Kentucky Falls to Powerful Florida Gators Snap Up SEC Victory
The Florida Gators distinguished themselves as the dominant volleyball team in the Southeastern Conference Friday night with a decisive 3-0 victory over the Kentucky Wildcats at Memorial Coliseum.
Kentucky (4-13, 2-4 SEC) unveiled a new offensive scheme that it had been working on in practice. Despite the final outcome of the match, head coach Jona Braden was pleased with the Cats effort.
"I am very proud of the team. Florida is a really solid team. There were no holes and we were up against a great team," Braden said. "We fought hard and remained focused, despite our changed offense."
Florida (14-3, 6-0 SEC) opened game one with a barrage of kills, with most of the damage being done by the trio of Aurea Cruz, Nicole McCray and Benavia Jenkins. UF took the games first 14 points before the Cats could put a scratch on the scoreboard. UF took game one 15-3.
Game two proved to be much of the same. UK took the opening point before Florida took 14 of the next 16. UF hit a match high .419 percentage en route to winning the second game 15-5.
Megan Weiskircher reaped the benefits of the new offense in game two as the senior middle blocker came alive for UK in game two, posting a game-high six kills.
The final game proved to be the most exciting as the Cats were determined to salvage their wounded pride. Florida jumped out to a 13-3 lead, but UK battled back to close the gap to two points at 11-13. However, that was as close as UK would get as Florida won the next side out and took the next to points to close out the match.
Aurea Cruz paced the Gators with 11 kills on 20 attempts for a .450 hitting percentage. Niki Hartley added 8 kills in addition to her match-high 10 digs. Benavia Jenkins tallied seven kills for UF. The Gators were tough at the net blocking 12 UK attempts.
UK was led by Kristen Batt and Megan Weiskircher. The tandem combined for 23 kills, 12 by Batt and 11 by Weiskircher. Whitney Sample and Batt led the Cats with seven and six digs, respectively.
The Big Blue will look to end its losing streak on Sunday when the University of
Georgia visits Memorial Coliseum. Game time is scheduled for 2 p.m. ET.