No. 16 UK volleyball sweeps LSU, improves to 7-1 in SEC play


UK Athletics Director Mitch Barnhart and UK volleyball head coach Craig Skinner present outside hitter Leah Edmond with an honorary match ball commemorating her record-breaking 1,738th kill on Wednesday, October 23 in Memorial Coliseum before the LSU game. | Photo by Jordan Prather 

Chandler Wilcox

The Kentucky volleyball team swept LSU Wednesday night (25-17, 25-13, and 25-21) in Memorial Coliseum to improve to 14-5 on the season and 7-1 in SEC play. 

The sweep was the third in a row for Kentucky since the loss to Georgia at home that broke a streak of 29 straight wins in SEC play. The loss to the Bulldogs helped refocus the team leading to this stretch of wins.

“We’ve had more attention to detail in practice (since the loss) and have had more of a sense of urgency,” UK head coach Craig Skinner said. “Practice has been a lot sharper since.”

Kentucky once again had a lot of balance on offense, as three players had eight or more kills. Middle blocker Leah Meyer was a big part of that, having nine kills and a career high .750 hitting percentage.

“I felt really comfortable tonight,” Meyer said. “Madison (Lilley) was doing a great job getting the balls back behind her and the passers did a good job pushing the ball to the net.”

Not just Leah Meyer, but freshman outside hitter Azhani Tealer also had a big impact in the game, tallying seven kills. Tealer has played every set since coming in the third set of the Tennessee match last Wednesday when she had the game-winning kill, which has sparked her confidence.

“We work really hard and get a lot of reps in so I am confident in my training and my teammates,” Tealer said.

Tealer also gives a lot of credit to her improvement to learning from upper-classmen outside hitters Leah Edmond and Caitlyn Cooper. 

“They’ve been such a big help,” Tealer said. “Anything I do they are always giving me feedback so I am taking in all the advice that I can.”

UK Coach Craig Skinner also spoke about Tealer’s improvement, saying, “she’s been knocking on the door ever since she got here.”

Not just was Kentucky efficient on offense, but the Cats, who are allowing opponents to hit only .151 percent per game for first in the league, controlled the net once again and held LSU to just a .076 hitting percentage.

Edmond was recognized on the court before the game started and received an honorary match ball, presented by UK Athletics Director Mitch Barnhart and UK head coach Craig Skinner, commemorating her record-breaking 1,738th kill. Libero Gabby Curry was also recognized for recording her 1,000th career dig versus Georgia. 

The Cats have a challenge in the next game, as they go up against Ole Miss in Oxford, in a game that will have a big effect on the SEC race. The game will be Sunday at 2:30 pm on SEC Network Plus.