Kentucky volleyball nets 12th straight win in sweep


Sophomore Gabby Curry high-fives freshman Alli Stumler during the game against Tennessee on Thursday, Oct. 10, 2018 at Memorial Coliseum in Lexington, Ky. Kentucky won 3 sets to 1. Photo by Jordan Prather | Staff

Hailey Peters

Friday night proved that “Cats” are better than “Dawgs”— at least in volleyball. In the final game on its road trip, Kentucky volleyball swept the Georgia Bulldogs, extending the Cats’ win streak to 12 and improving their record to 15-4 (9-0 SEC).

The game started and ended with Kentucky playing consistently well in Athens. Georgia gave Kentucky a rough fight through all three sets, owning leads in several sets. The Wildcats pushed through a tough game that favored Georgia in attacks to win them the sweep in their road trip finale.

Kentucky started strong, taking the first point of set one. They kept the lead early on in the set with numerous kills and attack errors from Georgia. The Bulldogs managed to score several points with Kentucky’s fair share of attack errors, but the Cats held the lead through the media-directed timeout, where the score was 15-10 in favor of the Cats. 

Through the remainder of the first set, Georgia attempted to close the gap and improve its hitting percentage, scoring two kills quickly following each other.

After UK freshman hitter Alli Stumler’s fifth kill of the set, Georgia opted for a timeout. Immediately following the timeout, Stumler scored her sixth, which prompted yet another timeout from the Bulldogs. The Bulldogs fell to the Cats in set one, scoring 18 points.

The first two points of set two went to Kentucky, as a result of a service ace by Stumler and a block from Madison Lilley and Brooke Morgan. Kentucky held on to the lead through the first couple rallies, but Georgia eventually tied it up at 6-6, taking the lead afterwards.

Their lead didn’t last long, as Kentucky took it back at 10-9. They’d hold the lead for the rest of the set and win it, 25-14.

The third set opened with two errors from Georgia, giving the Cats the initial lead. The Bulldogs fought back, trading points with the Cats. With three kills and another service ace, Kentucky finally managed to end the back-and-forth pattern, leading 10-6 at Georgia’s first timeout.

With an 8-1 scoring run, the Cats closed in for the sweep. Georgia continued substituting players in an effort to regain the lead and combat Kentucky’s high hitting percentage. The Bulldogs’ efforts lead them to score 10 kills and one ace in the set, but they still fell to Kentucky in the end, claiming just 17 points in the final set.

Stumler, along with Leah Edmond and Morgan, led the match in kills, scoring nine each. The Cats collectively scored 42 kills as opposed to Georgia’s 27. With seven total aces, 11 total blocks and over triple the hitting percentage, the Wildcats gave the Bulldogs a challenge they could not overcome.

The Wildcats will return home on Sunday, Oct. 28, when they will face the South Carolina Gamecocks in Memorial Coliseum at 1:30 p.m.