Wildcats Fall to No. 2 Hawaii in Close Match
Amy Kaplan leads UK in final match with 11 kills.
The University of Kentucky volleyball team closed the 2003 volleyball season with hard-fought match against No. 2 Hawaii, which saw the Cats fall 3-0 in a tight battle. Kentucky ends the season with a 14-18 record after playing three of its final four matches against top-three teams.
Amy Kaplan had a season high 11 kills on .455 hitting in the battle, while senior Sissy Canfield had eight kills on .300 hitting in her final UK match. Fellow senior Liz McCaslin closed her career with five kills and four digs, while Julie Davis ended with four kills, two digs and two blocks.
Kentucky hit .216 to UH's .338 in the match, while Kim Willoughby led the Rainbow Wahine with 18 kills and 13 digs.
After dropping the first point of the match, Kentucky tied it with a quick kill by Canfield. The Cats took their first lead of the game at 6-5, but Hawaii quickly countered to tie it at seven. After falling behind by three at 17-14, Kaplan put down three kills in a six-rally stretch to help UK to a 20-17 lead, forcing a UH timeout.
The Rainbow Wahine came out of the break to take three straight points, evening the score at 20. After another tie at 22, Hawaii regained the lead at 23-22 after a UK back row attack call. The teams traded points several times down the stretch before UH earned a two-point edge at 28-26, forcing a Kentucky trip to the bench. Hawaii ended the game quickly from there, taking the last two points to win the game, 30-26. UK hit .341 in the game to UH's .381, while Kaplan led the team with five kills on .556 hitting.
Kentucky fell behind 8-3 to start the second game, but regained its footing and cut the lead to three at 14-11 on a Danielle Wallace shot. Capitalizing on Wildcat miscues, the Rainbow Wahine was able to stretch its lead to six at 18-12, forcing a UK timeout.
The Cats came out of the timeout and took the next three points in commanding form off kills by Kaplan and Davis and a block assist by the duo. UH was able to push out to an eight-point lead at 24-16 after multiple plays involving the All-American Willoughby.
Hawaii allowed UK to score just two more points before taking the game at 30-18. Kentucky hit just .136 in the game to the Wahine's .421.
Play was close to start the third game, with the teams seeing four early ties. UH went ahead at 7-6 and controlled the game from there, leading by as six on several occasions. Down 19-13, Kentucky cut the advantage to three at 19-16 on a Kaplan kill.
Kentucky was able to whittle the advantage to two at 25-23 on a rally that included two big digs by Kirby Newhouse ending in a kill by Canfield. Hawaii put the Cats back down by four at 27-23, forcing a UK timeout. UK returned to cut it to two again at 28-26 with two kills by Julie Gagnon, a career high, but UH used a Willoughby shot down the line to take the match with the 20-27 win.