UK wins ninth in a row in 3-1 win over Auburn

Keyera Jackson

In a tough SEC battle between the Kentucky Wildcats and Auburn Tigers, UK ended up defeating Auburn in a 3-1 match (25-19, 25-14, 30-32, 25-21).

Kentucky got off to a great start by grabbing an early lead of 9-3, using their multiple outlooks of hitters. Six players were on the board in this first set just off of kills.

Kentucky controlled the tempo of the set and maintained the lead throughout the entire first set.

Going into the second set the Cats started with a 4-0 run. Kentucky’s offense in the set was much like the first set in terms of getting more players involved and on the boards. 

Auburn fought to stay within reach of the Cats, but Ashley Dusek was active and saved some hard hitting balls sent from the Tigers.

Kentucky dominated the first two sets, but the third one was a challenge for the Cats. 

“Although you get up 2-0 like that in a dominating fashion, it’s just never over in our sport and you have to keep battling,” head coach Craig Skinner said.

Auburn was determined to battle against the Cats and they ear their first lead over the Cats in the third set, which sent Kentucky into a timeout.

The match from that point on was filled with multiple lead changes and ten ties. Auburn started to run away with the set as Kentucky was down 20-15.

Leah Edmond would provide the spark UK needed and come up with the set-tying kill after UK’s 5-0 run to tie it at 20. They wound up taking the lead on the next play due to an Auburn error. 

From then, both teams continued to go back-and-forth with the leads, fighting to connect to the floor and Edmond was able to do just that as she had three-straight termination plays.

“We shouldn’t be going back-and-forth with them anymore let’s just end it now, so that’s kind of my mentality,” Edmond said.

Auburn managed to tie the score at 30, and then pull through with two plays that allowed them to defeat the Cats in the third set.

The loss of the third set did not affect the Cats as they kept their composure, came on the floor and went on a 3-0 run in the fourth set.

In the fourth set the Cats played their game, they set their offense and they trusted each other. The chemistry of this team was shown from the seniors all the way to the freshmen, and the players notice it too. 

“This is a really unique group; everyone is really good friends on and off of the court, and I think that shows a lot when we’re playing,” Kaz Brown said.

With this win over the Auburn Tigers Kentucky increases their lead to 14-2, and 5-0 in SEC play.

Next up, the Cats will take on Texas A&M on Wednesday, Oct. 11 in Memorial Coliseum at 8 p.m.