UK Volleyball Defeats Morehead State in Spring Action
The Kentucky volleyball team registered an impressive 19 service aces Friday en route to a 3-1 (30-18, 27-30, 30-10, 30-25) win over Morehead State in spring action in Memorial Coliseum.
Three Wildcats notched double-digit kill totals in the win as departing senior Amy Kaplan (Cary, Ill.) led the way with 14 put-downs on .458 hitting, while rising sophomore Ashlee Fisher (West Bend, Wisc.) had 13 and classmate Queen Nzenwa (Baltimore, Md.) added 12. Nzenwa also had seven aces in the match.
Sophomore Alisa Pierce (Louisville, Ky.) led the way defensively, posting a match-high 17 digs to complement three aces, while senior Melissa Popp (Indianapolis, Ind.) registered a five service aces to complement 12 digs. Sophomore setter Tess Edwards (Ottowa, Ontario) dished out 43 assists.
“I am pleased that we have definitely gotten better in all of the things we have been working on this spring,” UK head coach Craig Skinner said. “We have worked really hard all winter and spring on improving on specific skills and we have made big strides in those areas. This was a good match to finish up the spring on. Morehead State did some good things, but I thought that we did a nice job of executing at a high level for most of the match.
The Wildcats opened to a quick 3-1 advantage in the first game after a resounding block by Edwards and Nzenwa. After Morehead State narrowed the Cats’ lead to 5-4, Kentucky went on a 3-0 run capped off by an attack error by the Eagles that moved UK ahead 8-4. The Wildcats kept rolling to move ahead 12-6 on a kill by Pierce on the left side. Kentucky continued to thrive offensively to extend its advantage to nine, 23-14, as Nzenwa drilled a kill down the middle. Bowler followed with a pair of aces to put UK up 26-16 and the Cats closed out a 30-18 game-one victory.
The two teams battled evenly to begin game two, with Morehead State taking an 8-7 advantage on an attack error by Popp. From there, Kentucky went on a 5-0 run to go ahead 12-8 on an error by the Eagles. The Wildcats led by as many as four, 14-10, but Morehead State closed the gap to come within one, 15-14. The Eagles tied the score at 18 and broke a 19-19 tie with a 6-1 run to move in front 25-20 on back-to-back reception errors by senior Jenni Casper (Louisville, Ky.). Morehead State took the second frame 30-27 heading into intermission.
Kentucky broke to a 13-9 advantage in the third game and a kill by Popp moved the score to 14-9. From there, the rising senior ran off eight consecutive service points to extend the Cats’ advantage to 22-9. The Eagles were able to only manage one point throughout the rest of the game, which UK won 30-10. Nzenwa had six aces in the game.
The teams again battled closely to open the fourth game. A kill by Morehead State’s Ashley Doscher and an attack error by Fisher moved the Eagles in front 12-10. Kentucky tied the score at 13, but the Eagles again extended their advantage to three, 17-14. A Kaplan kill brought Kentucky within one, 21-20, before Casper drilled an ace to knot the score at 21. After three more ties, the Cats went ahead 25-23 on a Julie Gagnon (Wheaton, Ill.) ace and Nzenwa followed with a put-down. The Cats went on to win 30-25 on back-to-back service aces by Pierce.
Kentucky opens its 2006 regular season Aug. 29 when it plays host to intra-state foe Western Kentucky. Opening serve in Memorial Coliseum is set for 7 p.m. ET. Stay tuned to ukathletics.com for all of the latest information on UK Volleyball.