Volleyball Cats Sweep Marquette
Team Earns First 3-0 Victory of Season
LOUISVILLE, Ky. -- In the next-to-last match of the season, the University of Kentucky volleyball team recorded its' first sweep, overpowering Marquette University 3-0 (15-13, 15-11, 15-9) Friday night at the Conference USA Challenge in Louisville.
The twelve-day layoff that followed the Nov. 12 victory over Tennessee did little to stop the Cats momentum as the Big Blue dominated play throughout the entire match. Megan Weiskircher and Kristen Batt carried the load once again for UK as both players posted double-doubles. Weiskircher recorded a match-best 16 kills and 15 digs while Batt added 15 kills and a team-high 17 digs.
"This was a good win for us," UK coach Jona Braden said. "It means a lot to win a match in three games."
UK (6-20) took a hard fought opening game 15-13. Weiskircher shouldered much of the load for the Cats as she posted game-highs with seven kills and 11 digs. After UK took the opening four points of game one, Marquette re-grouped to go on a seven-point run, forcing the Cats to use a timeout. Kentucky got into its' offensive groove, re-gaining the momentum, and a 12-7 lead. Keeping with the trend of game one, the Golden Eagles tied up the match at 12, forcing Kentucky to take its' second timeout.
Following the timeout, two kills by Weiskircher set up game point for the Big Blue, but Marquette fought off the Kentucky attack to earn a sideout, then won of a point of its' own to cut the UK lead to 14-13. However, the Cats earned a sideout, and Weiskircher served out the game to give UK a 1-0 lead.
Liz McCaslin and Kristen Batt aided in the Big Blue attack with 4 kills apiece as UK outhit UM .211 to .120.
Errors dug the Cats into an early 7-0 hole in game two. But UK slowly chipped away at Marquette's lead, and eventually tied the contest at eight. The Cats would not trail beyond that point, taking seven of the next ten points to win 15-11 and take a 2-0 match lead.
Batt led a balanced UK attack with six kills. April Barnhorst added five kills and a trio of Cats notched three apiece. Defensive specialist Candace Cogan reached double digits with10 digs in game two.
In the final frame, UK left nothing in doubt, jumping out to a 7-0 advantage and cruising to victory 15-9. Marquette fought hard, cutting Kentucky's lead to 11-9 at one point, but Kentucky remained poised and re-grouped to take the final four points and the victory.
Louisville natives Cogan and Aleisha Craven had nice homecomings, both recording double-figure dig numbers with 16 and 10, respectively.
UK outhit Marquette in each game, and for the entire match .233 to .112. The Cats recorded 59 kills to UM's 50.
UM (8-23) was led by Ann Lopata who notched a double-double with 13 kills and 19 assists. Liz Egasti, the Conference USA all-time assists leader, could only manage 40 helpers against the Cats stifling defense.
Kentucky will close out its 2000 season tomorrow night when they face intra-state rival Louisville at 7 p.m. at Cardinal Arena.