Cats get another SEC win with victory over Alabama


Gabby Curry, Ashley Dusek and Madison Lilley celebrate a point during the match against Florida on Wednesday, November 1, 2017 in Lexington, Ky. Kentucky lost 3-0. Photo by Chase Phillips | Staff

Keyera Jackson

UK volleyball continued their strong start to their SEC play on Wednesday evening with a win over Alabama in a 3-1 series (25-15, 25-23, 23-25, 25-19). 

UK gained a hot-hitting hand early in the first set and they rode that momentum to the end of the first set, however, service errors became an issue in the second set.

The score was kept close between both teams in the second set, as there were multiple ties, meaning that both teams were battling every possession.

Kentucky would start to pull away with a 3-0 run that gave the Cats a three-point advantage over Alabama 18-15 and sent them into a timeout. 

After the timeout, Kentucky continued setting up different looks at the net, which worked well in their favor because they were able to extend the score 21-17.

Alabama tried to change the momentum, and a kill from Mahalia Swink in between Kentucky’s blockers did just that. Errors by Kentucky then became an issue, and that allowed Alabama to find confidence as Leah Lawrence delivered an ace, and Alabama was back within one of Kentucky.

However, Kentucky held on to win the second set and got on the board first in the third set, however, Alabama was determined to force a fourth set.

Kentucky’s offense was set up and they were getting the kills they wanted, but Alabama took advantage of those service errors to keep the third set close. They took a lead over the Cats 12-9 and that sent Kentucky into a timeout. 

After the timeout, Kentucky managed to set their hitters up for big finishes at the net, and retake the lead. However, Alabama continued to take advantage of the points Kentucky’s service errors, and Alabama won the third set.

Going into the fourth set, Alabama’s energy was high coming off of the last set win, and Kentucky needed to find a way to continue to fight, even if everything did not go in their favor.

Alabama did not make that task easy for them, and players Swink and Lawrence found their rhythm offensively, hitting around Kentucky blockers.

There were multiple ties, lead changes and joists at the net, because both teams were fighting to establish a lead for their team. However, Kentucky found a way by making adjustments at the net, so they could have different looks.

A service error in crucial time for Alabama and then a kill by Avery Skinner set their lead 20-17, and then Kentucky ran with that lead and closed the fourth set.

Next up, the Cats will play Auburn on Sunday, Nov. 12 at 2:30 p.m.