Kentucky volleyball concludes first SEC series 1-1 against LSU


Isabel McSwain

Kentucky players celebrate during the Kentucky vs. LSU volleyball match on Sunday, Sept. 25, 2022, at Memorial Coliseum in Lexington, Kentucky. Photo by Isabel McSwain | Kentucky Kernel

Katelyn Perkins, Staff Writer

In its first SEC matchup of the season, No. 15 Kentucky finished back-to-back games against LSU 1-1, losing the first match in five sets and sweeping the second match on Sunday.

The weekend saw the Cats’ record move to 6-5 on the season after falling to 5-5 after match one, the first time the Cats hadn’t had a winning record since they defeated Ohio University in the second match to move to 1-1 on the season.

The weekend started rough for Kentucky, with the Cats defeated in five sets by the Tigers on Saturday, marking the first time LSU had defeated UK since 2014 and the first time the Wildcats have suffered five home losses in a season since 2005.

The Cats started the match on Saturday strong, winning the first set, but were unable to find a rhythm in their game and momentum quickly took a turn in favor of the Tigers in the second and third sets.

Kentucky was able to recover in the fourth set, recording 18 kills compared to the Tigers’ 10, which allowed it to force a fifth set.

Although they were able to tie it up at two sets a piece, the Cats lack of blocking and number of errors caught up with them in the end, with UK falling short 15-11 in the final set and dropping the overall match.

Despite the loss, Kentucky had a chance at redeeming itself after the loss on Saturday, getting a rematch on Sunday, which it ran with, sweeping LSU on Sunday.

From Saturday to Sunday, each opponent’s attack percentage flipped with Kentucky’s overall attacking percentage on Saturday being .276 while LSU’s was .364, but on Sunday the Cats ended with an overall .330 attack percentage but LSU ended with a .274 percentage.

Another area where Kentucky improved from the first match was service aces. On Saturday the Wildcats ended with five, but on Sunday they were able to tack on two more aces overall, contributing to the victory.

Although the Cats did not get the result that they were hoping for in their first matchup against the Tigers, they were able to end the series with a clean sweep, hoping that the second match will provide the momentum required to succeed on the road against Missouri.

Kentucky travels to Colombia this Wednesday, Sept. 28, at 7 p.m. EST to take on the Missouri Tigers in the first road conference matchup of the season.