No. 5 Kentucky remain perfect in SEC play; defeat LSU 3-1


Kentucky Wildcats middle blocker Azhani Tealer (15) hits the ball during UK’s home opener against Northern Iowa on Friday, Sept. 3, 2021, at Memorial Coliseum in Lexington, Kentucky. UK won 3-0. Photo by Jack Weaver | Staff

Cole Parke

No. 5 Kentucky (12-3) defeated LSU (7-11)  3-1 on the road to remain undefeated in conference play.

Despite the first three sets being close, an 8-0 run early in the fourth helped boost the ‘Cats to a  win in the fourth set for a 3-1 victory. 

Madi Skinner led the Wildcats with 16 kills, while Alli Stumler followed close behind with 15. LSU finished with more attacking and service errors than Kentucky, with several errors at pivotal moments throughout the contest contributing to the final result.

LSU was able to keep the first set close and tie it several times, until an attacking error by Kylie Kuyava-Deberg sparked a 5-0 run for Kentucky. Both teams traded 3-0 runs, but  a final 2-0 run by Kentucky was topped off by another attack error by Kuyava-Deberg, giving Kentucky a 25-20 win in the first set.

In the second set, the score remained close with neither team leading by more than three points at any time. Kentucky did manage to get a lead midway through the match, but LSU quickly retook it. A service error by LSU’s Taylor Bannister tied both teams at 23, but a kill by Kuyava-Deberg was followed by an attack error by Skinner to give LSU a 25-23 win and to tie the contest 1-1.

Set three began similarly to the second, until a 3-0 run by Kentucky put them up 16-12. LSU fought back and after trading scores, a 3-0 run by the Tigers got them back within two points. Kentucky would hold their lead and win the third set 25-20.

LSU started the fourth set on  a 3-0 run, but an attack error by Kuyava-Deberg started what would ultimately be an 8-0 run for the ‘Cats. LSU would bring it back to three points before another 5-0 run by Kentucky nearly sealed the deal.

Despite their best efforts, the Tigers couldn’t recover, as a kill by Bella Bell ended the match and gave the ‘Cats a 25-16 win in the set, and a 3-1 win overall.

Kentucky will stay in Baton Rouge as the ‘Cats face LSU again tomorrow, with the match beginning at 9 p.m. E.T.