No. 3 Kentucky extends undefeated season after sweep of Ole Miss


Kentucky Wildcats outside hitter Avery Skinner (4) hits the ball during the UK vs. Ole Miss volleyball game on Friday, March 12, 2021, at Memorial Coliseum in Lexington, Kentucky. UK won 3-0. Photo by Michael Clubb | Staff

Barkley Truax

Kentucky swept Ole Miss 3-0 (25-21, 25-17, 25-11) Friday night, continuing their dominant streak of 36 straight set wins and improves to 15-0 on the season.

The Rebels headed into the first of two games against Kentucky with one win in 16 games on the season, while the Wildcats haven’t dropped a series since October.

That streak was on everyone’s mind inside Memorial Coliseum as Ole Miss went back-and-forth with the No. 3 Cats in the first set. Kentucky trailed 18-16 late, but errors by the Rebels allowed an opening for Kentucky who regained the lead, never looking back from there in the set.

Senior outside hitter Avery Skinner led the Cats in the first, being responsible for four points with three kills. Kentucky would also force seven errors from the Rebels throughout the set.

Heading into set two, it looked as though the Rebels came to Lexington determined to win. Kentucky knew they were going to get their money’s worth in this match.

Just as the first, Ole Miss traded points with the Cats throughout the set; though, this time around Kentucky found their rhythm. Kentucky stretched a 10-7 lead into an eight point victory in the second.

Skinner, alongside her fellow outside hitter Alli Stumler provided a calm presence for the Kentucky offense; behind their leadership, Kentucky stretched their lead from two to seven quickly. Stumler provided Kentucky with five kills and was responsible for seven points through two sets.

The Cats were back to looking like the No. 3 team in America in the third set. Skinner’s soft tip over the net, directly over Ole Miss’ first line of defense worked all night – and Kentucky abused the play in the third. 

A 7-1 run from Kentucky that gave them the edge 15-5 gave Ole Miss no chance to come back, as the Cats would win their 36th straight set easily, forcing their 11th straight sweep in 15 games this season. 

While Avery Skinner led the team with 12 kills, 24 tackles and was responsible for 14.5 points, her younger sister, freshman Madi Skinner brought her a-game tonight, adding a crucial 10 kills and 11 points overall, second most on the night behind her sister in both categories. 

“It was a lot more fun to be on the floor in the last two sets with those girls,” Madi Skinner said after the match.

Kentucky will be back in Memorial Coliseum tomorrow night as the Cats celebrate senior night at 5 p.m. against Ole Miss on SECN+