UK volleyball gets back on track with a win over South Carolina


Emily Franklin & Darian Mack attempt to block a spike during the match against Texas A&M on Wednesday, October 11, 2017 in Lexington, Ky. Kentucky won 3-0. Photo by Chase Phillips | Staff

Keyera Jackson

After falling to conference-foe Florida on Wednesday, the UK volleyball team hosted the South Carolina Gamecocks attempting to get back on track. The Cats kept their composure after losing the first set and came back with a hot hitting hand to defeat the Gamecocks in a 3-1 series on Sunday. 

Putting the first set behind them, the Cats went into the second battling against the Gamecocks, and a kill by Leah Edmond to start the set gave UK the burst of energy they needed. 

The Gamecocks prevented the Cats taking over as they were able to set their offense and keep the set close.

However, the versatility of Kentucky’s players, Emily Franklin in particular, was a key element to the advantage they gained over South Carolina. Franklin contributed two important plays for the Cats that sent them on a 3-0 run.

The experience of Franklin was showcased as she played her game by reading the offense of the Gamecocks and slowing it with a block, then by delivering her own hard hitting ball that connected to the floor.

“Emily is very versatile offensively as a middle she can hit behind the setter, in front of setter, away from the setter, and well that’s Emily she’s consistent everyday,” head coach Craig Skinner said.

Franklin was not the only player who showcased her hitting ability. Edmond posted 19 kills in the match and Avery Skinner followed her with 15 more.

The Cats and the Gamecocks were tied with one set apiece and the third set the Cats continued that energy that won them the second set. The Cats were connecting to the floor, but defense was also a focus as they were able to throw the Gamecocks off their game with Edmond attacking from the back row.

Kentucky was able to get off to a 12-7 lead and they did not ease up the pressure by not letting South Carolina find rhythm.

The Cats got better every set and it all started with Franklin. She was consistent throughout the match playing her game and contributing on both ends of the floor, which served as an example for her team to follow and they did.

“I’ve been in the game for a long time and I just have a good volleyball IQ, and I always try to keep my confidence level up and others rise to the same level,” Franklin said.

Those other players rose to the occasion and the Cats were playing at their tempo and controlled the ball at the net. 

Next up for the Cats is a match against Alabama on Wednesday, Nov. 8 at 8 p.m.