Cats overcome early deficit to defeat LSU


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

Kentucky volleyball rallied in a win over the LSU Tigers in a five-set match after the Tigers gained an early lead over the Cats and won the first two sets of the night.

UK wound up winning the next three sets to claim UK’s 13th victory in a row. The Cats still remain perfect in conference play 11 games in.

The Tigers got off to a good start by challenging Kentucky offensively with the help of Toni Rodriguez. LSU’s defensively also didn’t allow Kentucky to set up their offense, as the Cats were only able to connect on eight of their 30 swing attempts.

LSU won the first set 25-12.

Kentucky was able to get an early 9-4 lead over the Tigers in the second set by getting more players active offensively, which kept LSU off balanced.

However, the Tigers were not being taken down easily and two back-to-back block plays by LSU’s defense tied the match at 10 and sent Kentucky into a timeout.

After a kill play from Taylor Bannister, the Tigers had a hot hitting hand and they ran away with the lead, which led to another set-win for the Tigers, only needing one more set-win to sweep the Cats.

The third set was an important set for both teams, Kentucky trying to force a fourth set and LSU trying to take the win over the No. 6 team in the nation.

Defense was a key element for Kentucky in the third set, especially with their blocks at the net.

The Cats were able to get off to a 6-1 lead off a block by Darian Mack, which slowed the offense for LSU.

After that play, the Cats found their rhythm and kept the momentum going defensively, which silenced LSU’s offense and they controlled the net for “Big Blue Finishes.”

Kentucky carried that same energy of letting their defense drive the match for them into the fourth set and they took a back-to-back wins over the Tigers, forcing a fifth set. 

With Kentucky and LSU both at two sets apiece, every point mattered in the fifth set for these teams.

Kaz Brown and Leah Edmond, two leaders for the Cats, both had two early kills which gave Kentucky some well needed early points. 

Kentucky stretched that lead to 13-9, which sent LSU into another timeout.

Kentucky was only two points away from the win and they got it done with a tip play down the middle followed by an ace.

Next up for Kentucky is a match against Texas A&M on Sunday Oct. 29, at 2:30 p.m.