UK volleyball gets back on track with win at Alabama


Middle blocker Kaz Brown (7) celebrates after dumping the ball over the net during the match against the Georgia Bulldogs on Wednesday, September 21, 2016 in Lexington, Ky. Kentucky won the game 3-0. Photo by Hunter Mitchell | Staff

Chris Leach

After UK volleyball’s 13-game win streak ended last week, the No. 22 Cat were able to get back in the win column Sunday afternoon, as UK swept Alabama 3-0. 

With the win, UK is now tied with No. 9 Florida and Mizzou on top of the Southeastern Conference standings at 10-1. The Cats will play Mizzou one more time this season.

Even though Alabama is not near the top of the SEC standings, the Crimson Tide boosts a powerful offense led by senior Krystal Rivers. Rivers leads the NCAA in kills per set. 

In the first set of the match, Rivers wound up scoring four of the Tide’s first seven points. That did not matter though as the Cats got out to a strong start, at one point leading 13-7.

The Tide would eventually comeback and trim the Cats’ lead to only one. UK remained tough and would hold on to win the first set 25-19.

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Midway through the first set, six-time SEC freshman of the week Leah Edmond would leave the match with an injury, but Edmond later returned to the game in the second set.

In the second set, the Cats’ defense was firing on all cylinders, as the Tide could not find holes on the court to spike the ball in. The Cat’s largest lead in this set was 12, and the Cats would easily go on to win the second set 25-15. 

The third set of the match was very similar to the first. The Cats got out to a big lead early, but the Tide fought back and briefly held the lead in the middle of the match.

With Alabama leading 14-13, the Cats would go on a 12-3 run to close out the set, and the match with a 25-17 set victory.

This was the Cat’s 14th sweep victory of the season.

Even though the Tide got swept, Rivers had a great game and showed fans that she is one of the best offensive players in the NCAA. Rivers led the Tide with 19 kills; the next highest kill total from an Alabama player was five.

For the Cats, there were impressive performances all over the board that led to the team victory.

Sophomore Olivia Dailey, who is originally from Alabama, recorded 35 of the teams 38 assists, and also had two aces. 

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Senior Kaz Brown, who leads her team in hitting percentage, led the team in hitting percentage today at .769. Brown also tied the team lead in kills with 10.

Even with missing half of the first set, Edmond still scored 9 kills and also had one ace.

The Cats’ next matchup will be another away game; their third in a row. The Cats will travel to Auburn on Friday, Nov. 4 hoping to get another win and stay at the top of the SEC standings. 

The match against Auburn is scheduled to start at 7 p.m.