Wildcats Rally to Upset No. 15 LSU on Senior Day
Nov. 14, 2010
LEXINGTON, Ky. - Thirteen timely kills on a remarkable .500 hitting percentage in the final set of action propelled the Kentucky volleyball team to a thrilling 3-2 (25-23, 21-25, 25-23, 18-25, 15-11) upset of No. 15 LSU, Sunday at Memorial Coliseum on Senior Day. The senior duo of Lauren Rapp and Blaire Hiler both posted double-figure kill efforts to help guide UK to its first win over a ranked foe this season.
Rapp totaled 17 kills on .279 hitting while accounting for 10 digs for a double-double effort. The Indianapolis native also added four blocks and a career-best six assists. Hiler scored 11 kills, including three in the decisive fifth stanza.
"I'm really proud of them (Rapp and Hiler) because they played with a lot of emotion," UK coach Craig Skinner said. "They've been major factors for this program throughout their four years here and they've given everything they've had. This program is forever indebted to them, and we know they're always going to be Kentucky Wildcats."
Kentucky improves to 16-12 overall and 10-8 in Southeastern Conference action, while LSU falls to 23-3 and 14-3 in league action.
Rapp began the scoring in the decisive fifth frame, but LSU quickly responded by scoring the next two points. The teams exchanged points back and forth until UK shook loose with a kill from freshman Whitney Billings to give UK a 5-4 edge. The Blue and White forced the Tigers into an erroneous attack and then had Hiler and junior Gretchen Giesler strike for consecutive kills to lift the UK to an 8-4 edge into the switching of sides.
LSU pulled to within 10-7, but sophomore Christine Hartmann found a spot with a dump to immediately increase the home team's lead back to four. Rapp gave the Wildcats match point at 14-10 with her 17th kill of the match. LSU was able to save match point once before Hiler struck for a match-clinching slam. Fittingly, the final two points of the match for the home team were scored by UK's seniors.
Kentucky torched the Tigers with 13 kills on a blazing .500 hitting percentage in the final set. Rapp scored five kills to lead the way.
Billings led the Wildcat attack with 18 kills on .255 hitting while adding 14 digs for her seventh career double-double. Hartmann dished out 53 assists and scooped up a career-best 16 digs for her fourth straight double-double. Giesler was the fourth Wildcat to reach double-figures in the kills' column with 10 hammers on .348 hitting. Giesler also added a match-best six blocks. Junior Becky Pavan notched nine kills on a team-high .350 hitting.
Sophomore libero Stephanie Klefot picked up a match-high and career-best 29 digs to lead UK's back-line defense that had four players tally double-figure numbers. Freshman Jessi Greenberg contributed seven digs, and junior Ann Armes provided quality serving, an assist and a dig in two sets of action down the stretch.
UK struck first with an opening set win behind a 25-23 margin. Kentucky scored 18 kills on .314 hitting in the set, led by four each from Pavan and Giesler.
LSU grabbed the lead early, but UK rallied to tie the score at nine following a solo rejection from Pavan. Kentucky broke open a tie score for a 13-10 lead as Rapp and Giesler teamed up for a block. The Tigers continued to fight and tied the score at 16 and promptly went up 20-17. The Wildcats scored four of the next five points to even the score at 21. The teams would go on to exchange points until Hiler closed out the frame with the final two points of the set for a 25-23 win.
The visitors fired back and tied the match at one set apiece with a 25-21 second set win. LSU scored 17 kills and limited UK's offense to just 11 hammers on .250 hitting in the frame.
Out of the break, Kentucky reclaimed the lead with another 25-23 set score in the third stanza. The set featured just four tie scores and two lead changes as Billings erupted for eight kills in the set. UK tallied 16 kills on .310 hitting and added four blocks.
Hiler began the scoring in the third frame and UK would quickly earn a 7-2 advantage with Kentucky notching four kills in the run. The Wildcats maintained a lead throughout the entire set until LSU eventually tied the score at 19 and then promptly took the lead at 20-19. Kentucky would earn back the lead at 23-22 following a mishit from the Tigers. UK went up 24-22 behind another kill from Billings, but the Tigers were able to fend off the win for one point before Billings ended the frame with a thunderous slam.
LSU controlled the fourth set with 15 kills on .233 hitting to force the deciding fifth stanza. Kentucky managed just 10 kills on .045 hitting with Billings and Rapp each scoring three kills.
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