UK Volleyball goes 2-1 in weekend tournament

Defensive specialist Jackie Napper (15) digs a ball in the first half against Florida on Sunday, November 16, 2014 in Lexington, Ky. Florida defeated Kentucky 3-1. Photo by Hunter Mitchell

Caitlin Schwartz

The No. 21 Kentucky volleyball team traveled to Cedar Falls, Iowa last weekend for the Northern Iowa Tournament and went 1-2 on the weekend. Coming off a tough loss to Mid-American Conference power Ohio, the Cats closed out Northern Iowa on Friday in four sets, winning 3-1 (25-20, 25-27, 25-19, 25-20) in the McLeod Center. Five Cats players registered double-figure kills including sophomore outside hitter Darian Mack and freshman Anna Nyberg. Mack led the team with 17 kills and 9 digs while Nyberg, for the first time, broke double-digit kills with 12, adding five digs and two blocks. Iowa natives sophomore Kaz Brown and freshman Brooke Morgan put on a show for their hometown crowd with a combined 23 kills and 13 blocks. Brown finished the game with 13 kills and tied her career-best eight blocks. Morgan set career-highs with 10 kills and 5 blocks. Senior setter Morgan Bergren helped the team with 51 assists and a season-best 11 digs, her first double-double of the year. The Cats took their second loss of the season Saturday afternoon to No. 8 Southern California, losing 3-0 (25-11, 25-19, 25-21). Brown led the team with 12 kills while Morgan added seven kills and a block. Mack also had seven kills and two digs while senior middle blocker Sara Schwarzwalder added five kills and a block. The Women of Troy remained perfect at 5-0 as Kentucky wrapped up the UNI tournament that evening falling to Creighton 3-0 (25-23, 25-17, 25-18) putting their record at 4-3 on the season. Sophomore Ashley Dusek had an impressive performance charting 18 digs, her fifth-consecutive contest with 10 or more digs. She earned All-Tournament honors, logging 60 digs for the weekend, 6.00 digs per set and added four service aces over the three matches as well. Mack had a team-high nine kills while Nyberg added eight kills. Sophomore Sharay Barnes added six kills off the bench in the second and third set. Brown knocked down five kills, and Schwarzwalder had three kills and a pair of solo blocks. The Cats earn a week of rest before they head to the Shocker Volleyball Classic in Wichita, Kansas. The Cats kick off their tournament play on Friday, Sept. 11 against No. 7 Illinois. That same night they will battle the tournament host, the Shockers and wrap up their tournament play against Northern Illinois on Saturday night.