25-20, 25-22, 25-20) sweep of Alabama on Friday evening. Billings struck for 11 kills on a .435 hitting clip and added 12 digs for her fourth double-double of the season.
With the victory Kentucky improves to 23-4 overall and 14-2 in conference action. Alabama falls to 11-17 on the year and 4-13 against league opponents.
Billings was one of three Wildcat attackers to reach double-figures in the kills' column. Junior Ashley Frazier led the way with 12 kills and senior Ann Armes totaled 11 on a blazing .421 clip. Senior Becky Pavan added eight kills and freshman Lauren O'Conner chipped in with five.
"I thought we terminated the ball really well tonight," UK coach Craig Skinner said. "Ashley, Ann and Whitney really led us offensively. Christine (Hartmann) did a nice job of distributing the ball again for us tonight."
Junior Christine Hartmann continues to direct the Wildcat attack in an impressive fashion with 38 assists as the Wildcats notched a .291 attacking percentage. Hartmann also posted six kills and seven digs. Junior Stephanie Klefot tallied a match-high 17 digs in the victory to lead the way defensively.
"I thought our defense got better as the match went on, and it was really good in set three to help us close out the match," Skinners said.
The Wildcats utilized a dominant offense performance to capture a 25-20 opening set victory. The Blue and White charted 20 kills on a sizzling .405 hitting clip with Frazier leading the way with seven hammers on a .667 percentage.
Kentucky opened the scoring with consecutive kills from Armes and Billings to lift the visitors to a lead it would never relinquish. The Wildcats stretched its lead to as many as seven at 19-12 following a kill from Frazier. Alabama pulled back to within three at 20-17, but UK closed the set on a 5-3 run highlighted by kills from O'Conner and Frazier to end the set.
UK tallied a 25-22 second set win to earn a 2-0 lead into the break. UK struck for 16 kills, but added a trio of blocks to the scoring. Four players charted three or more kills in the stanza to guide the Wildcats.
Kentucky broke loose for an early edge going ahead by three at 6-3 following consecutive kills from Frazier and Hartmann. Alabama responded and tied the score at nine. UK then earned a 9-5 run capped by a kill from O'Conner to stretch the gap to 18-14. Alabama pulled back to within one at 21-20, but the visitors did not falter and a final kill from Armes gave the Wildcats the set.
Alabama began the scoring in the third frame and stretched the swing to a four-point edge at 7-3. UK then charted an 8-0 run to capture a 12-7 lead it would not yield. In the run, Armes had three kills to lead the way for the visitors. Alabama fought back and climbed to within three at 21-18. Out of a timeout, Kentucky closed the set on a 4-2 run with Billings striking for three kills in the span including the match-winner.
The Wildcats totaled 17 kills on a .268 hitting clip in the final set. Armes led the way with five kills as UK had five players record two or more in the stanza.
Kentucky's Memorial Coliseum will play host to the NCAA Regionals Dec. 9-10. UK is one of four sites selected for Sweet 16 and Elite Eight matchups with one team advancing to the Final Four in San Antonio, Texas, from the Lexington Region.
Opening night matches are scheduled for 5 and 7 p.m. ET. Saturday's final is set for a 4:30 p.m. ET first serve.
Tickets are now on sale through the UK Ticket Office. All-Session Tickets are reserved for all ages at $14. General Admission tickets for adults are priced at $12 and students or seniors' general admission is slated for $8.
Single session tickets are priced at $8 for reserved for all ages. General admission for adults is priced at $7, with students and seniors priced at $5. Youth single session tickets are $4.
For tickets or more information feel free to call, 1-800-928-CATS. Visit UKathletics.com for the most up-to-date information on the UK volleyball team and all of Kentucky's 22 teams.