Volleyball Cats Eliminated from SEC Tourney with 3-0 Loss to No. 3 Florida
Nov. 22, 2002
FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. - The University of Kentucky volleyball team was eliminated from the 2002 Southeastern Conference Tournament on Friday, Nov. 22, after falling 3-0 to the No. 3 Florida Gators in Fayetteville, Ark.
Kentucky as led by junior Liz McCaslin, who came off the bench in the second game to record 7 kills on .316 hitting. Setter Kristi Kelley also performed well for UK, recording four kills on .300 hitting with 23 assists, six digs and three blocks. UK hit just .063 in the match to Florida's .301.
"First off, I have to congratulate Florida," Coach Jona Braden said. "The things we felt like we needed to do, we did. We improved our serving, but when they got on a run, we had a hard time fighting back. Their transition game didn't allow us to get into a rhythm."
After opening with a 1-0 lead in game one, Kentucky fell prey to a 3-0 Gator run. Behind 4-1, UK tied the game at five before UF used an 11-5 stretch to force a UK timeout with Florida leading 16-10. UK ripped off three straight points out of the timeout, including an Anne Koester ace, to cut the lead to three at 17-14. A 6-0 run from the Gators would put Kentucky down 23-14, forcing another Wildcat timeout. The Gators closed out the game with a 30-19 win. UK hit -.088 to UF's .222 in the opening bout.
The Cats opened the second game with solid play, taking a 3-2 lead early with a block assist by Sissy Canfield and Koester. The teams saw four ties early before Florida gained some distance, taking a 17-11 lead, forcing a Kentucky timeout. The Cats continued to play hard, but couldn't cut the lead down more than six, as they called another timeout down nine, 25-16. Florida closed out the game, 30-19, to take a 2-0 lead at the break. Off the bench, McCaslin had four kills for UK in the second game.
After forcing three timeouts early in the third game, UK fell behind 16-8 to the Gators. After a UK timeout, Florida continued to build its lead, using five straight points to stretch its edge to 21-8. Kentucky was never able to recover from the large deficit, dropping the match with the 30-17 loss in game three.
Kentucky returns to action on Friday, Nov. 29 when the Wildcats travel to Orlando, Fla., to face Central Florida at 7 p.m. UK will then stay in Orlando on Saturday, Nov. 30, to face Houston at 4:30 p.m., closing out the 2002 season.