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No. 10 Kentucky Volleyball split games in two-day Colorado trip

Kentucky Wildcats middle blocker Elise Goetzinger (11) hits the ball during the Kentucky vs. Western Kentucky volleyball match on Thursday, Aug. 17, 2023, at Rupp Arena in Lexington, Kentucky. Kentucky won 3-1. Photo by Travis Fannon | Staff

No. 10 Kentucky Volleyball concluded its weekend trip to Colorado with a 1-1 record after suffering a 3-1 opening night loss to Colorado State on Friday and bouncing back on Saturday with a 3-1 victory over Northern Colorado.

The first match of the weekend took place at Moby Arena in Fort Collins, Colorado as the Wildcats faced off against the Colorado State Rams on opening night for UK’s season.

Set one would prove to be a back-and-forth battle with neither team being able to secure a two point advantage as both teams reached the target score of 25.

The set would be extended for another six points with Colorado State securing a 29-27 victory to take a 1-0 lead.

Set two would start off in similar fashion as the Rams opened a 19-14 lead, a lead which proved insurmountable as Colorado State took set two with a 25-19 victory.

Kentucky would bounce back in the third set after taking the initial lead and surviving a late Ram surge which saw Colorado State take a 16-14 lead, with Kentucky rallying to win the set 25-20.

Hopes of a comeback would be crushed shortly after when Colorado State took a 8-2 lead to start the fourth set. The Wildcats never gained back the momentum as the Rams took a 25-18 set victory and an overall 3-1 victory.

Kentucky Wildcats setter Emma Grome (4) sets the ball during the No. 3 Kentucky vs. Loyola Chicago volleyball match in the first round of the NCAA Tournament on Thursday, Dec. 1, 2022, at Memorial Coliseum in Lexington, Kentucky. UK won 3-0. Photo by Isabel McSwain | Staff (Isabel McSwain)

After leaving Friday’s matchup winless, the Cats turned to Saturday for a matchup against Northern Colorado to search for their first win.

Set one would see three lead changes and both teams finding themselves tied at 20, with Kentucky winning 5 of the next 7 points to take set one with a 25-22 victory.

The Wildcats would carry that momentum into the second set to end it on an 18-8 run after being tied at 6 to extend the Wildcat lead to two.

Needing one more set to take the match, Kentucky would trade rallies in a back and forth set that saw both teams even at 18.

Northern Colorado would extend the game one more set shortly after as the Bears took seven of the next 11 points to make the score 2-1.

Kentucky would take control of the fourth set early to take an 11-5 lead, surrendering the match point shortly after with an 11-point victory to end the match with a 3-1 score.

Senior Reagan Rutherford led the Wildcats in kills with 17, while junior Emma Grome led Kentucky in assists with 45.

The Wildcats will now look to add another tally in the win column as they head back home to take on Pittsburgh at Rupp Arena on Friday, September 1 at 7 p.m. EST.

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