UK volleyball falls to Texas A&M 3-1



By Caitlin Schwartz

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The No. 10 UK volleyball team started out sluggish Friday night against Texas A&M in Memorial Coliseum.

Trailing the Aggies for most of the first set, the Cats rallied back to tie the Aggies a total of eleven different times before falling short 30-28. Sophomore middle blocker Emily Franklin led the Cats offense with six kills while the sophomore duo Darian Mack and Brooke Morgan added four kills each as well.

Texas A&M’s sophomore Ashlie Reasor led the Aggies with a total of eight kills in the first set. Reasor led or tied for the team lead in kills in five matches last season, achieving her career-high 15-kill performance in A&M’s 3-1 victory over UK.

The Cats turned it around the second set and made it look too easy. The Cats forced an Aggie timeout as they led 22-13.

“We talked about executing [after the first set], we talked about the next play, we talked about competing for 10 seconds at a time and that was the message,” Head Coach Craig Skinner said discussing the fire in the second set. “We did a good job of that in set two.”

UK then took the second set with a relaxed 25-14 win.

UK started out strong again in the third set gaining a quick 10-3 lead. Texas A&M went on a 13-3 scoring run and took the lead for a play until an Aggie mistake tied up the set again. Texas A&M took off and seized the third set 25-23.

Morgan and Franklin lead the Cats offensively in the third set with 11 kills each while Ashley Dusek tops the defensive side once again with 15 digs and one assist.

The fourth set went much like the third with five different lead changes and a tied game a total of ten times. The Cats couldn’t hold off the unranked Aggies losing the fourth and final set 26-24 ending the match with a loss of 3-1. This put the Cats at 15-7 on the season and 7-2 in SEC play.

Mack led the team offensively with a total of 15 kills in the game adding four digs to the mix. She was one of five Cats who had double digits in the kill category along with Franklin with 13, Morgan with 12, and Kaz Brown and Anni Thomasson with 10 each.

But this wasn’t enough to defend the Aggies.

“We just had trouble executing,” Skinner said. “Against a good team like Texas A&M you have to be efficient offensively – that was the difference in the match.”