Crowd helps carry the Cats in sweep over Gators


The Kentucky Wildcat’s volleyball team huddles up after the match against Florida on Wednesday, Oct. 31, 2018 at Memorial Coliseum in Lexington, Kentucky. Kentucky swept the Gators winning the first three sets. Photo by Jordan Prather | Staff

The game between the no. 11 Gators and the no. 12 Wildcats was bound to be one of the biggest games of the season, and it brought a great crowd along with it. The city of Lexington had moved its trick-or-treat hours to earlier in the week, which certainly helped bring more members of Big Blue Nation for the SEC rivalry matchup. 

Florida’s orange wasn’t the only reason the color was floating throughout Memorial Coliseum the holiday brought fans wearing their pumpkin attire and Halloween costumes. As always, the UK band brought its enthusiasm as well as celebrated Halloween with costumes:

Aside from being fundamentally sound in almost every area of play, Kentucky head coach Craig Skinner emphasized how important the crowd was in helping them win. 

“A lot of credit to their fans, they came and supported us and were into it, loud, and I think when you have that many people watching you want to get locked in,” Skinner said. 

Senior middle hitter Brooke Morgan, who tallied five kills, four blocks and was a force up the middle for the Cats, said the crowd’s energy helped carry her team’s momentum throughout the game.

Helping extend their runs is a reason setter Madison Lilley appreciated the crowd tonight, and she said she thinks it helped give them an extra spark. 

“We can go on three point runs and we can extend them to five, six points with the crowd and everything,” Lilley said. “When we get in ruts and they (Florida) were going on runs, the crowd can step in and it kind of gives us like the push we need. So it’s really fun and it’s cool to have this exposure to our sport.”

Leah Edmond said the crowd reminded her of last year’s tournament time. 

“I think just having the energy from the crowd and having them cheer us on just as much as we’re cheering on the court is just really helpful and it’s loud and kind of messes with the other team as well, so that’s always nice,” Edmond said. 

Kentucky will return to the court on Sunday as the Cats take on Ole Miss on the road at 2:30 p.m.