Wildcats Continue to Shine with 3-1 Victory Over Central Michigan
The Kentucky volleyball team continued its strong play, taking a 3-1 victory over Central Michigan at the Purdue Mortar Board Premier in West Lafayette, Ind., Saturday, Sept. 18. With the victory, the Wildcats extend their win streak to six matches and move their season record to 8-2.
Danielle Wallace led Kentucky with a career-high 27 kills on .489 hitting for the match. The junior outside hitter added four blocks in the victory. Freshman Alex Montefalco had added 12 kills, while Sarah Spinner posted her sixth double-double of the season with 14 kills and 10 digs. Jenni Casper led Kentucky in digs for the ninth time this season with 17 scoops.
The squads battled close early in the first game, facing two quick ties before UK worked to a 7-3 lead on a Spinner ace. The Chippewas battled back, tying the game at nine after an error by Kaplan. After another quick tie, Wallace came alive to spark a 6-1 run to give UK a 17-12 advantage and force a CMU timeout. The Cats maintained their distance through the middle of the contest until a quick 3-0 run by Central Michigan force UK to burn a timeout.
The Chippewas were able to cut the lead to two twice down the stretch, including a late run at 29-27, but Montefalco sent a cross-court kill to the other side of the net to hand UK the 30-27 game one victory. Wallace led UK in the opening round with an astounding 10 kills on .444 hitting and two block assists. Marcum had two solo blocks in the game, which saw UK hit just .143.
Play stayed close to start the second game, with nine early ties taking the score to 10-10. After a 4-0 run by CMU pushed the score to 14-10, Kentucky called a timeout to regroup and quickly began to chip away at the Chippewa’s advantage. With the Wildcats threatening at 20-18, CMU used a timeout but couldn’t derail the comeback effort. Kentucky took three straight points to regain the lead at 21-20, forcing another Central Michigan timeout.
The Cats continued to roll from there, using scrappy play and powerful hitting to earn the 30-24 victory. Spinner had seven kills in the game to lead the Cats, who hit .469 in the stanza to CMU’s .229.
The third game saw Kentucky take an early 5-2 lead after three kills by Wallace and two by Spinner. CMU clawed back in, tying the action at six. After 11 more ties in the game, Central Michigan jutted out to a 22-19 lead, forcing a Kentucky timeout. The Cats cut the lead to two at 23-21, but the Chippewas rebounded stronger, pushing out to a 27-21 lead. UK took one more timeout, but couldn’t overcome the late deficit, falling 30-22. The Wildcat hit .316 in the losing effort, but CMU’s .500 performance was unstoppable.
The Wildcats dominated play to open the fourth game, capitalizing on Central Michigan errors to jut to a 11-4 lead, forcing a Chippewa timeout. Kentucky continued to roll from there, cruising to a 30-18 victory punctuated with a kill by Montefalco to hand UK the victory.
Kentucky now leads the all-time series with Central Michigan, 6-2, and has won the last four meetings.
The Cats return to action at 8 p.m. ET when it takes on host Purdue in tournament finale. Both teams enter the match with a 2-0 record in the tournament and will play for the title.