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Kentucky volleyball keeps win streak alive at Florida

Sydney Yonker
Kentucky defensive specialist Molly Tuozzo digs a ball during the Kentucky vs. Mississippi State women’s volleyball game on Friday, Oct. 20, 2023, at Rupp Arena in Lexington, Kentucky. Kentucky won 3-0. Photo by Sydney Yonker | Staff

Kentucky volleyball (13-7) marched into Gainesville, Florida, and defeated the Gators (14-7) 3-1 on Sunday, Nov. 5, inside the Stephen C. O’Connell Center. 

Brooklyn DeLeye led the cats with 15 kills despite early struggles while Eleanor Beavin added 14 digs on the Cats’ way to victory. 

The first set started in Florida’s favor after a 3-0 run took it to a 7-4 lead. Despite multiple solid stretches for the Wildcats, Florida would be the first to 15.

UK quickly gained control with a 4-0 run sparked by a Florida attack error. A service ace by Molly Tuozzo would elevate the Cats’ lead to three with the score at 20-17. 

Florida would fight back, tying the set at 23, but the Cats would ultimately prevail 25-23 in set one with a kill by Elise Goetzinger.

Florida dominated early in the second set, rocketing to a 7-0 lead. This would force the Wildcats to call an early timeout.

Kentucky would only slow the bleeding momentarily, falling to a 14-4 deficit. 

The Cats would miraculously bounce back after calling their second timeout, after a Florida service error catapulted UK to a 6-0 run, cutting the lead down to just four.  

While Kentucky would remain in striking distance for the rest of the set, Florida would ultimately hold on, winning the set 25-20.

The Wildcats would find their footing in the third set, getting out to a 10-6 lead, with the help of multiple big plays by DeLeye.

UK would keep themselves ahead of the Gators going into the late stages of the set, after a Florida service error and a DeLeye kill that put the cats up 19-14.

Florida would not back down, cutting the lead down to one late in the set. With the score at 23-22, the Cats would have one last push to secure the set win and would do so from a kill by Reagan Rutherford.

The fourth set started dead even, with the teams trading points back and forth until Kentucky snuck away with an 11-7 lead after consecutive kills from Goetzinger. 

After Florida cut the lead to two, the Cats would go on a 5-0 run capped off by a DeLeye kill that gave them a 20-13 lead. This comfortable lead allowed them to cruise to victory, winning the final set 25-18, defeating Florida.

Kentucky (13-7), is now 11-1 in SEC play, winning its 10th straight game Sunday. Kentucky remains at the top of the SEC standings and a single win ahead of Arkansas.

Kentucky’s road trip will conclude in Auburn, Alabama, as it takes on the Auburn Tigers at 7:30 p.m. EST on Wednesday, Nov. 8.

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