Volleyball Falls at No. 12 LSU
The University of Kentucky volleyball team dropped a 3-0 (30-27, 30-27, 30-25) decision at No. 12 LSU tonight, Oct. 20, to fall to 12-7 on the year and 5-6 in the Southeastern Conference. The Tigers improve to 17-3 overall with a 9-2 mark in league play.
Sophomore outside hitter Ashlee Fisher led the Wildcats and was the only player to reach double-figures with 12 kills. Junior middle blocker Nicole Britenriker added eight kills and eight digs, while freshman Heather Hausfeld recorded six kills and three digs on .333 hitting. Senior libero Jenni Casper led the Wildcat defense with 19 digs, while freshman BriAnne Sauer added eight scoops. Freshman setter Sarah Rumely had six digs and three kills to go along with 38 assists on the night.
LSU sweeps the season series with the Cats after taking the earlier showdown in Lexington by a 3-1 final. The Tigers out-hit the Wildcats .302-.162 in the rematch.
The Tigers jumped out to an early 5-1 lead but the Wildcats battled back with the aid of back-to-back kills by Tess Edwards to pull to within four at 10-6. The Tigers pushed the lead back to six at 16-10 before a kill by Melissa Popp started a Kentucky run that would cut the LSU lead to just two at 18-16. Popp and Britenriker led the Wildcat rally, but LSU pulled away again. The Cats would not go away and made it a two-point game again at 23-21 after a put-down by Popp. The Tigers answered with a 5-0 run to take a 28-21 lead, but the Cats answered with a 5-0 run of their own behind a kill by Popp and four straight LSU errors to make it a 28-26 affair. The Tigers, however, would go on to take the opener by a final of 30-27.
The teams played evenly from the opening serve in game two. Neither team led by more than two until the Tigers took a 14-11 lead on a hitting error by Sarah Rumely. An LSU serving error followed by a kill by Heather Hausfeld and an ace by Ashlee Fisher tied the game at 14-14. Kentucky took its first lead of the game at 16-15 on an LSU attack error and pushed its lead to as many as four on the strength of a Britenriker kill and an ace by Jenni Casper to make it a 22-17 Wildcat lead. The Tigers scored four straight to pull to within one at 22-21 and eventually tied the score at 26-26 on an ace by Marina Skender who leads the SEC in that category. The Wildcats answered with a put-down by Hausfeld to take a 27-26 edge, but the Tigers scored four straight points to end the game and take a 2-0 lead in the match with a 30-27 win in the stanza.
The Tigers came out hot in game three, leading 7-1 to force a Kentucky timeout. The Wildcats railed off four straight points after the break on a kill by Rumely followed by three straight putdowns from Fisher to make it a 7-5 game. LSU then made a 10-4 run to take a commanding 17-9 lead but the Wildcats continued to fight back. A kill by Britenriker started a Kentucky run that saw the Cats come within seven at 22-15. A pair of kills by Edwards and three straight Tiger attack errors capped a 5-0 Kentucky run to make it a three-point contest at 24-21. Hausfeld added a kill to cut the LSU lead to 24-22 and force a Tiger timeout. Following the break, Julie Gagnonís ace and a kill by Britenriker made it a three-point LSU lead at 26-23, but the Tigers outscored the Wildcats 4-2 the rest of the way to take the third and final game by a final of 30-25.
The Wildcats return to action Sunday, Oct. 22, when they travel to Fayetteville to take on Arkansas. Game time is set for 2:30 p.m.