UK volleyball remains perfect in SEC-play with win over Mississippi State


Kaz Brown awaits the ball during the UK Women’s Volleyball game against Arkansas State at Memorial Coliseum in Lexington, KY on Friday, August 25, 2017. The Cats won 3 to 0. Adam Sherberg | Staff

Keyera Jackson

On Sunday afternoon in Starkville, Mississippi, the UK volleyball team battled with service errors but surpassed the mistakes as they swept the Mississippi State Bulldogs in a 3-0 win.

The Bulldogs started off strong against No. 10 UK by limiting their opportunities to set the ball. The Cats were down as much as 10-2 in the first set.

Service errors by Kentucky cut them short on every run they tried to establish against the Bulldogs. Mississippi State’s resiliency led to their established and maintained lead in first set.

Kentucky kept their composure, however, with the assistance of senior Darien Mack, who was able to finish big plays at the net for the Cats, which helped Kentucky battle back into this set.

Kentucky took their first lead late in the set at 22-21, with a big block by Madison Lilley. This block gace Kentucky the momentum the Cats needed to push ahead of the Bulldogs. UK won the first set 25-21.

In the second set service errors continued to be an issue for the Cats, but they were able to set their offense up and start controling the tempo of the match.

On the other end, they were also able to form their strategic defense and silence an impactful player for this Mississippi State team, Jelena Vujcin.

With Vujcin not being able to find her rhythm, Khristian Carr was able to step up for her team and continue to battle Kentucky for the lead.

However, this UK team has established experience on their roster and this experience dominated the second set. Kentucky found their rhythm and wound up opening a six-point lead over the Bulldogs before taking the second set.

Already up 2-0 against the Bulldog, the Cats did not release the pressure. They used hot-hitting hands on offense to open up a 10-8 lead over the Bulldogs in the second set. 

In the third set, Lilley was able to get comfortable with her hitters, as she found her rhythm of setting different players up for the kills at the net.

The Cats showcased their ability to defend this Mississippi team and strategically stack up on an impactful player. The strategy worked well for them as they took the third set 25-16.

Three players on UK’s team had a hot-hitting hand as they posted nine or more kills: Kaz Brown, Darien Mack and Leah Edmond.

This win for the Cats extends their conference play to 3-0 and their overall record to 12-2.

Up next the Cats will take on Alabama on Friday, Oct. 6, in Memorial Coliseum at 7 p.m.