Volleyball Falls to No. 8 Florida on Senior Day
LEXINGTON, Ky. – The Kentucky volleyball team dropped a 3-0 (30-28, 30-19, 30-22) decision to No. 8 Florida on Senior Day Sunday at Memorial Coliseum in the regular-season home finale for the Wildcats.
Kentucky (20-9, 11-7 Southeastern Conference), which honored seniors Kathleen Bowler (Naperville, Ill.) and Nicole Britenriker (Cincinnati, Ohio) following the match, was led by Britenriker’s 14 kills. She has tallied double-digit kills in each of the team’s 29 matches this season. Sophomore outside hitter Brooke Bartek (Lincoln, Neb.) followed with nine kills, while junior middle blocker Queen Nzenwa (Baltimore, Md.) added eight put-downs.
The Wildcats, who came into the match tied for second in the SEC in blocking with Florida, recorded just three rejections in the game. Sophomore setter Sarah Rumely (New Palestine, Ind.) moved into sole possession of sixth place on UK’s all-time career assists list with 38 dishes in the match. She needs 17 more to move into the school’s all-time top five for assists.
The two teams battled evenly in the first game with ties at nearly every point before Florida’s Marcie Hampton and Angie McGinnis recorded back-to-back kills to put the Gators ahead 18-15 and force UK head coach Craig Skinner to burn a timeout. With Kentucky down 24-21 after an attack error by Rumely, Bartek and Britenriker recorded consecutive kills to bring UK within one, 24-23, heading into a Florida timeout.
Out of the break, freshman right-side hitter Lauren Rapp (Indianapolis, Ind.) registered a kill to knot the score at 24-all. Florida then scored three in a row to go up by three, 27-24, before the Wildcats used a 3-1 run of their own that included two kills from Bartek to cut within 28-27. The Gators closed out the 30-28 win on a put-down by Hampton.
Florida opened game two on an 11-7 tear after seven consecutive kills broke a 6-6 tie. Out of a timeout, Britenriker notched a kill to stop the scoring streak, but Florida extended its advantage to 16-10. From there, the Wildcats benefitted from three Gator errors and a Britenriker kill to cut within two, 16-14, and force Florida head coach Mary Wise to use a timeout. That would be as close as UK would come in the second game, as Florida led by as many as 10 (26-16) and captured a 30-19 game-two win.
The Gators scored five of the first six points of game three and took a 9-3 advantage into a timeout. Trailing 13-4, Hiler, Bartek and Britenriker recorded consecutive kills to cut within six, 13-7. Florida extended its lead out to 20-13 and won the third game 30-22.
Kentucky returns to action on Wednesday when it travels to Knoxville, Tenn., to take on the Tennessee Lady Vols. Opening serve is set for 7 p.m. EST in the Stokely Athletics Center.
Complete results and a recap will be available at ukathletics.com.