UK suffers first SEC loss verse No. 17 Florida



By Lamar Smith

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The No. 20 Cats received the team’s first blemish in the SEC this season, as the No. 17 Florida Gators brought the swamp to Lexington as UK lost 3 sets to 1 (25-22, 21-25, 22-25, 20-25).

The loss ends a nine-game winning streak, including six consecutive wins in the SEC. Both teams had 56 kills total in the four-set match, but in a match between two top 25 teams, UK lost due to a number of attacking errors and missed opportunities. UK had 29 attacking errors total compared to the Gators’ 17 errors.

Both sophomore outside hitter Darian Mack and head coach Craig Skinner sited the lack of aggressive play, attacking errors and overall missed opportunities as the reason for the Sunday’s defeat.

“I think we weren’t aggressive enough through this match and just you know little plays here and there that we need to work on,” said Mack. “We both had the same number of kills, we just had too many hitting errors and part of that was their blocking, but we need to be a little bit more assertive with how we go about things,” said coach Skinner.

Several players put up strong performances despite receiving the team’s first loss in over month. UK’s last loss was a 5-set loss against Wichita State on Sept. 11.

Anni Thomasson, a junior outside hitter, had her second consecutive double-double with 11 kills and 12 digs. Emily Franklin and Mack also had double digit kills with Mack having 9 digs as well. Morgan Bergren had 43 assists after posting 51 versus Auburn and Ashley Dusek had 28 digs after setting a UK record for digs last game vs Auburn with 40.

UK hopes to bounce back with a win when the team travels to Tuscaloosa to face Alabama at 8 p.m. on Friday.