Azhani Tealer sets record as Wildcats sweep South Carolina


Jack Weaver

Kentucky players celebrate during the Kentucky vs. Marquette volleyball match on Friday, Aug. 26, 2022, at Memorial Coliseum in Lexington, Kentucky. Marquette won 3-2. Photo by Jack Weaver | Staff

Drew Johnson, Reporter

Kentucky volleyball swept South Carolina on Friday, putting itself just one win away from a potential SEC championship.

The win came on UK’s senior day as Maddie Berezowitz, Adanna Rollins, Azhani Tealer and Kelly Franxman were honored before the game.

The win was highlighted by Tealer, who set the UK record for block assists with 13 in the winning effort. The previous record of 12 was held by Queen Nzenwa in 2007 against Arkansas.

Tealer complimented 13 block assists with seven kills to help Kentucky boost past the Gamecocks.

The first set was back-and-forth as neither Kentucky nor South Carolina would let the other team get too far ahead.

South Carolina attempted a late comeback later in the set after Kentucky went up 20-12, but the Wildcats were able to put together a 5-2 run late to win the set 25-17.

The second set saw South Carolina gain an early lead until the Wildcats recorded an impressive 12-0 run to turn a 9-4 deficit into a 16-9 lead.

The Cats then went on runs of 4-0 and 5-0 to put the set away and take a commanding 2-0 lead in the match.

The third set started with a quick 6-1 run that gave the Wildcats an early lead.

Ultimately, the Cats were able to win the set comfortably after the initial lead, never letting South Carolina within 3 points.

Kentucky sits tied in first in the SEC along with Florida at 14-3. The Gators and Wildcats split their series in Gainesville with both squads picking up a sweep. 

Both teams also play on Saturday to end their regular seasons as the Gators face Ole Miss and the Wildcats face South Carolina again.

Should Kentucky beat the Gamecocks on Saturday, they are guaranteed at least a share of the SEC title, while if Kentucky beats South Carolina and Florida loses to Ole Miss, the Wildcats will have the championship all to themselves.

The second matchup against the Gamecocks is scheduled for 1 p.m. EST on Saturday, Nov. 26, inside Memorial Coliseum. The matchup will air live on the SEC Network+.