Volleyball Wins Five-Game Thriller over Toledo
Weiskircher records triple-double to help UK end losing streak
Columbus, OH - Middle blocker Megan Weiskircher continued her all-around spectacular play for the University of Kentucky volleyball team with her first career triple-double and the Wildcats defeated the Toledo Rockets in the consolation match of the Buckeye Invitational, 3-2, on Sunday afternoon.
In the match at St. John Arena on the campus of The Ohio State University, Weiskircher posted the incredible line of 16 kills, 16 digs and 13 blocks to lead an improving UK attack that featured four hitters who reached double-figures in kills. The team hit at a season-high .245 percentage for the match.
Outside hitter Liz McCaslin established a career-high when with seven kills. Fellow sophomore Kristen Batt set a career-high with five service aces while also recording a season-high in kills for the second consecutive day. Batt delivered 18 kills against UT, day after knocking down 16 in a 3-0 loss to Illinois State.
Toledo (2-3) received its match-up with Kentucky (2-4) after losing to host Ohio State on Saturday. Ohio State and Illinois State were meeting for the tournament title directly following UK's victory over UT.
The Wildcats jumped out to a 1-0 match lead and broke a seven-game losing streak spanning three matches when they defeated the Rockets in game one, 15-11. The Cats showed continued improvement in their offense, connecting for a .225 hitting percentage with 16 kills and seven errors on 40 attacks. Middle blocker April Barnhorst led the way for UK with a game-high four kills and no errors. Batt also had four kills in the game. Toledo had 10 hitting errors and a .051 hitting percentage in the game, helping Kentucky to overcome a 10-8 UT lead as the Cats took seven of the last eight points for the game.
In game two, Toledo evened the match with an 18-16 win coming on its third game point situation. UK staved off five game points while trailing 14-11 before Whitney Sample served the Wildcats to four consecutive scores and a game point of their own. But the Rockets thwarted the Cats on the next attempt and battled back for the victory. UT was led by Lindsey Kretzmann who had five kills in the game on her way to a match-high 23. UK remains winless in game two this season, standing now at 0-6.
UK's blocking was particularly tough in game two as the Cats put the roof up over seven UT attacks, totaling 14 block assists in the game. Weiskircher increased her match total to seven with five block assists in the game.
Freshman Brooke Dodson made her first appearance of the match at the beginning of game three and helped the Wildcats out to a 15-12 win in the game with five kills. The game was one of streaks as UK jumped out to a 5-2 lead, only to have Toledo tie things at 5-5. The teams then traded points before the Cats went on a six point run to take a 12-6 lead. With Becky Rodomski and Jessica Burk each totaling six kills each in the game, UT went on another equalizing spurt to tie the match at 12-12. UK took its turn with the next run of the game and made it the last, scoring three straight points to take the 2-1 lead in the match. finished the match with 22 kills Both Weiskircher and Batt established double-doubles for the match with their play in game three. Batt had a season-high 13 digs to go with her 18 kills.
Toledo came out determined in game four to extend the marathon match into a deciding fifth game as, for the first time in the match, the Rockets out-hit the Cats (.313 to .171) and won the game, 15-10. The Wildcats recovered from a 2-0 hole to take a 3-2 lead, but UT scored the next six points for a 9-3 advantage. The UK outside hitters responded to the team's deficit as Dodson and Batt each pounded out four kills in the game to rally the Cats to a 10-10 tie. But Toledo weathered UK's pressure with its blanket coverage of the defensive court and took the final five points of the game.
With team statistics standing near even, the play in game five was just as squarely contested as UT and UK traded point for point in the rally scored finale. Toledo held two point leads of 10-8 and 12-10, but the game was separated by just one point or tied the rest of the time. The Rockets held match-points at 14-13 and 16-15, but the Cats remained tough with their defense and blocking. The difference in the game, and thus the match, was UK's .405 hitting percentage with just one error in game five while UT hit just .207 and had six errors.
Barnhorst finished the match with 15 kills while Dodson managed 10 despite
playing in just the last three games of the match. Toledo also had four
players with double-figure kill totals as Radomski's 22 kills fell one shy
of Kretzmann for the team lead.