Stumler, Paris set career highs in sweep of Arkansas


Kentucky sophomore Alli Stumler bumps the ball during the game against Louisville on Friday, Sept. 20, 2019, at Memorial Coliseum in Lexington, Kentucky. Kentucky won 3-0. Photo by Jordan Prather | Staff

Chandler Wilcox

The No. 15 ranked Kentucky volleyball team (16-6, 9-2 SEC) got back on track with a 3-0 victory over unranked Arkansas (8-15, 2-9 SEC) today in Memorial Coliseum, sweeping the Razorbacks 25-14, 25-12, and 25-19. Coming off a loss on Friday to Texas A&M, it was important for Kentucky to get back to its winning ways.

“It is always nice to play well,” UK head coach Craig Skinner said. “Just the things we did on the floor added layers of confidence.”

“I think overall it was a great match for us,” outside hitter Alli Stumler said. “We had some big efforts from the team all-around which helps a lot with confidence.”

Stumler was a big part of the Cats’ the victory Sunday afternoon as she was everywhere on the court, finishing the match with 15 kills and a career-high 20 digs.

“I like to be in control so it was nice,” Stumler jokingly said of her performance. “Learning from other players has been something that’s helped me catch on to what I need to do.”

The win against Arkansas counts for Stumler’s fifth double-double of the season.

“She had a really good effort and really good positioning on the court,” Skinner said of Stumler. “She rarely makes unforced errors and forces the other team to earn their points.”

Kentucky made an early emphasis to attack down the middle, something they were not able to do in the Texas A&M game as much. Middle blocker Kendyl Paris was a beneficiary of that, getting her career high in kills for an SEC match with nine.

“Kendyl every day in practice is ready to go and is doing all the things well to make good teams get to the next level,” Coach Skinner said.

In the loss on Friday, the Cats struggled with serving, and also in serve receive, hindering the flow of their offense. However, they were able to get back on track in that aspect of the game, tallying six aces and only giving up four to Arkansas.

“Our serving trajectory was much better than Friday night, which made a big impact on the game,” Skinner said. “We had a few drills in practice Saturday to improve that.”

Kentucky has four straight road games ahead of them, something they knew they had to get prepared for in Sunday’s game as it is a crucial stretch in the season.

“Knowing we don’t get the home crowd the next few games, it was important to figure out how to create our own energy in this game, which we were able to do,” middle blocker Kendyl Paris said.

The first game of the road stretch will be at Georgia, a team that handed Kentucky a loss at home a few weeks ago. First serve is set for Friday at 7 p.m. on SEC Network Plus.