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Kentucky volleyball routes Ole Miss 3-1 to extend win streak to four

Kentucky outside hitter Brooklyn DeLeye (17) hits the ball during the Kentucky vs. LSU volleyball match on Friday, Sept. 22, 2023, at Rupp Arena in Lexington, Kentucky. Kentucky won 3-1. Photo by Samuel Colmar | Staff

Kentucky volleyball (7-7) defeated the Ole Miss Rebels 3-1 inside Rupp Arena on Sunday, extending its conference win streak to four.

The win ended a three-game road trip with Kentucky’s last home game being its only conference loss when the Wildcats fell to No. 13 Tennessee.

Junior Megan Wilson would start things off for the Wildcats, earning an opening kill as the Wildcats would go on to open a 6-4 lead early.  

The Wildcats offense would stay potent, with Kentucky opening its lead to five after a 4-0 run was topped off by a Rebel attack error.  

Ole Miss would cut the Kentucky lead to three, but would find themselves on the business end of a 12-4 Kentucky run as the Wildcats took the first set 25-14.  

Set two would prove to be more competitive than the first, with both teams exchanging points before Ole Miss secured a five-point advantage with a score of 15-10.  

The Wildcats would find some momentum despite the deficit, going on a 6-1 run to bring the score even at 16.  

After a back-and-forth battle, the score was all tied up at 24. The set would be extended six more points with Ole Miss securing the two-point advantage and winning the set 28-26. 

“I think it’s a little bit of competitive maturity,” Kentucky head coach Craig Skinner said. “When you beat a team 25-14, it’s not as easy to just get up and go do it again.” 

Looking to bounce back, the Wildcats would open set three with an 8-2 run, with junior Emma Grome securing four assists on her way to a team high 53.  

“Right now, it feels like everything in our offense is clicking,” Grome said. “We struggled in certain areas at the beginning of the year, but we’ve been working on those and ironing them out and I think we’re just really flowing right now.” 

The Rebels would cut the Wildcat lead to four, but a 13-2 run from Kentucky would break the deadlock with the Wildcats taking set two 25-10.  

Set four would prove to be much like its predecessor, with Grome adding 13 more assists to her total as an Ole Miss attack error sealed the set 25-11 and the Wildcats secured a 3-1 victory.  

With the Rebels in the rear view, Kentucky will look on to its second match up with No. 13 Tennessee – a matchup that saw the Wildcats get swept on Sunday, Sept. 24.  

“You can’t expect everything to go well next week,” Skinner said. “If our offense isn’t clicking then how do we defensively stop them from doing the things Tennessee wants to do?” 

The Wildcats will have an extended break as they prepare for their rivals to the South, with Kentucky traveling down to Knoxville, Tennessee, to take on the Volunteers inside Thompson-Bowling Arena on Sunday, Oct. 15 at 5 p.m. EST. 

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