UK remains perfect in SEC play with win over Alabama


Freshman Gabby Curry serves against Alabama at the women’s volleyball game at Memorial Coliseum on October 6th, 2017. The cats won 3 sets to 1.

Keyera Jackson

In Friday evening’s match against Alabama, UK volleyball was able to defeat the Crimson Tide by a final score of 3-1 (25-15, 23-25, 25-21, 25-20).

Despite the 3-1 win, this match was not an easy one for Cats.

UK got off to a great start, as they found their hot-hitting hands early to open the set with a 4-0 run.

It all started with a kill from freshman Avery Skinner. Skinner’s kill set the momentum high for the match as she contributed three of the first four points for Kentucky. 

Kentucky applied the pressure in the first set, and they used more than one player to do it. Five players posted two or more kills, and Skinner led the way with six kills.

In the second set, Alabama stepped up their game and was ready to compete. Kentucky got off to an early lead, but pressure from Alabama’s outside hitters kept them within reach.

Alabama took their first lead over the Cats with a kill from Leah Lawrence, to make the score 8-7. They held that lead by slowing Kentucky’s offense down and forcing them to adjust their defense.

“Our defense didn’t adjust very well and they have some young outside hitters and I thought they played very well,” head coach Craig Skinner said.

The outside hitters were a big factor for maintaining the lead over Kentucky, but some big blocks from Hayley McSparin and Mahalia Swink helped Alabama keep their lead.

Kentucky fought their way back into the second set and cut the lead to one point, however, Alabama won the second set.

In the third set, 15 of Kentucky’s 25 points was off of kills, with the help of Madison Lilley. 

Lilley’s ability to deliver the ball to different players at different times worked for Kentucky. Skinner received most of the passes by Lilley in this third set, and she finished big with the assists. 

“Her (Lilley) and I both have a lot of trust off the court, so I think that really helps on the court knowing that I can trust her to put the ball where it needs to go,” Skinner said.

While Skinner and Lilley are both freshmen, UK is also is filled with experienced players who take care of team as well as new players who are posting high numbers.

Leah Edmond is one of those experienced players, as she is in her second year with the Cats and she earned a double-double in kills and digs against the Crimson Tide. She was also a threat on defense, and that is where the team needed her for the match.

Next up on for the Cats is a match against Auburn on Oct. 8 in Memorial Coliseum. The match will start at 2 p.m.