Kentucky Falls in Five to Wright State
Senior outside hitter Danielle Wallace tied her career high with 27 kills Saturday and freshman Queen Nzenwa added a career-best 20, but it wasnít enough as Kentucky fell to Wright State, 3-2 (30-14, 29-31, 27-30, 30-15, 15-17) in Memorial Coliseum.
Kentucky (4-2) had four players register double-digit kills, including 14 by middle Amy Kaplan and 10 by outside hitter Ashlee Fisher. Defensively, libero Jenni Casper led the effort with 24 digs while Melissa Popp set a career-high with 18 digs. The Wildcats out-hit the Raiders (3-4) .268-.165 and out-blocked them 13-7.
UK broke to an early 14-6 advantage in the first game on a kill by Wallace that forced Wright State to use an early timeout. Kentucky extended its advantage to 19-11 before back-to-back errors by the Raiders and a service ace from Popp sparked a 3-0 UK run to put the Cats ahead, 22-11. Two consecutive Wright State errors on Alisha Kimbro allowed the Wildcats to close out the opening game with a 30-14 victory.
Kentucky and Wright State battled evenly to begin the second game before the Raiders pulled ahead 10-8 on a kill by Sarah Poling. After the Wildcats evened the score at 13, WSU went on a 6-0 run before a service error by Nicole Scheltema ended the Catsí scoring drought. Kentucky tied the score again at 25. The two teams traded points before a kill by Julie Gunn gave the Raiders a 31-29 win.
In the third game, Kentucky took a 5-2 advantage, powered by two kills from Wallace. The Raiders rallied and evened the score at eight on a service ace by Beckie Lowery. The two squads traded points with neither team holding more than a two-point advantage before the Raiders closed the game on a 3-0 run for the 30-27 victory.
The Wildcats took a 10-5 lead to begin the fourth frame on a kill by Nzenwa. Back-to-back kills by Kaplan and Wallace extended UKís lead to 17-8 and forced Wright State to burn a timeout. Put-downs by Marcum, Wallace and Nzenwa gave the Cats a 17-point advantage, their largest of the game, at 29-12. After several WSU attempts to stave off game point, a kill by Wallace gave the Cats a 30-15 victory to force a deciding fifth game.
In the final frame, Kentucky took a 2-0 lead after a put down by Julie Gagnon before the Raiders rallied to tie the score at two. Kills by Kaplan and Wallace put the Cats ahead 5-3, but again Wright State rallied to tie the score at five. A kill by WSUís Kimbro gave the Raiders a 10-8 advantage forcing UK Coach Craig Skinner to take a late timeout. Out of the timeout, an attack error by Wright State and a crafty kill by Marcum allowed the Cats to pull even at 10.
After several more ties, the Wildcats reached match point at 14-13 before a Kimbro kill foiled the Catsí attempt to take the match. After a tie at 15, an attack error by the Wildcats and a service ace by Lowery gave the Raiders the game (17-15) and the match.
Kentucky returns to action Tuesday as it hosts Morehead State in Memorial Coliseum. Opening serve is set for 7 p.m. and live stats will be available on ukathletics.com.