Wildcats Fall to Arkansas in SEC Tournament
The Kentucky volleyball team defeated Arkansas twice in one season for the first time since 1994, but couldn’t make it a third as the Wildcats fell, 3-1, to the Razorbacks in the first round of the 2005 Southeastern Conference Tournament in Tuscaloosa, Ala., Friday.
Danielle Wallace had 17 kills on .213 hitting for Kentucky (17-10). Senior Amy Kaplan and freshman Ashlee Fisher each added 10 kills and junior libero Jenni Casper led the defense with 14 digs. Freshman Queen Nzenwa had a team-best five blocks. Kentucky was out-hit by Arkansas, .226-.167 and the Razorbacks (14) doubled UK’s block total (7).
“We got out-played today,” UK Coach Craig Skinner said. “Arkansas was very good offensively and their ball handling was very good. It’s tough to beat a team that runs a 6-2 (offense) and passes every ball to target. We have to learn from this and get better for Cincinnati.”
Kentucky jutted out to a 7-4 lead in the first game on strong play from Wallace. Arkansas was later force to burn a timeout with the Cats leading 23-18. A Razorback serving error put Kentucky up 27-20 and the Wildcats used two Fisher kills down the stretch to earn a 30-22 win. The Cats hit .265 in the first game to Arkansas’ .077. Wallace led UK with six kills on .429 hitting.
Arkansas rebounded and took a 7-2 lead in the second game. After a Marcum error put Kentucky down 12-7, Skinner took a timeout. The Razorbacks took the next two points on kills and UK took its final timeout early. The Cats cut the lead to five at 20-15, but allowed unforced errors to dominate the game. Arkansas evened the match score with a 30-19 game two victory. The Cats hit just .121 in game two.
Play was extremely tight in the third game. Arkansas earned an early 3-1 lead, but Knetucky evened the score at 6-6. The game saw six ties follow before a 5-1 Arkansas run put the Hogs up 19-15. Kentucky battled back to cut the lead to one at 26-25, but allowed the Razorbacks to use a 4-1 run to close out the 30-26 go-ahead victory. Arkansas hit an astounding .438 in the third game to UK’s .202.
The Cats rattled off three easy points to open the fourth game, but allowed the Lady Backs to even the score at 4-4. Strong play by Arkansas and several UK hitting errors allowed the Razorbacks to build a 15-11 lead.
Kentucky fought back, using a 7-0 run to take an 18-15 lead on a kill from Kaplan. The Wildcats worked up to a 20-17 lead, but three unanswered UA points tied the score at 20. After Skinner whistled for a timeout, the Cats battled back from a 23-21 deficit to earn a 25-24 lead and force an Arkansas timeout.
Arkansas came back firing, taking a 28-26 lead on an attack error by Wallace. Wallace put down a kill to put the score at 28-27, but a kill from UA’s Jessica Dorell later put the Hogs on match point at 29-27. A kill from Kaplan kept UK in the match, but Karla Crose sealed the match for Arkansas with a kill for a 30-28 score.
Kentucky closes its 2005 schedule on Saturday, Nov. 26 when Cincinnati visits Memorial Coliseum for a 6 p.m. match.